The environment

I have written before about Norway’s awkward tension between wanting to be a responsible global citizen and wanting to continue to sell oil. Their ongoing election demonstrates the tension starkly. The Green Party, which may end up holding the balance of power in a divided legislature, opposes further hydrocarbon development. By contrast, a slogan of […]

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One privilege during my time at U of T was to take Peter Russell’s class on Canada’s history as a series of incomplete conquests in 2013. He taught the class for several years running to a mixed group of undergrads and grad students, using it partly to help him refine the new history of Canada […]

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It’s gimmicky and I find it hard to see personal cars and automobile infrastructure as part of a sustainable future, but this video still has historical relevance:

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Through a variety of mechanisms, anthropogenic climate change is worsening wildfires. For instance, warm winter temperatures were a key factor in British Columbia’s apalling mountain pine beetle epidemic, and trees killed by the beetles may be more susceptible to fire. More directly, high temperatures dry out forests and raise fire risks. Page 44 of the […]

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I just finished a new research proposal on campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns in Canada. I am in the middle of a series of meetings with faculty members, working both to refine it into something the department will approve and to establish a committee.

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As radical an organization as SNCC had always been, its modus operandi had remained but an aggressive variation on the “petition the masters” strategy. Its approach depended upon the federal government’s willingness to respond to “moral suasion,” albeit of a forceful sort. Events in Mississippi had undermined SNCC’s confidence in such a strategy. But it […]

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Sometimes convincing moral arguments take the form: outcome X is unacceptable, and since it arises from behaviour A then behaviour A can no longer be allowed to continue. This is implicit in many of the hundreds of posts I have written about climate change, but I thought it would be good to have an open […]

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It’s astonishing that the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline remains unresolved. First, it shows how for activists determined to block a project it’s only necessary to make one jurisdiction say no. This is akin to the argument in computer security that the structure of vulnerabilities favours attackers over defenders; defenders need to protect every […]

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When we think about global trends, we tend to focus on their importance and how rapidly things are changing. China’s economic rise, along with massive economic development and urbanization around the world, all have unambiguous importance, though we will endlessly disagree about how they will interact and few of us will live long enough to […]

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Golf.com has a surprisingly informative article about Donald Trump, with one tidbit about how his businesses have expressed concern about climate change risks: The President has famously dismissed climate change as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese while also calling it “pseudoscience” and “total bull—-.” But citing the rapid erosion of its dunes and ocean […]

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