Perseverance and its alternatives

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Naomi Klein on a panel

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Judo begins

2016-09-20

in Daily updates

I had my first beginner Judo class. While it was just exercise, demonstrations, and practice breakfalls, it was nonetheless a reminder of mortality. It has been a long time since I have done pushups or situps, especially in 20-repetition sets between other exercises. Furthermore, some of the Judo-specific warmups are both unfamiliar and challenging. In the first session, we got as far as practicing straight-back breakfalls and the preliminaries to O-goshi.

I’m confident that I never thought about my dissertation, or even climate change activism, during the 90-minute class.

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CBC’s The Current recently ran a segment on whether Canada’s climate change goals can be reconciled with new pipeline construction. Tzeporah Berman effectively made the case that Energy East, Kinder Morgan, and the Northern Gateway would be means of increasing bitumen sands production, even beyond the unacceptably high cap chosen by the Alberta government, and argued that they are fundamentally incompatible with the climate action Canada committed to in Paris.

In the same segment, Canada West Foundation CEO Martha Hall Findlay seemed to do everything she could to evade the issue of climate change, arguing that Canada simply must enlarge its economy and its emissions and that anyone concerned about climate change should focus on reducing demand (which she expects will increase when pipelines increase Canadian wealth). Her argument boiled down to saying that Canada has an opportunity to profit now, and simply shouldn’t concern itself with what impact new oil infrastructure will have on the climate.

This argument from entitlement — sticking to the assumption that Alberta and anyone else that happens to have oil resources has the right to dig them up and burn them regardless of the impact on people around the world, future generations, and nature — needs to be challenged on ethical terms. Yes, we need to fight climate change by reducing oil demand. At the same time, building infrastructure to serve a world of higher demand is, at best, a wasted investment and, at worst, a choice to lock in pollution that will profoundly threaten the prosperity and security of people around the world.

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Major brains

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Aldea and Ainslee

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Parliament’s Special Committee on Electoral Reform is holding an online consultation about Canada’s electoral system. It covers issues including mandatory voting, voting machines, and possible changes to our electoral system.

People can submit written evidence, ask to appear before the committee, or complete an online consultation. The online consultation closes October 7th.

If you take part, I encourage you to tell the committee to reject online voting and any electronic voting machine that doesn’t produce paper records for voters to check and to be used in routine verification and re-counts. Without such hard copy records, the voting system would be terribly vulnerable to fraud.

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Lawyer and astrophysicist

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One of North America’s most active pipeline resistance movements right now is opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would run from North Dakota to Illinois through the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

Some coverage:

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John Fraser and Ron Thom

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