Politics

When we wrote the fossil fuel divestment brief for the University of Toronto, we thought that humans could “pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees”. If we’re aiming instead to stay below the 1.5 ˚C limit aspired to […]

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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 — […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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One of North America’s most active pipeline resistance movements right now is opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would run from North Dakota to Illinois through the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Some coverage: North Dakota oil pipeline protesters stand their ground: ‘This is sacred land’ After Dakota pipeline battle, Indigenous people say they share “unprecedented […]

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

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[James] March and his colleagues, Michael Cohen and Johan Olsen, developed an extremely important perspective on organizational behaviour, with the infelicitous title of the “garbage can model,” which seeks to explain how complex organizations make decisions under conditions that differ radically from those that reign under rational models. According to the model, such “organized anarchies” […]

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Bruce Blair’s Strategic Command and Control: Redefining the Nuclear Threat (1985) effectively demolishes some of the core ideas in U.S. nuclear strategy. The book is largely focused on command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) and emphasizes how, while the U.S. raced ahead with developing vast numbers of nuclear weapon systems, it does not have a […]

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Conversing with my friend Nada about in-group dynamics, the psychological property of agreeableness, and group cohesion, she raised the matter of the difficult psychological disjoint between the change which activists desperately desire in the world and the practical realization that they generally aren’t achieving it. There have been moments of triumph for some social justice […]

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