PhD thesis

I have assembled a pretty comprehensive to-do list for the next while. I have assignments to grade for the environmentalism and social media course where I am a teaching assistant, and a coordination meeting with the other TA. Tomorrow, I am doing faculty and PhD student portraits for the department of political science. Saturday we […]

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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 […]

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I was surprised to get an email today saying that three unions (USW1998, CUPE3902 (my union), and CUPE1230) along with the Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students wrote to President Gertler to endorse fossil fuel divestment. The letter highlights how receiving financial benefit from the fossil fuel industry compromises academic integrity and how the industry harms […]

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Today, for my research design class, I gave my first presentation on my new PhD topic, fossil fuel divestment campaigns. I got some useful feedback which I will use to produce a revised draft before meeting with my supervisor next week.

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My supervisors have been encouraging me to switch thesis topics. I find myself resisting because the proposed alternative topic has very little to do with the intersection between environmental and indigenous politics, which I judge to be the most important ongoing change in the contemporary politics of the United States and Canada. At the same […]

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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 […]

My PhD committee members probably feel like I have fallen off the face of the Earth. Seemingly decades ago, my hope was to have my thesis proposal submitted for approval by December 2015. Now, I am getting close to the point where I think the draft will be worth circulating to committee members and potential […]

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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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Today, Toronto350.org hosted a teach-in in preparation for the climate change consultations which the Trudeau government has asked MPs to hold. Avi Lewis — co-creator of the Leap Manifesto — was on the panel. The question which I submitted through the commendable system of written cards (to avoid tedious speeches from the self-important audience members) […]

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Occupy Wall Street comprised the people who responded to the call. Ultimately, however, uncritical openness was Occupy’s downfall: the general assemblies were paralyzed by the inability to distinguish between true and false. Participants who had been with Occupy for a day were given a say equal to that of committed activists who had founded the […]

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