Some people who favour the construction of new bitumen sands pipelines have been deploying a particularly weak argument, which echoes a couple of the points that have long been made by people who don’t want to take adequate action to avoid catastrophic climate change. They point out that — in one way or another — […]


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 […]


In an encouraging step, the Canadian Association of Geographers has committed to divest from fossil fuels.


The discount rate is a basic tool of accounting and economics: people and institutions often need to deal with costs and benefits which will arise in the future, and it doesn’t usually make sense to simply value them as if they were happening today. A person expecting pension payments of $1,000 per month in thirty […]


Somehow, this article seems indicative of the low quality of a lot of our thinking about environmental issues: Mesmerizing ‘blue whirl’ from fire tornado could be cleaner solution for oil spills: Scientists discover clean-burning blue flame while simulating a fire tornado in the lab. It seems a particularly questionable application of the idea that technology […]


The New York Times has published an exceptional long article by Scott Anderson about the history of the Middle East since 2003. It’s an ambitious text to have written, not a trivial task to read, and perhaps a suggestion that print journalism is enduring in its dedication to telling complicated stories, despite ongoing challenges to […]


After many shorter spans which left us sweating in our third floor rooms, Toronto is now immersed in the longest and most intense heat wave of the summer so far. This leaves me feeling awkward about actually owning an air conditioner, which I have never moved from its storage location in our living room. During […]


In an interesting recent article on urbanization, The Economist noted: A huge and growing number of people live somewhere like Mikwambe [“on the edge of Dar es Salaam”]. Between 2005 and 2015 the world’s cities swelled by about 750m people, according to the UN. More than four-fifths of that growth was in Africa and Asia; […]


During the last few years, solidarity with indigenous peoples has been a major area of emphasis for environmentalist, climate change activist, and anti-pipeline groups. In part, this seems to be based on the view that indigenous peoples have the strongest legal tools for blocking new fossil fuel projects, at least in Canada. This raises the […]


Both on this site and in academic work, I have done a lot of research and writing on nuclear energy: specifically, it’s desirability as a low-carbon energy option and climate change solution, and perspectives on nuclear energy within the environmental and climate change activist movements. The European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) was designed by Framatome (now […]