Brooke Maushund, who has worked on energy access in Nicaragua and in Africa, wrote the conference report for the Energy Net Limited summit that preceded the COP22 Climate Summit in Marrakech November 2 — 4, 2016.
The ongoing debate over the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency
(EE) deployment often hinges on the current cost of incumbent fossil-fuel technologies versus
the long-term benefit of clean energy alternatives. This debate is often focused on mature or
‘industrialized’ economies and externalities such as job creation. In many ways, however, the
situation in developing economies is at least as or even more interesting due to the generally
faster current rate of economic growth and of infrastructure deployment. On the one hand, RE
and EE could help decarbonize economies in developing countries, but on the other hand, higher
upfront costs of RE and EE could hamper short-term growth. The methodology developed in
this paper confirms the existence of this trade-off for some scenarios, yet at the same time
provides considerable evidence about the positive impact of EE and RE from a job creation and
employment perspective. By extending and adopting a methodology for Africa designed to
calculate employment from electricity generation in the U.S., this study finds that energy savings
and the conversion of the electricity supply mix to renewable energy generates employment
compared to a reference scenario. It also concludes that the costs per additional job created tend
to decrease with increasing levels of both EE adoption and RE shares.
The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is a national initiative designed to promote investment in solar photovoltaics by commercial, nonprofit, and residential property owners. Its central feature is to provide low-cost, long-term funding, which is repaid as an assessment on the property’s regular tax bill, as is done for sidewalks and sewers, for example. Spurring such investment clearly is a good goal, but is the program effective? Ameli, Pisu, and Kammen in Applied Energy used a natural experiment in northern California to test the capacity of PACE, finding that it has been a great success, more than doubling residential photovoltaic installations in the region at no cost to the taxpayers. —HJS
March 2, in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
Daniel M. Kammen
Over the past two years, two thoughtful, innovative, and dramatically different plans to address global warming have been presented to the American public by the Democratic and the Republican Parties. Both plans would move the nation significantly toward a sustainable future.
The first, the Clean Power Plan (CPP), introduced by President Obama, calls on states to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector by 32 percent below the 2005 baseline by 2030. The CPP further makes $8 billion available to retrain and aid coal-workers and their families. This is a sizeable transition fund for an industry now valued in total at less than $50 billion, a tenth of what it was just a few decades ago.
The second is the Carbon Dividend Plan (CDP) which was recently proposed by the Climate Leadership Council which is headlined by former Republican Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz, as well as former Treasury Secretary Paulson, two former Chairmen of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and a Chairman of the Board of Walmart. The CDP calls for a modestly rising carbon tax, with dividends paid directly back to American families amounting to roughly $2,000 per year for a family of four.
Both plans have a great deal to like. The home run strategy for American job creation and industrial leadership is to implement both the CPP and the CDP.
The federal government estimates that the CPP will yield climate benefits to the U. S. economy of $20 billion, and health benefits of $14 – $34 billion, and to each year avoid 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks, and 300,000 missed work and school days. With so many of these illnesses in lower-income areas and in minority communities, the CPP is of tremendous benefit to poorer Americans and to the national budget as well. To be fair, some, but not all, of these benefits would also come from the CDP, although they are less clear-cut because emissions reductions could come from other sectors of the economy beyond electricity.
The CDP includes a provision for border taxes on foreign imports from nations that do not implement some form of carbon pricing, presumably with a dispensation for the world’s poorest nations.
Together the CPP and the CDP build a vibrant, intensely job-creating energy sector that would be far larger than either plan accomplishes alone. The CPP does not pit one state against each other, but pushes each state to develop its own carbon reduction plan. Both red and blue states are finding this easier and more profitable than previously imagined. The power sector reduced its carbon emissions 21 percent between 2005–2015, primarily by switching from coal to gas. It is well on the way to complying with the Clean Power Plan.
The CPP will accelerate the transition to money-saving energy efficiency, and to a job-rich renewable energy sector. Countries such as China, Bangladesh, Denmark, Germany Kenya, Korea, and Portugal have seen tremendous manufacturing and job growth as they made their electricity sectors more diverse, clean, and job-producing.
As innovations spread in the energy sector, the benefits of the CDP come into play. The carbon dividend to U. S. families is estimated by the U. S. Treasury to directly benefit financially the poorest 70 percent (some 223 million people) of Americans. A federal infrastructure investment would further stimulate this deal, bringing jobs to the capital-intensive energy sector across the country.
Of equal or greater importance, however, is the fact that the U. S. and EU energy sectors are growing by less than 1% per year, but in many other nations energy demand is growing by 5% per year or more. The CDP pushes other countries to adopt carbon policies, making them ready-markets for the products that the invigorated U. S. energy sector will deliver.
Because the energy industry is about systems integration, not simply individual technology components, countries need company partners that are expert and trusted to deliver integrated packages. This is a hallmark of the U. S. energy sector, from the complex and extensive oil and gas industry, to companies like Bechtel and Johnson Controls, to the fastest growing part of the U. S. economy, the clean energy innovators.
The real beauty of the two proposals is how well they can work together for the benefit of all Americans, and at the same time, the global environment.
Daniel M. Kammen is a professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, and Science Envoy for the U. S. State Department. Twitter: @dan_kammen; URL: http://rael.berkeley.edu
Paul Baer (1962 — 2016) – Memoriam
Paul was one of the first, and one of the most passionate, students I met upon my move from Princeton to Berkeley.
Paul played a central role – along with Barbara Haya and Nate Hultman – in working through the science, policy and legal story around an idea that was of some interest then, eighteen years ago, and is now very much on the global agenda: the need to fight for equity at a time of increasing inequality.
In fact, our team effort – the ‘climate laboratory’ – was a wonderful and productive fusion of the interests, passions, and skills of a number of ERG students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty. We were able to work between theory and practice on how equity and environmental justice could evolve a project that that I had recently completed at Princeton with – another ERGie – Ann Kinzig – into an operational proposal for the climate negotiations. Paul and Tom Athanasiou published Dead Heat two years later; a book that a decade of climate campaigners carried and cited regularly.
In our climate laboratory, and in the subsequent years of working, traveling, and debating a wide range of topics with Paul one thing always stood out: his unflagging passion for the project in the form of the people impacted by the lack of attention to justice and equity.
It is heartening to me that while Paul’s career and life stops after ERG were not always happy, they were always meaningful and chosen to better the lives of others.
I do, and will always miss you, Paul.
To download a copy of this memorial note, click here.
 Paul Baer, John Harte, Antonia Herzog, John Holdren, Nate Hultman, Daniel Kammen, Barbara (Kresch) Haya, Richard Norgaard, and Leigh Raymond “Equal per capita emission rights: the key to a viable climate change policy”, Science 289, 2287 (2000).
 Ann Kinzig and Daniel Kammen (1998) “National trajectories of carbon emissions: Analysis of proposals to foster the transition to low-carbon economies”, Global Environmental Change, 8 (3), 183 – 208 (1998).
From Forbes Magazine, December 7, 2016
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. decided to close its Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant because its baseload power—often cited as nuclear’s best asset—doesn’t fit into the dynamic grid California is developing, a PG&E executive said today at the U.S. Energy Storage Summit in San Francisco.
Steve Malnight, PG&E’s senior vice president for regulatory affairs, was speaking specifically of market conditions in California, but many consider California a trailblazer for the nation on energy and climate issues, so his comments will resonate in the ongoing debate over nuclear’s role in a clean-energy future.
“Considering a shutdown was a difficult decision for us,” Malnight said, “but as we really looked at the changing dynamics in California, given the choices we’ve made in California, and the policy direction in California, there was a clear recognition that Diablo was not going to be a good fit for the future needs of the system.”
Figure caption: Aerial view of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which sits on the edge of the Pacific Ocean at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County, California. (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Nuclear advocates argue that nuclear plants can provide reliable power to balance the variability of renewables, but baseload power turned out to be Diablo’s Achilles’ heel.
“With 50 percent renewables on the system, the idea of a large baseload generator that runs pretty much all the time, every day, 24 hours a day, just doesn’t have as good a fit to the market conditions we expect to see,” Malnight said.
PG&E announced this summer it would close Diablo’s two reactors after their operating licenses expire in November 2024 and August 2025, replacing the plant with a suite of greenhouse-gas-free technologies, including renewables, energy efficiency, and energy storage. Today, Malnight said half that job is already done.
“When you looked at the other half that needed to be replaced, baseload generation just wasn’t a good fit. The plant would be turning on and turning off all the time. And in a marketplace with really abundant resources in the middle of the day, that’s not a good way to run a nuclear plant.”
PG&E intends to “buy” the renewables, efficiency, and storage that will replace the plant soon, so that they’re in place before it closes. He told the audience of energy-storage interests that the storage purchase would have been necessary even if Diablo stayed open.
“We anticipate we’re going to need to bring on more storage onto the system to help integrate those diverse resources. Which, by the way we would have needed if we kept Diablo running, too.”
Malnight did acknowledge the seeming irony of closing a nuclear plant during a frantic quest to develop an energy system free of carbon emissions.
“As a company we’re really committed to achieving the state’s—and hopefully the world’s—ambition for carbon reduction, and Diablo is a vital resource for us today in our existing fleet for how we are able to deliver as much clean energy as we do.” But, he said, it proved too awkward a piece of the puzzle in an energy future based on a diverse, dynamic, decentralized set of resources.
PG&E’s decision supports an argument articulated by Berkeley Energy Professor Daniel Kammen in a debate this summer [to watch the debate, click here] with former Energy Secretary Steven Chu: “The dramatic ramp up in solar resulted in the dramatic realization that a diverse, decentralized system can provide the same critical features that we think about with a baseload highly centralized system,” said Kammen.
To listen or download the podcast:
Paul Rogers, managing editor, KQED Science; environment writer, San Jose Mercury News
Dan Kammen, professor of energy, UC Berkeley; director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at UC Berkeley
Dr. Chris Field, Perry L. McCarty director, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
With prices for renewables dropping, many countries in Africa might leap past dirty forms of energy towards a cleaner future
At the threshold of the Sahara Desert near Ouarzazate, Morocco, some 500,000 parabolic mirrors run in neat rows across a valley, moving slowly in unison as the Sun sweeps overhead. This US$660-million solar-energy facility opened in February and will soon have company. Morocco has committed to generating 42% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Across Africa, several nations are moving aggressively to develop their solar and wind capacity. The momentum has some experts wondering whether large parts of the continent can vault into a clean future, bypassing some of the environmentally destructive practices that have plagued the United States, Europe and China, among other places.
“African nations do not have to lock into developing high-carbon old technologies,” wrote Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations, in a report last year. “We can expand our power generation and achieve universal access to energy by leapfrogging into new technologies that are transforming energy systems across the world.”
That’s an intoxicating message, not just for Africans but for the entire world, because electricity demand on the continent is exploding. Africa’s population is booming faster than anywhere in the world: it is expected to almost quadruple by 2100. More than half of the 1.2 billion people living there today lack electricity, but may get it soon. If much of that power were to come from coal, oil and natural gas, it could kill international efforts to slow the pace of global warming. But a greener path is possible because many African nations are just starting to build up much of their energy infrastructure and have not yet committed to dirtier technology.
Several factors are fuelling the push for renewables in Africa. More than one-third of the continent’s nations get the bulk of their power from hydroelectric plants, and droughts in the past few years have made that supply unreliable. Countries that rely primarily on fossil fuels have been troubled by price volatility and increasing regulations. At the same time, the cost of renewable technology has been dropping dramatically. And researchers are finding that there is more potential solar and wind power on the continent than previously thought—as much as 3,700 times the current total consumption of electricity.
This has all led to a surging interest in green power. Researchers are mapping the best places for renewable-energy projects. Forward-looking companies are investing in solar and wind farms. And governments are teaming up with international-development agencies to make the arena more attractive to private firms.
Yet this may not be enough to propel Africa to a clean, electrified future. Planners need more data to find the best sites for renewable-energy projects. Developers are wary about pouring money into many countries, especially those with a history of corruption and governmental problems. And nations will need tens of billions of dollars to strengthen the energy infrastructure.
Still, green ambitions in Africa are higher now than ever before. Eddie O’Connor, chief executive of developer Mainstream Renewable Power in Dublin, sees great potential for renewable energy in Africa. His company is building solar– and wind-energy facilities there and he calls it “an unparalleled business opportunity for entrepreneurs”.
Power outages are a common problem in many African nations, but Zambia has suffered more than most in the past year. It endured a string of frequent and long-lasting blackouts that crippled the economy. Pumps could not supply clean water to the capital, Lusaka, and industries had to slash production, leading to massive job lay-offs.
The source of Zambia’s energy woes is the worst drought in southern Africa in 35 years. The nation gets nearly 100% of its electricity from hydropower, mostly from three large dams, where water levels have plummeted. Nearby Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana have also had to curtail electricity production. And water shortages might get worse. Projections suggest that the warming climate could reduce rainfall in southern Africa even further in the second half of the twenty-first century.
Renewable energy could help to fill the gap, because wind and solar projects can be built much more quickly than hydropower, nuclear or fossil-fuel plants. And green-power installations can be expanded piecemeal as demand increases.
Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa are leading the charge to build up renewable power, but one of the biggest barriers is insufficient data. Most existing maps of wind and solar resources in Africa do not contain enough detailed information to allow companies to select sites for projects, says Grace Wu, an energy researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. She co-authored a report on planning renewable-energy zones in 21 African countries, a joint project by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. The study is the most comprehensive mapping effort so far for most of those countries, says Wu. It weighs the amount of solar and wind energy in the nations, along with factors such as whether power projects would be close to transmission infrastructure and customers, and whether they would cause social or environmental harm. “The IRENA–LBNL study is the only one that has applied a consistent methodology across a large region of Africa,” says Wu. High-resolution measurements of wind and solar resources have typically been done by government researchers or companies, which kept tight control of their data. The Berkeley team used a combination of satellite and ground measurements purchased from Vaisala, an environmental monitoring company based in Finland that has since made those data publicly available through IRENA’s Global Atlas for Renewable Energy. The team also incorporated geospatial data—the locations of roads, towns, existing power lines and other factors—that could influence decisions about where to put energy projects. “If there’s a forest, you don’t want to cut it down and put a solar plant there,” says co-author Ranjit Deshmukh, also an energy researcher at Berkeley.
The amount of green energy that could be harvested in Africa is absolutely massive, according to another IRENA report, which synthesized 6 regional studies and found potential for 300 million megawatts of solar photovoltaic power and more than 250 million megawatts of wind. By contrast, the total installed generating capacity—the amount of electricity the entire continent could produce if all power plants were running at full tilt—was just 150,000 megawatts at the end of 2015. Solar and wind power accounted for only 3.6% of that.
The estimate of wind resources came as a surprise, says Oliver Knight, a senior energy specialist for the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program in Washington DC. Although people have long been aware of Africa’s solar potential, he says, as of about a decade ago, few local decision-makers recognized the strength of the wind. “People would have told you there isn’t any wind in regions such as East Africa.”
The World Bank is doing its own studies, which will assess wind speeds and solar radiation at least every 10 minutes at selected sites across target countries. It will ask governments to add their own geospatial data, and will combine all the information into a user-friendly format that is freely available and doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge, says Knight.“It should be possible for a mid-level civil servant in a developing country to get online and actually start playing with this.”
SOUTH AFRICA LEADS
In the semi-arid Karoo region of South Africa, a constellation of bright white wind turbines rises 150 metres above the rolling grassland. Mainstream Renewable Power brought this project online in July, 17 months after starting construction. The 35 turbines add 80 megawatts to South Africa’s supply, enough to power about 70,000 homes there.
The Noupoort Wind Farm is just one of about 100 wind and solar projects that South Africa has developed in the past 4 years, as prices fell below that of coal and construction lagged on two new massive coal plants. South Africa is primed to move quickly to expand renewable energy, in part thanks to its investment in data.
Environmental scientist Lydia Cape works for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, a national lab in Stellenbosch. She and her team have created planning maps for large-scale wind and solar development and grid expansion. Starting with data on the energy resources, they assessed possible development sites for many types of socio-economic and environmental impact, including proximity to electricity demand, economic benefits and effects on biodiversity.
The South African government accepted the team’s recommendations and designated eight Renewable Energy Development Zones that are close to consumers and to transmission infrastructure—and where power projects will cause the least harm to people and ecosystems. They total “about 80,000 square kilometres, the size of Ireland or Scotland, roughly”, says Cape. The areas have been given streamlined environmental authorization for renewable projects and transmission corridors, she says.
But for African nations to go green in a big way, they will need a huge influx of cash. Meeting sub-Saharan Africa’s power needs will cost US$40.8 billion a year, equivalent to 6.35% of Africa’s gross domestic product, according to the World Bank. Existing public funding falls far short, so attracting private investors is crucial. Yet many investors perceive African countries as risky, in part because agreements there require long and complex negotiations and capital costs are high. “It’s a real challenge,” says Daniel Kammen, a special envoy for energy for the US Department of State and an energy researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. “Many of these countries have not had the best credit ratings.”
Elham Ibrahim, the African Union’s commissioner for infrastructure and energy, advises countries to take steps to reassure private investors. Clear legislation supporting renewable energy is key, she says, along with a track record of enforcing commercial laws.
South Africa is setting a good example. In 2011, it established a transparent process for project bidding called the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The programme has generated private investments of more than $14 billion to develop 6,327 megawatts of wind and solar.
Mainstream Renewable Power has won contracts for six wind farms and two solar photovoltaic plants through REIPPPP. “This programme is purer than the driven snow,” says O’Connor. “They publish their results. They give state guarantees. They don’t delay you too much.” Although the country’s main electricity supplier has wavered in its support for renewables, the central government remains committed to the programme, he says. “I would describe the risks in South Africa as far less than the risks in England in investing in renewables.”
For countries less immediately attractive to investors, the World Bank Group launched the Scaling Solar project in January 2015. This reduces risk to investors with a suite of guarantees, says Yasser Charafi, principal investment officer for African infrastructure with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Dakar, which is part of the World Bank Group. Through the Scaling Solar programme, the IFC offers low-priced loans; the World Bank guarantees that governments will buy the power generated by the projects; and the group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency offers political insurance in case of a war or civil unrest.
Zambia, the first country to have access to Scaling Solar, has won two solar projects that will together provide 73 megawatts. Senegal and Madagascar were next, with agreements to produce 200 and 40 megawatts, respectively. Ethiopia has just joined, and the IFC will give two further countries access to the programme soon; its target is to develop 1,000 megawatts in the first 5 years.
MAKING IT FLOW
That power won’t be useful if it can’t get to users. One of the big barriers to a clean-energy future in Africa is that the continent lacks robust electricity grids and transmission lines to move large amounts of power within countries and across regions.
But that gap also provides some opportunities. Without a lot of existing infrastructure and entrenched interests, countries there might be able to scale up renewable projects and manage electricity more nimbly than developed nations. That’s what happened with the telephone industry: in the absence of much existing land-line infrastructure, African nations rapidly embraced mobile phones.
The future could look very different from today’s electricity industry. Experts say that Africa is likely to have a blend of power-delivery options. Some consumers will get electricity from a grid, whereas people in rural areas and urban slums—where it is too remote or too expensive to connect to the grid—might end up with small-scale solar and wind installations and minigrids.
Still, grid-connected power is crucial for many city dwellers and for industrial development, says Ibrahim. And for renewables to become an important component of the energy landscape, the grid will need to be upgraded to handle fluctuations in solar and wind production. African nations can look to countries such as Germany and Denmark, which have pioneered ways to deal with the intermittent nature of renewable energy. One option is generating power with existing dams when solar and wind lag, and cutting hydropower when they are plentiful. Another technique shuttles electricity around the grid: for example, if solar drops off in one place, power generated by wind elsewhere can pick up the slack. A third strategy, called demand response, reduces electricity delivery to multiple customers by imperceptible amounts when demand is peaking.
These cutting-edge approaches require a smart grid and infrastructure that connects smaller grids in different regions so that they can share electricity. Africa has some of these ‘regional interconnections’, but they are incomplete. Four planned major transmission corridors will need at least 16,500 kilometres of new transmission lines, costing more than $18 billion, says Ibrahim. Likewise, many countries’ internal power grids are struggling to keep up.
That’s part of what makes working in energy in Africa challenging. Prosper Amuquandoh is an inspector for the Ghana Energy Commission and the chief executive of Smart and Green Energy Group, an energy-management firm in Accra. In Ghana, he says, “there’s a lot of generation coming online”.
The country plans to trade electricity with its neighbours in a West African Power Pool, Amuquandoh says, but the current grid cannot handle large amounts of intermittent power. Despite the challenges, he brims with enthusiasm when he talks about the future: “The prospects are huge.”
With prices of renewables falling, that kind of optimism is spreading across Africa. Electrifying the continent is a moral imperative for everyone, says Charafi. “We cannot just accept in the twenty-first century that hundreds of millions of people are left out.”
Link to the article:
Article by Andy Revkin:
Science has long been focused mainly on knowledge frontiers, with universities often seeming to track “impact factors” of published papers more than a researcher’s impact in the real word.
But there’s been a welcome effort, of late, particularly in fields relevant to sustainable development, to shift priorities toward helping communities address challenges as humanity’s “great acceleration” plays out in the next few decades. An early iteration of this call came in a 1997 essay on “the virtues of mundane science” by Daniel Kammen of the University of California, Berkeley, and Michael R. Dove of Yale. (I discussed the essay in a lecture last year.)
It seems such efforts are gaining steam. For example, consider the growth of the Thriving Earth Exchange, an effort by the American Geophysical Union to help connect its global network of scientists with communities seeking science-based solutions to a variety of vexing problems:
Credit Thriving Earth Exchange
When the initiative launched in 2013, the director Raj Pandya, wrote an article for Eos, the American Geophysical Union magazine, explaining the goal is “to enable communities to partner with Earth and space scientists and access the expertise needed to address problems arising from hazards, disasters, resource limitations, and climate change.”
The exchange has accumulated quite a list of projects at various stages of analysis and completion. I hope you’ll explore them here. I also urge you to listen to this short, succinct and compelling talk in which Pandya illustrates the merits of getting the right scientific expertise to the right problem by showing how targeted meteorological forecasting helped improve the deployment of limited supplies of meningitis vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa, saving lives and money.
An early iteration of such a network, now dormant, was Scientists Without Borders, created almost a decade ago by the New York Academy of Sciences (I wrote about it in 2008). This is an arena where trial and error are both vital.
In a related and creditable move, the White House and some partners today announced the launch of “Resilience Dialogues” — a way for communities at risk from climatic or coastal threats to connect with experts to reduce their vulnerability. In an email this evening, Amy Luers, the assistant director for climate resilience and information at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, explained that scientific expertise is actually a smart part of what’s needed:
This effort is focused on responding to communities’ request for guidance in their resilience planning by matching experts from a range of sectors (mostly not scientists) to meet the needs that communities have identified. These experts come from a range of technical assistance programs in both federal agencies and non-governmental groups. They are people who understand the regulations, manage grants programs, have developed and/or worked with tools that explore tradeoffs, and who have expertise in communication and public engagement. In fact, in the pilots, I would say that only about 10 percent of the subject matter experts were Ph.D. biophysical scientists.
I spent time a couple of years ago on the engagement committee of Future Earth, an international enterprise aiming to shift research investments in science toward goals that serve societal needs. As a result, I was a (minor) co-author on a paper in Global Environmental Change earlier this year aiming to illustrate “how science might contribute to the identification of desirable and plausible futures and pave the way for transformations towards them.”
Please spread the word or give both the new White House initiativeand Thriving Earth Exchange a test drive if you have a resilience issue in search of solutions.
Further reading | Daniel Sarewitz, an analyst of the interface of science and society who teaches at Arizona State University, recently wrote an extraordinary and comprehensive essay warming of perils ahead for both science and society if institutions of science don’t shift priorities. The piece is in The New Atlantis, a journal on technology and society. Here’s his takeaway:
Advancing according to its own logic, much of science has lost sight of the better world it is supposed to help create. Shielded from accountability to anything outside of itself, the “free play of free intellects” begins to seem like little more than a cover for indifference and irresponsibility. The tragic irony here is that the stunted imagination of mainstream science is a consequence of the very autonomy that scientists insist is the key to their success. Only through direct engagement with the real world can science free itself to rediscover the path toward truth.
RAEL joins colleagues from the Overseas Development Institute, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Practical Action, Tierra Digna, The Council for Energy, Environment & Water, IESR, and the Institute for Development Studies.
An Op Ed on the report appeared in the blog, The Hill, and can be accessed here.
The full report is available here.