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 […]

This is a thoroughly intriguing development: First Nations communities from Canada and the northern United States signed a treaty on Thursday to jointly fight proposals to build more pipelines to carry crude from Alberta’s oil sands, saying further development would damage the environment. The treaty, signed in Montreal and Vancouver, came as the politics around […]


Today Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the federal government will require all provinces to have a carbon price of at least $10 per tonne by 2018, rising in $10 increments to $50 per tonne in 2022. There’s a lot of politics at work here. The Alberta government says they will only accept the plan in […]


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 […]


President George H.W. Bush followed up these arms control initiatives. In 1991, he signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), which called for reducing the number of ICBMs and warheads on both sides; ICBMs were reduced to 1,600 and deployed warheads to 6,000. In January 1993, just before President Bush left office, he signed […]


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 […]


For a few months, I have been listening to The Energy Gang podcast. They cover a range of issues, but I think they are distinguished by being wonkier than usual, very U.S.-focused, and more focused on economics and business than most climate change commentators. Their most recent episode discusses a recent New York Times article […]

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Will it really happen? Or will the U.K. find some way to pull out before invoking Article 50? The consequences of the leave vote were evidently predictable. This is from June 18th: “If Remain wins on June 23rd, Brexiteers will tell voters they were conned. If Leave wins, Mr Cameron will go and his successor […]


The Federal Court of Appeal just ruled that the Canadian government had failed to adequately consult indigenous peoples and so quashed the 2014 federal approval for the project. As one of the subjects of my PhD thesis, all developments on NGP are of great interest. It’s certainly a fast-moving as well as an important topic.

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It’s strange that a stage show running in one city is affecting the whole continent, but New York isn’t a normal place and Lin-Manuel Miranda clearly isn’t a normal man. The killing in Orlando originally prompted my personal doctrine in response to political violence: refuse to be terrorized. One or a few people armed and […]