Economics

Sometimes paired with the fallacious argument that only people who use no fossil fuels can legitimately oppose fossil fuel development is the statement: “We won’t stop using fossil fuels tomorrow”. The logical error associated with using this statement to defend new fossil fuel infrastructure like fracking wells and bitumen sands pipelines (as well as new […]

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In a piece for The Guardian, Thomas Piketty argues that inequality in the U.S. and the failure of governments to address it are the primary cause of Trump’s victory. He argues that: The main lesson for Europe and the world is clear: as a matter of urgency, globalization must be fundamentally re-oriented. The main challenges […]

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For a few reasons, I am trying to reconsider what sort of political activity presents the best odds of helping to mitigate the seriousness of climate change. I think people are right to target new fossil fuel infrastructure. There is a good chance of delaying or preventing many projects which would otherwise worsen humanity’s total […]

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I have generally been skeptical of anti-capitalist environmentalism for two main reasons: the added difficulty involved in changing our economic system and the possibility that an alternative economic system might not be more sustainable. We have a tough enough fight on our hands, trying to create a sustainable world, even if we aren’t also trying […]

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One strategy adopted by some environmentalists is to try to win over moderate conservative voters to favour climate action by separating it from other social issues and choosing policy instruments which they expect to appeal to conservatives as well, like carbon taxes or cap-and-dividend. Often, the emphasis is on revenue neutral carbon prices, where the […]

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For the upper echelons in society inequality often morphs into a feeling of entitlement, which can then translate into actions that further undermine social trust and common purpose. Over the past decade, groundbreaking research by behavioural psychologists illustrates how inequality shifts states of mind. In other words, there is a certain psychology to wealth and […]

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While the Occupy Wall Street movement stole headlines for the latter months of 2011, it ultimately fizzled given a lack of agreement among its members on a concrete agenda and its unwillingness to engage — even minimally — with existing political institutions. Twenty-first-century Americans — and the same might be said for citizens of other […]

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Nothing about my PhD so far has been easy. As long-time readers may recall, my first comprehensive exam was only passed after two attempts and a lot of effort. The strike was painful, and has made me particularly question the quality of undergraduate education that U of T provides, in terms of class and tutorial […]

About 16% of Canada’s electricity generation comes from the 19 nuclear reactors at Pickering, Darlington, Bruce, and Point Lepreau. For years, politicians, regulators, environmentalists, and the public have been contemplating whether it makes sense to refurbish some reactors to extend their lives, particularly as climate change has become a greater concern. Today, World Nuclear News […]

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Dr. Jennifer Welsh’s lecture tonight about the challenges faced by liberal democracies — including the psychological, political, and social stresses arising from extreme wealth and income inequality — was highly interesting and I took detailed notes, both for a forthcoming response here on my blog and for incorporation into my PhD research project. I was […]

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