sustainable future

sustainable future

In this article, Supriya Prakash Sen draws our attention to the ever-growing problem of mass consumerism and how dematerialization could help. 

This theme of today’s blog post is in the backdrop of a stunning rise in e-commerce globally – from books to electronics to food to fashion. Sounds great for consumers as well as for Mr. Bezos? Well, maybe- but this dramatic increase in shopping online will only lead to more plastic packaging, more electricity for warehouses, more fuel for delivery vehicles, and more computation energy for search, recommendation, and transaction processing. This is evolving into a crisis impacting every possible facet of modern life, from planet-scale (carbon dioxide emissions) to hyperlocal (tailpipe emissions at street level) – from this perspective, more e-commerce means more of everything bad.

On the one hand, the world needs growth; there is continuing burgeoning population with unmet needs; and a curb on consumption by fiat would not be possible, nor will it get political support. But could we perhaps evolve towards capitalism that is relies more on dematerialized (virtual) consumption, without either trashing the environment or putting screeching brakes on global growth? Looking at the stock market’s valuation of some of the world’s top brands- (see the below graphic from visualcapitalist.com) it appears clear that already, there is a distinct valuation difference between those brands that are promoting dematerialized products and services vis a vis those with physical products.

 

Key points include:

  • Responsible packaging and waste generation
  • Funding and market support
  • The digital business ecosystem

 

Read the full post, Dematerialized Consumerism, on LinkedIn.

 

Supriya Prakash Sen shares a pertinent reminder on big picture problems that we all face, and offers a solution that could be a small step in financing but a leap towards a sustainable future.

In the midst of a pandemic, the past year has been chilling at best, and a nightmare at the worst of times. However, we are lucky to be alive. Now, as vaccines get rolled out, it remains for the survivors to pick up the pieces, mourn our dead, brush off the crumbs of our past and move ahead into trying to cobble a more sustainable future.

This week, with all of us still being holed up at home, I thought it would be a good idea to make a visit to the Singapore Zoo, the River Safari and the Night Safari – where we haven’t been in years. My love of animals and wild life is tempered with the sadness from knowing I may be the last generation to actually see any of this in the wild. The shrinking habitats, the splintering of these habitats (one lonely tiger can hardly go and find his mate across the void to the next one), and the absolute filthy pollution by humans and garbage makes it almost inevitable that the last few majestic animals can only be found in a zoo.

The same is true of every other habitat- whether it is our marshlands, swamps, oceans, freshwater rivers, or frozen icelands. Every species, from reptilian to mammal to bird, is being nudged off the face of this earth by our insatiable appetite for more, more, more!

On the other hand, our #instagram generation is so good at making new concepts like Cat Cafes etc…and the business of “Humanizing pets” is actually a theme, getting VC $ and many shiny new startups to exploit this new trend. This just goes to show, that humans are not all selfish; most do appreciate the innocence of animals in our lives. We just don’t pause to do anything about it.

 

Key points include:

  • restoring the ecological balance, one settlement at a time
  • the overlay of culture, habits, skills, behaviors to ensure this is not in vain
  • the economics, the financing, and the incentives so it stays that way

 

Read the full article, Urgent Need to Restore Lost Wildlands, on LinkedIn.

 

 

During the height of the pandemic in 2020, Edward Kee took the time to write a book on the failure of the nuclear power market, how nuclear energy is the most sensible energy alternative, and what market failure means for this industry.

The biggest threat faced by nuclear power is from a market approach to the electricity industry. Electricity industry reforms have led to the early closure of existing nuclear power plants and stopped new nuclear power development.

In the US, 6,778 MWe of operating nuclear power plant capacity was closed early between 2013 and 2020, an additional 9,162 MWe of operating nuclear power plant capacity is scheduled to close early by the end of 2025, and more US merchant nuclear plants face financial issues that may lead them to close early.

In the market approach to electricity, short-term electricity market prices set the value of commodity electricity, electricity prices define power plant value, and private companies develop and own power plants based on financial returns. This market approach leads to less nuclear power, with the loss of the considerable public benefits that nuclear power provides.

Economists call this market failure.

This book includes information on the nuclear power and electricity industries, market failure in the nuclear power industry, and some ideas about resolving this market failure.

 

Key points covered in this book include:

  • Why nuclear power matters
  • Market failure
  • Nuclear power in the real world

 

Find the book, Market Failure, Market-Based Electricity is Killing Nuclear Power, on Amazon.com.