The environment

Something occurred to me as I was walking through the snow this morning. There’s an episode of Yes Minister (The Bed of Nails) in which the hapless minister Jim Hacker is charged with implementing an integrated national transport policy. His savvy and manipulative chief civil servant explains: It is the ultimate vote loser… If you […]

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today we have a set of such prophecies and for all the average person understands they may just as well have emanated from the delphic oracle

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A memorable criticism in Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward’s Poor People’s Movements: Why they Succeed, How they Fail alleges that organizers often miss their opportunity because the use the moment of chaos in which the common people are prepared to rebel as an opportunity for institution-building instead of revolution or immediate large-scale reform. The […]

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A frequent criticism of climate change policies like the Leap Manifesto and the Green New Deal which seek to accomplish a number of labour and social justice objectives alongside controlling climate change is that the policies don’t have a logical relationship with one another, framing the effort this way reduces the emphasis on climate change […]

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Louis Sobol recently wrote a piece in the National Observer about university divestment organizing in New Brunswick: Lessons from campaigning for divestment at Mount Allison University. It covers some themes of the movement: the sense of ecological threat motivating people to take action, the dominant perspectives within the movement about intersectionality and progressive allyship, an […]

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A bit of good news: Supreme Court rules energy companies cannot walk away from old wells. The fossil fuel industry has huge future cleanup costs, including the UK’s North Sea platforms, and of course Canada’s bitumen sands. The CBC story notes: Alberta has been dealing with a tsunami of orphaned oil and gas wells in […]

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An increasingly frequent media line from supporters of the bitumen sands and the fossil fuels industry generally is that if oil isn’t produced in Canada it will be produced in Saudi Arabia instead, and that is undesirable because the conduct of people in Saudi Arabia is unethical while Canadians behave ethically. As more morally worthy […]

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Some less-than-encouraging news today: Nearly 6 in 10 Canadians call lack of new pipeline capacity a ‘crisis,’ poll suggests Trump replacement for Obama climate plan worse than doing nothing – study The first story about the poll has some room for interpretation. Seeing pipelines as a “crisis” doesn’t necessarily mean supporting them, though the article […]

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One criticism of the climate activist movement is that it continues to rely on tactics which were either never effective or which have lost effectiveness as opponents of decarbonization have learned to counter them. This is a central part of the thesis in Micah White’s book The End of Protest, in which he argues in […]

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I have written before about the cognitive and emotional (and insomniac) downsides of checking the news too often. It seems worth re-emphasizing how twitter is a worst-case scenario in this regard, at least for people more interested in developments in matters of public interest than developments in the lives of friends and acquaintances, where facebook […]

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