The environment

The International Energy Agency has released a report on what would be necessary to achieve a ‘net zero‘ global economy by 2050: Net Zero by 2050 A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector. Unsurprisingly, it replicates the carbon bubble / stranded assets argument: “The global pathway to net‐zero emissions by 2050 detailed in this report […]

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One of the case studies in my M.Phil thesis was persistent organic pollutants (POPs) — a class of mostly pesticides which have been restricted under international law because they harm humans and other species, persist in the environment for long periods, and bioaccumulate in food chains, rising to higher concentrations in each level of predators. […]

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In a development that illustrates the global dynamics of climate change China’s emissions now exceed those of the entire developed world put together. Since at least the 1990s the basic nature of a global deal to control climate change has been clear. States like Canada with the highest historical and per capita emissions need to […]

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has raised the idea of a coordinated global minimum corporate tax, with the aim of disrupting ‘race to the bottom’ dynamics in taxation and the shift of assets to tax havens. Global coordination is likely a necessary prerequisite to effective wealth taxation. It could also help to improve the tolerability […]

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On one of today’s walks I listened to an unusually good episode of the I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere podcast: The Confidence Game. I ordered Maria Konnikova’s book The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It… Every Time and will read David Maurer’s 1940 book The Big Con when I go back to visiting libraries. […]

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During the U of T campaign, a validating source like this memo from the University of British Columbia’s Vice-President Finance and Operations would have been amazing for responding to the argument that divestment is financially irresponsible: Results of Mantle’s analysis (full report attached as Appendix A) indicate that the link between climate change and the […]

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Having just finished Barack Obama’s A Promised Land, I appreciated the chance to get his perspective on the years of his first administration. Perhaps the most consistent substantive point that struck me is the difficult and ambiguous balance between pressing a decision maker to go further on an issue like climate change and hampering that […]

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Let’s begin with two simple premises: The amount of climate change the world experiences depends on the total quantity of fossil fuels that get burned. As such, there is little value in avoiding burning particular coal, oil, and gas reserves in one time period if we then burn them in another In Canada, the US, […]

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At a town hall tonight on a just transition away from fossil fuels — organized by 350.org and attended by Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May and NDP climate change critic Laurel Collins, but which environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson declined to attend — May repeatedly brought up the Task Force on Just Transition for Canadian […]

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This week’s Economist has a pretty solid middle-of-the-road editorial position on nuclear energy in a world with a climate crisis: Solar and wind power are now much cheaper, but they are intermittent. Providing a reliable grid is a lot easier if some of its generating capacity can be assumed to be available all the time. […]

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