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1.3.7 Corporate connections continued

One issue that might be added by a workers' organisation or trade union, for instance, might be that of freedom of association and the right of workers to organise. Another might be the right to collective bargaining. In fact, the coverage of the codes of conduct vary considerably depending on who instigated the code and the parties involved (Pearson and Seyfang, 2001). Most codes of conduct, it seems, are top-down affairs, drawn up by the companies involved or by trade associations. Some hav
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1.3.4 Bringing remote sweatshops within reach continued

Another claim made by the movement is that we are all in some way connected to a market system which effectively allows sweatshops to exist in the first place. This is about more than targeting the big brand names and linking them directly to exploitation abroad; rather, it is about piecing together the global market machinery that ties the corporate buyer, the boardroom executive, the factory owner and the consumer into a system which establishes particular lines of responsibility (Ha
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1.2.8 In praise of cheap offshore labour? continued

There are two points which are central to this line of thinking. One, according to Wolf (2004), is that the whole process, as odd as it may sound, is about mutual exploitation. Outside firms do indeed exploit the poor by taking advantage of the profitable opportunities that a pool of cheap labour represents. But Indonesian or Chinese workers, for instance, could be said to exploit the incoming firms by extracting higher pay from them and taking advantage of opportunities that previousl
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References

Anon (2002) ‘The Windicator’, Windpower Monthly, January, p. 50.
Blake, William (1994) The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Dover Publications.
Boyle, G. (1966, 2003) Renewable Energy, Oxford, Oxford University Press in association with the Open University.
BP (2002) BP Statistical Review of World Energy [on
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2.3.1 Public participation and perspectives on sustainability

When it comes to issues around the environment, ‘experts’ – whether ecologists, economists or other types of social scientist – are clearly not infallible. Environmental crises have led to a questioning of traditional expert support as a guarantor of environmental planning. This has had two consequences. Firstly, there have been some interesting and useful explorations amongst environmentalists in seeking guarantors through the domain of spiritualism. In particular, traditional worldv
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2.3.1 The risk society

The shift from an anthropocentric concern around issues of human poverty in industrial society towards a more ecocentric concern around environmental issues in the ‘risk society’ has been expressed by the German sociologist Ulrich Beck. His 1992 book Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity suggests a shift from the safety state of industrialised society, where conflicts were manifest in struggles amongst socio-economic groups, to a society where conflicts arise from issues of uncerta
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References

Allison, L. (1991) Ecology and Utility: The Philosophical Dilemmas of Planetary Management, Leicester, Leicester University Press.
BBC (2008) ‘The wrong way to a warmer world?’ [online], BBC News, 3 April, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/analysis/7328634.stm (accessed 15/4/10).
van den Born, R.J.G. (2008) ‘Rethinking nature: public visions in the Netherlan
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1.2 Connecting human and non-human nature

Environmental responsibility – caring and generating accountability – requires interaction between human and non-human nature. For example, from a caring perspective what matters in climate change might constitute, say, the continued existence and protection of an arctic wilderness (Figure 3). But this necessarily involves a conne
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Introduction

This unit provides an introduction to global warming. We will be considering the history of global warming by looking at the pattern of ice ages and analysis of recorded temperatures. We will aim to gather meaningful information from this data. We will briefly assess the impact and influence of humans on global warming and, finally, we will examine climate models and how to predict future changes.


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5.7.1 Plan preparation

Perhaps the first question to ask is ‘What is an emergency plan?’ Dodswell, in his guide to business continuity management, defined an ‘emergency management plan’ as simply:

A plan which supports the emergency management team by providing them with information and guidelines.

(Dodswell, 2000, p. 56)

Another definition, of an ‘emergency preparedness plan’ prepared in the co
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3.1.1 The cause

A small digression will be made here to question the use of the word ‘cause’ and to reflect on the view expressed by Kletz (1988, p. 2). He argues that the word has an air of finality about it, and is concerned that finding the cause discourages further investigation. He cites an example that the cause of a pipe failure was corrosion – which suggests that we know why the failure occurred. He draws the analogy of the cause of a fall being gravity – suggesting that nothing more can be d
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5 5 Energy services and efficiency improvement

Energy efficiency measures can also play a part in reducing energy demand and greenhouse gases. At present, only about one-third of the energy content of the fuel we use emerges as ‘useful’ energy, the remaining two-thirds ends up as waste heat. The present regulatory regime compounds this problem by rewarding utilities for selling as much energy as possible regardless of energy efficiency or longevity of appliances.

One reason for the continuing inefficiency is that energy
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4 4 Renewable energy sources

Fossil and nuclear fuels are often described as non-renewable because supplies are finite and will eventually run out. Renewable fuels are those energy sources that will not run out in the future.

Most renewable energy sources originate from the sun (solar energy), while tidal energy originates from the gravitational pull of the moon, and geothermal energy results from heat trapped below the surface of our planet.

Solar energy can be used directl
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3 3 Present energy sources and sustainability

What are the principal energy sources at present, and how sustainable are they?

About 80 per cent of the world's energy is currently supplied by fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Present estimates suggest that, at current consumption rates, there are over 200-years' worth of coal left, 60-years' of gas, and 40-years' of oil. Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, and their combustion releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, one of the main causes of the human-induced
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2 2 Definitions: energy, sustainability and the future

What do we mean by energy and sustainability, and what is meant by future?

The term energy has a long history but the standard scientific definition today is that energy is the capacity to do work. The term power is related to energy and its definition is power is the rate of doing work. The two are linked together by the simple formula

energy = power x time

The term sustainability is not so simple to define but there is perhaps no better
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1 1 Why sustainable energy matters

One of the greatest challenges facing humanity during the twenty-first century must surely be that of giving everyone on the planet access to safe, clean and sustainable energy supplies.

Throughout history, the use of energy has been central to the functioning and development of human societies. But during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, humanity learned how to harness the highly-concentrated forms of energy contained within fossil fuels. These provided the power that drove the
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Learning outcomes

When you have completed this unit you should:

  • have an understanding and awareness of the importance of sustainable energy;

  • have an overview of the main sources of renewable energy.


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Introduction

The search for sustainable energy will dominate the twenty-first century. This unit provides an introductory overview of the present energy systems and takes a brief look at where the world may find energy in the future – cleaner use of fossil fuels or renewable energy sources?

This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Energy for a sustainable future (T206) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explo
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions). This content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this text.

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References

Blackmore, R. and Reddish, A. (eds.) (1996) Global Environmental Issues, Hodder & Stoughton in association with the Open University.
Blowers, A. (ed.) (1993) Planning for a Sustainable Environment, A report by the Town and Country Planning Association, London: Earthscan.
Brezet, J.C. and Van Hemel, C. (eds) (1997) Ecodesign, a promising approach to sustainable produc
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