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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Research Reports

The Social Complexity of Renewable Energy Production in the Countryside

Based on field studies in 7 cases rural renewable energy projects in Brandenburg (federal state of Germany) were analysed during an 18 month period (early 2009 to mid 2010). The study identified relevant social dimensions of renewable energy technology and classified them according to organizational complexity, technology acceptance, participation by locals and financing models. This research shows that social complexity that accompanies renewable energy projects can be equally challenging as economic or technical aspects.

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Essays

The Lorax Can Win: Using Scenario Building to Create A New Vision and Invigorate An "Activist" Agenda for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Basin

There is movement afoot across the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Basin to create a binational vision. As argued by scholars, heightened public awareness and government commitment are coalescing to create a potential spark for transformative change. While this transformation is exigent, it is by no means certain. By examining the question, “what can happen if…” we used scenario building to explore four alternative futures open to the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Basin. These futures and the discussions they generate serve as a strategic means to inform the evolution of this new vision. By throwing into relief the undesirable futures possible for this region, we argue for an “activist” agenda calling on all interests to seize this pivotal moment in the history of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence and help turn it from potential collapse to sustainability.

Articles

How to Proceed After Copenhagen

In this paper, I bring forth a proposal on how to proceed with the Climate Negotiations after the meager results of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2009 in Copenhagen. I argue that splitting continued negotiations into two separate blocks could both save time and make it more likely to ultimately reach a comprehensive treaty in Mexico City in December 2010. The first block would deal with historical emissions of greenhouse gases including a mutual debt cancellation: developed countries carbon debts vs. developing countries conventional monetary debts. The second block would deal with future emissions and how to finance adaption to climate change. Following the polluter pays –principle, I argue that the funds should be collected in proportion to the responsibility for proceeding climate change and redistributed in proportion to the needs for adaption.

Reviews

The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada

Liza Piper The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada