The environment

Sometimes paired with the fallacious argument that only people who use no fossil fuels can legitimately oppose fossil fuel development is the statement: “We won’t stop using fossil fuels tomorrow”. The logical error associated with using this statement to defend new fossil fuel infrastructure like fracking wells and bitumen sands pipelines (as well as new […]

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The Economist has published an interesting article about Christian churches supporting the water defenders at Standing Rock: Standing Rock is a new turn in Christian ties with native Americans.

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Tonight Toronto350.org organized a vigil to resist the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, which took place along with 44 others across Canada. Justin Trudeau is going to find that his promises about indigenous reconciliation and restoring Canada’s environmental reputation require him to stop further bitumen sands extraction and export. If not, he will end up as […]

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In a piece for The Guardian, Thomas Piketty argues that inequality in the U.S. and the failure of governments to address it are the primary cause of Trump’s victory. He argues that: The main lesson for Europe and the world is clear: as a matter of urgency, globalization must be fundamentally re-oriented. The main challenges […]

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For a few reasons, I am trying to reconsider what sort of political activity presents the best odds of helping to mitigate the seriousness of climate change. I think people are right to target new fossil fuel infrastructure. There is a good chance of delaying or preventing many projects which would otherwise worsen humanity’s total […]

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Recent developments (before the US election) have left me worried that there is a broken culture in Toronto environmentalism, and perhaps the environmental movement more generally. Erosion of democracy First — Toronto350.org and (while it existed) UofT350.org were founded on a model of open and participatory decision making, where all volunteers are members who have […]

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I have generally been skeptical of anti-capitalist environmentalism for two main reasons: the added difficulty involved in changing our economic system and the possibility that an alternative economic system might not be more sustainable. We have a tough enough fight on our hands, trying to create a sustainable world, even if we aren’t also trying […]

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One strategy adopted by some environmentalists is to try to win over moderate conservative voters to favour climate action by separating it from other social issues and choosing policy instruments which they expect to appeal to conservatives as well, like carbon taxes or cap-and-dividend. Often, the emphasis is on revenue neutral carbon prices, where the […]

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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 […]

About 16% of Canada’s electricity generation comes from the 19 nuclear reactors at Pickering, Darlington, Bruce, and Point Lepreau. For years, politicians, regulators, environmentalists, and the public have been contemplating whether it makes sense to refurbish some reactors to extend their lives, particularly as climate change has become a greater concern. Today, World Nuclear News […]

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