Politics

I had made a tactical error in allowing my personal views to cloud my political judgment. Even if I believed I was right on the merits, I was wrong about the politics. I should have known enough to warn my boss that the invasion [of Grenada in 1983] would be popular even as I advised […]

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By next Tuesday I need to submit my paper on the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines for this year’s Canadian Political Science Association conference. The proposed topic is media coverage and what it reveals about networks of fossil fuel opposition in Canada and the U.S. and the framings they are using. Originally, it was […]

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The rise of mass democracy is often attributed to the emergence of new forms of political consciousness. The autonomy enjoyed by coal miners lends itself to this kind of explanation. There is no need, however, to detour into questions of shared culture or collective consciousness to understand the new forms of agency that miners helped […]

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In a perceptive tweet Ziya Tong argued: “In the 21st century you’ll find cameras *everywhere* except: where our food comes from, where our energy comes from, and where our waste goes”. I have long been of the view that if people were forced to look at where our meat, eggs, and dairy come from, few […]

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The concept of Right to Repair is meant to help consumers and tinkerers keep their vehicles, electronics, and other equipment going, despite the preferences of manufacturers that they buy something new or at least pay the original builder for any repairs. In a more sustainable world, we can imagine a Responsibility to Repair, where any […]

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What a relief! The last thing the world needs now is the EU falling apart, or another victory for an anti-immigration propagandist. The largest problems we face now call for us to think beyond national units, about the interests and choices of humanity as a whole. Splitting into small combative tribes is a deeply maladaptive […]

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On Friday, I presented my paper “Canadian Climate Change Policy from a Climate Ethics Perspective” at the Centre for Ethics’s graduate conference: Imagining 150: The Ethics of Canada’s Sesquicentennial. The paper was well received and the conference overall was worthwhile and a welcome variation on the standard political science gathering.

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At lunch at Massey College today, the closest available seat was beside a fellow Junior Fellow and photography client who was having lunch with Carolynn Benett, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. We were soon joined by a climate change advisor from the Ontario provincial government and ended up talking about carbon capture and […]

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Ages ago I submitted a photo essay to the Canadian Labour Congress for their “Workers’ Rights and the Struggle for Social Justice” project. It was meant to be funded as part of the (at least dubious, and almost certainly offensive, given that people have lived here for many thousands of years) Canada 150 celebration. The […]

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A recent Slate article proposes a neurological mechanism for why human behaviour so frequently consists of choices where we harm our own long-term future prospects and those of others in order to satisfy near-term preferences. Not only do our brains seem to regard our future selves as strangers, but most people rarely think about the […]

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