The environment

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 […]


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 […]


“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 […]


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 […]


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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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 […]


An informative article by Peter Brannen in The Atlantic contrasts the plausible duration of the geological evidence of human civilization against the scale at which we normally designate geological epochs. It suggests convincingly that the idea of an Anthropocene epoch is misplaced: What humans are doing on the planet, then, unless we endure for millions […]


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 […]


Among other things, this reinforces my view that “awareness raising” isn’t very meaningful and certainly isn’t sufficient to keep us from wrecking the global climate: At the European elections 48% of voters said climate change was their top concern. The Green Party came second in that election and now leads Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union […]