Big stories, little stories

This is the (slightly edited) text of my talk at Communicate 2013, in a session called “liberating stories”. The pictures are some of the slides I used. The brief was to provide some suggestions about the role of the social sciences in ‘liberating stories’ for environmental communicators, through memorable examples. I only had 10 minutes…

STEPS SEMINAR: BIOFUELS, CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member For presentation, podcast and photos from this event see the STEPS Seminars page: During the past few years, bio-energy and especially liquid biofuels have gone from being a topic for mostly technical researchers to full-blown controversy and front-page headlines. It has been implicated for exacerbating climate change rather than…

THE BIG BIOFUEL DEBATE RUMBLES ON

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Biofuels have little impact in cutting greenhouse gas emissions so governments should concentrate instead on lowering energy consumption to fight climate change, according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report published today. Governments should boost the so-called second generation biofuels that do not use food crops,…

BIOFUEL TRADING SCAM

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member The front page story of today’s Guardian delves into the murky world of a biofuels scam. “Up to 10% of biofuel exports from the US to Europe are believed to be part of the rogue scheme reaping big profits for agricultural trading firms,” writes environment correspondent Terry Macalister. And…

STEPS SEMINAR: GLOBAL BIOFUEL CROPS

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Read the presentation Listen to a podcast of this seminar Introduced by Adrian Smith (40 mins) Helena and Les’ presentation will be posted here soon See photos from this seminar We are excited to have Les Levidow of the Open University and Helena Paul of Econexus, London with us…

FOOD VS FUEL: CHINA’S BIOENERGY CHALLENGE

By ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member A recent spotlight on biofuels on the SciDev.net website gives a detailed overview of research issues, including risks and benefits for developing countries and an article by Siwa Msangi of IFPRI on potential food security impacts from the biofuels “revolution”. Msangi’s article points to the need for international policies…

BIOFUELLED PATHWAYS TO SUSTAINABILITY?

By ADRIAN SMITH, STEPS Centre member Last week, Achim Steiner, head of UNEP, and one of the sponsors of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, joined an increasingly audible group of voices arguing for a system of sustainability standards for biofuels. Without such a system, operating robustly at the international level, Achim feared a backlash…