Politics

Canada’s 2019 election has been another frustrating one for those who think climate change is the most urgent and important political challenge we face – with Canada’s electoral system and party structure working against us on one hand and the practical effect that the Liberals and Conservatives are controlled by oil-linked industries including finance and […]

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Carbon taxes have begun to play a strange role in debates on climate change politics. Designed to appeal to conservatives they are now a focus of rage on the political right. At the same time, they are supported by some big fossil fuel companies who see them as a comparatively small cost and a potential […]

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It didn’t have a strong effect on my view of the situation: that Trudeau has been a poor prime minister on the most important issues, that Scheer would be worse, and that everyone else is scrambling for a few parliamentary seats in hopes of being influential in a minority government. So far the most interesting […]

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“The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5C degrees, and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control. Maybe 50% is acceptable to you. But those numbers don’t include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by […]

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After attending half of a classmate’s job talk for a law and political science position at Guelph I photographed today’s Climate Strike in Toronto. It was a big organic crowd, with some contingents from labour or specific causes who were clearly together but where most people carried home-made signs which didn’t come out of a […]

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Geoff Dembicki has a piece out about how Trudeau’s method is to promise substantive reforms to voters, while privately comforting business with the understanding they won’t really be meaningful: So on climate, for instance, he was presented as this kind of river-paddling environmental Adonis. He promised that fossil fuel projects wouldn’t go ahead without the […]

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I hadn’t heard about this weird distortion in the US medical system, where pharmaceutical companies use tax-exempt charities to manipulate the co-payment system used by health insurers for prescription drugs: Half of America’s 20 largest charities are affiliated with pharmaceutical companies. … Pharmaceutical companies will often claim that helping patients with their co-payments is a […]

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An item from The Economist’s “Politics this week” recently: Ambassadors from 37 countries signed a letter praising China’s “contribution to the international human-rights cause”, including in its restive western region of Xinjiang, where China has locked up perhaps 1m people, mostly Muslim Uighurs, in “vocational training” camps. The signatories were all from authoritarian regimes with […]

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It’s 4:41am and I am in my 10 1/2th hour of thesis work since I last slept. For weeks I have been working my way through my notebooks, compiling interview reports based on my discussions with campus fossil fuel divestment organizers in Canada. I have been paying special attention to getting the details from this […]

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It seems like a plausible rule for climate change reduction schemes that the people running them will generally prioritize other political and economic objectives over actual emission reductions. This meshes together with other forms of wishful thinking, where we give ourselves credit for overly generous assumptions about reduced emissions, then find every possible way to […]

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