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NEWS UPDATE #90

Nikhil Dey & Aruna Roy writes: The cynical attitude towards the MGNREGA is an example of how policymakers are deliberately — by squeezing funds and subverting the legal mandate of the law — causing immeasurable misery and suffering. Through the fund squeeze, the government has consciously crippled the MGNREGA’s ability to help people facing drought.

NEWS UPDATE #86

Bill McKibben reports: On March 3, across the northern hemisphere, the temperature, for a few hours, crossed a line: it was more than two degrees Celsius above “normal” for the first time in recorded history and likely for the first time in the course of human civilization. Two degrees Celsius is the must-not-cross red line.

NEWS UPDATE #85

Sukumar Muralidharan reports on Catch News: This year’s economic survey is a catalogue of crises. For one thing, it records that the situation in agriculture has been dismal on account of two successive years of poor monsoons. This is only the fourth time in 115 years that such a misfortune has hit the Indian economy.

NEWS UPDATE #84

January was the globe’s most unusually warm month ever recorded, and the past three months have been the most unusually warm three-month period on record as well, according to NASA. It is the combination of manmade global warming and a record strong El Niño that’s bumped up temperatures to never-before-seen levels since at least 1880.

NEWS UPDATE #83

Common Dreams reports: A new analysis, published in Science Advances journal, reveals that global water scarcity is a far greater problem than previously thought, affecting 4 billion people—two-thirds of the world’s population. Previous analyses looked at water scarcity at an annual scale, and had found that water scarcity affected between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people.

Tverberg: A market collapse is on the horizon

Gail Tverberg writes: We are about to see a substantial disruption to the economy, as oil limits, as well as other energy limits, cause the economic supercycle to contract. Whether its Peak Oil, the Limits to Growth, or the Debt Supercycle, the underlying problem is the same – we’re reaching the limits of a finite world.

NEWS UPDATE #82

Decision On GM Mustard Deferred *Mining interests and tribal rights on collision course *Former atomic energy regulator says India needs to pause nuclear plans *Lesser water recorded in Indian reservoirs than last year *Sikkim Organic Mission: We Need To Dig Deeper *Hydro dam boom threatens freshwater fish *Radioactive Water From Fukushima Leaking Into the Pacific

Fifteen experts on the hidden consequences of the oil crash

Oil prices drive not just economics, but geopolitics. Alliances rise and fall over petroleum. For these reasons and more, the collapsing value of oil will have profound consequences, with the potential to destabilize regimes, remake regions and alter the global economy in lasting and unforeseen ways. Fifteen experts tell Politico what that means for the world.

NEWS UPDATE #81

India, Colombia and Nigeria have the most cases of conflict caused by climate change and environmental disputes, according to a map of global ecological conflict. The Environmental Justice Atlas, released last month, shows that more than 200 conflicts in India are caused by ecological disputes and scarcities of basic resources such as water and forests.

Tverberg: Something Has Got To Break

Gail Tverberg explains the correlation between rates of GDP growth and growth in energy supply. For decades, energy has been becoming more costly to obtain, but instead of accepting lower GDP growth, we have been using debt to fund further energy extraction. That strategy has diminishing returns, and we are close to the moment of reckoning.

Alert: Global financial crash ahead?

The Guardian reports: Investors face a “cataclysmic year” where stock markets could fall by up to 20% and oil could slump to $16 a barrel, the Royal Bank of Scotland have warned. In a note to clients, it said: “Sell everything except high quality bonds. This is about return of capital, not return on capital.”

NEWS UPDATE #79

The Times of India reports: Distress conditions forced about 6 lakh people from Rayalaseema, where the major crop is groundnut, to move to cities in 2015. It works out to migration of around 1,600 persons per day last year. Although the rate dipped in November and December due to the ongoing cultivation, the trend continues.

News update

Continued destruction of Earth’s plant life places humans in jeopardy Science Daily Unless humans slow the destruction of Earth’s declining supply of plant life, civilization like it is now may become completely unsustainable, according to a paper published recently by University of Georgia researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “You can think

Peak Oil from the Demand Side: A Prophetic New Model

Avery Morrow, Peak Oil Barrel The most attention-grabbing attempts to predict oil futures have come from geologists and environmental activists, who tend to look solely at production. An overlooked doctoral thesis by Christophe McGlade, Uncertainties in the outlook for oil and gas, in contrast, focuses on how both supply and demand might be constrained in the coming

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