I know they are hurting in terms of popularity, but offering one group an exemption to Canada’s carbon price predictably led to calls for equivalent ‘favours’ (if freedom to wreck the planet is a favour) from everyone.
It’s worth remembering how bad Canada’s total historical climate change record has been:
Liberal government set to miss 2030 emissions targets, says environment commissioner audit
Trudeau’s halt on carbon tax could undo years of his tentpole climate policy
As part of promoting a new Connections series on Curiosity Stream launching on Nov. 9, I got the chance to interview historian of science and technology, science communicator, and series host James Burke:
The more interview-intensive part begins at 3:10.
Because you’re going to need shelter — and people don’t give their homes away. They barricade themselves in.
So, sooner or later, exhausted and desperate, you may have to make the decision to give up and die — or, to make somebody else give up and die because they won’t accept you in their home voluntarily.
And what, in your comfortable urban life, has ever prepared you for that decision?
From episode 1 of James Burke’s 1978 TV series “Connections”, entitled: “The Trigger Effect“.
While it won’t help with my rent, I nonetheless have some very interesting work for the next few days.
I am doing a close read twice of Professor Peter Russell’s forthcoming memoirs, which has been a privelege because of the respect I have for him as a thinker and a person, and a joy because of their colour, humour, and personality.
I am also previewing a new series of James Burke’s TV show Connections, which previously ran in 1978, 1994, and 1997. I have seen those old shows many times, and I thought a lot about his book The Axemaker’s Gift back in high school. I have the chance to interview him from Monaco on Wednesday, so I am giving the new material a careful viewing and thinking through how to make the best use of the conversation. There is scarcely a person I can think of who has a more educated and wide-ranging understanding of the relationships between science, technology, and human society. Since human civilization is presently hurtling toward a brick wall which threatens to rather flatten us all, it may be invaluable to get Burke’s views on how a defensive strategy from here can be undertaken.
But then, somewhere between the UN’s 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that outlined the difference between a world at 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius of warming—which was etched into people’s minds as saying we only have twelve years to avert climate catastrophe—and the global youth climate strikes of the following year, reproductive anxiety due to the climate crisis had become mainstream.
Wray, Britt. Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis. Alfred A. Knopf Canada; 2022. p. 8
I have been finding it rather hard to rest and focus. My temporary accomodation doesn’t so much feel like a home as like a temporary platform from which to urgently seek housing.
I know the long-standing expectation going back decades is that Toronto and Vancouver have challenging housing markets, but things feel like they have been pushed to a higher level. Increasingly for people around me, housing has become the single most determinative factor in their lives, including in whether they have the stability to pursue sounder finances through job progression or education. The way the housing market is operating is strangling the dreams of young people, while leaving them uncertain about whether they can have any kind of desirable future at all.
A report from Community Food Centres Canada found:
more than one in five single adults (22 per cent) live below the poverty line… Many working-age single adults rely on low-wage, part-time, temporary employment opportunities that lack benefits and stability. The social support programs in place are outdated and inadequate for the current labor market, contributing to the challenges these individuals face, the report cited.
According to the report, nearly one million working-age single adults are stuck in a cycle of “deep” poverty with an average annual income of $11,700, which is less than half of the $25,252 low-income threshold for a single-adult household.
These working-age single adults make up to 38 per cent of all food-insecure households in the country with 61 per cent of them severely disabled living alone below the poverty line, the report said.
The report highlights that nearly half of single adults (47 per cent) live in unaffordable housing compared to 17 per cent in other household types and 81 per cent of shelter users are single adults with low income.
“The evidence is overwhelmingly clear – through woefully inadequate income support programs and a labour market that creates precarity because of low wages and few benefits, we are trapping people in poverty in this country,” Community Food Centres Canada CEO Nick Saul said in a news release published on Thursday.
Their website says: “Two things are very clear: a job is not a pathway out of poverty, and income support for this demographic lags far behind other groups.”
My brother Sasha’s Music 10 students in the Northwest Territories put together a collection of 13 original beats created with audio samples and programmed drum loops. My favourite is called “Symph-o-lies“.
Life now chiefly consists of three tasks:
- Finding somewhere permanent to live as soon as possible, but ideally by August 1st and by necessity by August 28th when non-students must leave the co-op
- Finding any employment to help defer the costs of living
- Finding long-term employment in the fight against climate change, perhaps most plausibly in the clean energy sector
I don’t think life has ever been so open-ended and unanchored for me, which is disorienting and worrisome when there are so many problems in the world and among people who I know.
The most sustainable option for housing would be finding a 3 bedroom unit along with two other people and getting on a formal lease. That would finally free me from the uncertainty I had at 410 Markham and 611A Marlee, where I was only safe as a tenant as long as a prior flatmate who the landlords allowed on the lease was there.
Of course, finding two other people and a place all at the same time is quite a coordination problem. I am also open to an affordable 2 bedroom unit with a lease and a suitable flatmate. I also need to consider just taking over a room in an existing place, given how little time I have to search, but that would likely mean being put back in the precarious situation of an off-lease tenant which has made housing into the stress volcano that I live on top of since Pieter Basedow’s worst abuses began in February 2018.
Theoretically I could stretch to finding a cheap place on my own, but (a) every $100 per month matters in terms of retaining a low cost of living and sustaining resources for future troubles and (b) provided they are conscientious and respectful of privacy, I prefer having the unobtrusive company of flatmates to being alone.