Mongolian Resources: Extraction vs. Conservation

Sometimes it seems that the planet is being increasingly divided between forces that want to extract and exploit resources and those that want to conserve them. This conflict is only growing more pronounced as increased needs for energy, minerals and other resources, lead to extraction and development in places where it has never occurred before.

Mongolia, once a distant and exotic land, is now experiencing a land rush as multinational corporations descend on it, trying to get their shovels into its rich and virgin ground. This has created a local redistribution of wealth as some Mongolians get on the money train, while others are decidedly left standing. As this article in The New York Times suggests, Mongolia needs to manage this transition thoughtfully or else it will end up like Nigeria with severe societal schisms and dislocations. Sweeps The Webby Awards: A New Platform to Oppose Big Energy

We’re pleased to announce that, a website co-founded by Chris Paine— director of Who Killed the Electric Car? and Revenge of the Electric Car— and sponsored by Mountainfilm in Telluride recently won three Webby Awards.

Counterspill offers an opposing view to the stories spun from government agencies and energy companies. Its goal is to provide “a one-stop multi-tiered communication resource to create and respond…to energy industry narratives.” Those narratives, produced by big energy, “minimize liability, deflect, defend, distract and return to the status quo. For them, the faster an incident is out of the public mind, the better.”

Counterspill fights society’s short-term memory deficit by documenting disasters from the past 100 years with oil, nuclear and other energy producers, as well as posting updates on recent events.

Energy Rush Changing the Colorado Landscape

There is an energy rush across America, which you can see it for yourself as you drive through previously pristine lands not that far from Telluride, that are now filled with natural gas drills. Kirk Johnson, who covers the West for The New York Timesreports on the change in the Colorado landscape.

The pattern is clear in the oil and gas business: drilling fields are going into new places. North Dakota, better known for growing wheat, is now booming with rigs. Fort Worth has upward of 2,000 gas wells right in the city itself, with most of that growth within just the last five years. Pittsburgh, facing the prospect of urban drilling, forbade it last year by a vote of the City Council.

But few areas are facing the prospect of drilling’s new frontier more vividly than eastern Colorado...

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Jeremy Rifkin: The Third Industrial Revolution

The possibility of a Third Industrial Revolution is likely, argues Wharton Business School professor Jeremy Rifkin in this Huffington Post piece. He argues that the conditions needed for this historical shift - a new energy source and a new communication medium - are here, just like "steam-powered print technology became the communication medium to manage the coal-fired rail infrastructure" of the 19th century and "electronic communications - the telephone and later, radio and television - became the communication medium to manage and market the oil-powered auto age and the mass consumer culture of the Second Industrial Revolution."