Saying mainstream environmentalism now reflects the interests and concerns of the rich is like coming upon a river of spawning salmon and noting the colour red. There are naturally many shades of difference. Not all of the mainstream, everywhere, has to the same extent come to embrace markets, corporations, and technologies as solutions. Nor does everyone have equal faith in the value of economic growth, CSR, and eco-consumerism as ways to move toward global sustainability. And nor is everyone equally pragmatic, calling for “evolution not revolution.” Environmentalism will always be a “movement of movements,” with a great diversity of values and visions surfacing out of a turbulent sea of informal groupings and formal organizations. Environmentalists share a commitment to try to protect the environment, yet sharp differences even exist in the understanding of the word “environment,” from those who mean nature (wildlife and ecosystems) to those who really mean living spaces for humans (cities, towns, parks, and beaches).7 (p. 6-7)

7. The phrase “movement of movements” is more often used to describe the global resistance to capitalism and globalization than to characterize global environmentalism. I use the phrase, however, to emphasize the diversity of environmentalism, which itself overlaps with movements against capitalism and globalization (and for global justice). For a discussion of this phrase in relation to anti-globalization activism and alter-globalization campaigns (offering social justice alternatives to globalization), see Tom Mertes, ed. A Movement of Movements: Is Another World Really Possible (Verso, 2004). For a sense of the great diversity of environmentalism, see Further Readings, “Environmental Activism (“insider” critiques of),” “Environmental Discourses and Movements (varieties of),” “Environmental Justice Movements,” “Environmental NGOs and Transnational Networks,” “Environmentalism (developing countries),” “Environmentalism (overviews) and “Voluntary Simplicity, Localization, and Eco-Villages.” (p. 154-5)

Dauvergne, Peter. Environmentalism of the Rich. MIT Press; Cambridge. 2016.

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Winter lows

2017-02-17

in Daily updates

I haven’t been doing especially well in the last little while. To begin with, I don’t feel like I am making adequate progress on the PhD project. Also, my wrist continues to be quite painful — to a degree that impedes returning to Judo. It has been illustrating the degree to which Judo had become an organizing and de-stressing force since September.

It’s not easy to identify every factor contributing to this malaise, but the effects are evident. It’s especially self-defeating in the case of the thesis. Waking up every day full of anxiety about lack of progress doesn’t serve the aim of making progress. I can also sense how I am even more anxious and irritable than usual, partly because of how I see myself responding to minor issues (like my coat rack collapsing, leaving me with far more coats than wardrobe space, and thus a room strewn with random garments).

I know the appropriate response is to focus on self-care, but that can feel self-defeating too — like choosing to relax for a while in the hope that it will make you so much more productive in the near future that you end up ahead.

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Yesterday, Quebec’s Université Laval announced that it will become Canada’s first university to fully divest from fossil fuels:

“Today, Université Laval commits to taking responsible action to switch its endowment fund investments in fossil energy to other types of investments, such as renewable energy,” announced Éric Bauce, Executive Vice Rector in charge of sustainable development, while confirming that Université Laval is the first university in Canada to do so. To do this, Université Laval will form a responsible investment advisory committee, including student representatives, who will be tasked with recommending methods, practices, and actions. Furthermore, an annual progress report on the investment transition will be released.”

The story was covered by Le Devoir, Ricochet, and le Soleil.

The student group which successfully campaigned for divestment — ULaval sans fossiles — has been organizing since November.

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Shoes off

2017-02-15

in Photo of the day

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This is an interesting case: Spyware’s Odd Targets: Backers of Mexico’s Soda Tax

Related:

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On Saturday, Massey College held its annual Wine Grazing event, in which people enjoy a variety of quality wines and food pairings.

The Jean Bourdy Chardonnay and Domaine Baumard Chenin Blanc were especially good.

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