The environment

Back in 2009, I described various ways to try to deliberately engineer the Earth system to reduce the severity of climate change and noted: The first way to do this is to encourage the growth of biomass. This is relatively easy, but has limited potential. Biomass is like a giant carbon cushion: it can be […]

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Besides, the historian William Cronon argues that there is nothing “natural” about wilderness, that it is a deeply human construct, “the creation of very particular human cultures at very particular moments in human history.” Though I might be appalled by Marco Polo’s failure to swoon at mountains and deserts along the Silk Road, wilderness in […]

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The Guelph University board of governors committed to divest from fossil fuels on Wednesday, after a sub-committee of their finance committee concluded that doing so was compatible with fiduciary duty and that a divested portfolio would have performed as well or better in the past. I was a guest on the board’s call, and it […]

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In the lead-up to the Canadian federal election in October, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals promised legally binding targets for Canada to be at net zero emissions by 2050. Specifically, they promised: “We will set legally-binding, five-year milestones, based on the advice of the experts and consultations with Canadians, to reach net-zero emissions by 2050” “We will […]

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Bernie Sanders has withdrawn from the US Democratic primary process, leaving Joe Biden as the presumptive nominee. I personally find the support for Sanders in the climate movement hard to understand and frustrating, as I can’t see what he has done that convinces them that he would lead effectively on climate change. Rather, it has […]

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Scientists alert people to the problem. Environmentalists are the first to believe them. Corporations that are implicated as contributing to the problem either deny the threat or balk at the cost of addressing it, fearful of government red tape and loss of profits. Eventually, enough public concern prompts politicians to act. They respond with tougher […]

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Fossil fuel-endowed regions would benefit if some of their trusted leaders questioned the prudence of doubling-down on coal, oil, and even natural gas. Such visionaries would argue that fossil fuel expansion increases the region’s economic vulnerability to the future time when humanity finally accelerates on the decarbonization path. Unfortunately, such regions tend to produce political […]

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The U of T Leap Manifesto chapter and others organized a walkout today at U of T in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en in their conflict with Coastal GasLink and the BC and federal governments. Participants held St. George street from around 3pm until 4:45pm.

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The Economist recently printed an article describing experimentation in the use of robots for agriculture, which included some interesting claims about potential environmental benefits: The company will offer its robots as a service. Tom will live in a kennel on the farm, where it will download data for the farmer and recharge. Dick and Harry […]

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On Monday, thousands of people in Toronto marched in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en land defenders in British Columbia resisting the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

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