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350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

350 or bust: And The Children Will Lead Us

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6 “The earth has been here long before us, and it will continue to be here long after we’ve been wiped out, said […]

The Common Sense Canadian: New book asks: Can civilization survive unprecedented climate crisis?

Water scarcity and resulting wars will be a key consequence of the climate crisis

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that human-caused climate change is already responsible for 150,000 deaths annually. If we continue our current trajectories of “business as usual” as our response to climate change, the WHO expects that between 2030 and 2050 climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year.

According to the WHO, the yearly death rate will include, “38 000 due to heat exposure in elderly people, 48 000 due to diarrhoea, 60 000 due to malaria, and 95 000 due to childhood under nutrition. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jim Stanford kicks off the must-read responses to the Cons’ budget with a modest list of five points deserving of public outrage, while PressProgress identifies seven points where the Cons’ spin is far out of touch with reality. Citizens for Public Justice notes that climate change and poverty are among the important issues which don’t rate so much as a mention in the Cons’ plan for an entire term in office, while Jorge Barrera reports that First Nations were also conspicuously omitted other than some cynical re-announcements. Angella MacEwen points out that any (Read more…)

350 or bust: Dear Future Generations: Sorry

This Earth Day, activist and spoken word artist Prince Ea launched his newest online video entitled “Dear Future Generations: Sorry” to motivate young citizens to take immediate action to stop climate change by protecting threatened forests through the Stand for Trees campaign. “Climate change is an emergency situation of the highest degree and all of us […]

350 or bust: Pricing Pollution Is Good For the Economy

We don’t have to chose between the environment and the economy. Canada’s EcoFiscal commission, an impressive group of experienced, policy-minded economists with an advisory board that includes senior politicians from across the political spectrum as well as representatives from industry and environmental groups, was formed to dispel the false dichotomy between a thriving economy and […]

Politics and its Discontents: Canada’s Outlier Status

Well, this is bauble budget day, the day the Harper regime makes its big pre-election push to convince us that all is right with the world, and that our natural selfishness is something we should revel in, not revolt against. It is a day in which further plundering of the federal coffers is presented as a triumph of respect for all “hardworking Canadians” who deserve to keep more of their “hard-earned money.” It is a day in which the collective needs of the country and the world are ignored.

Fortunately, not everyone is so easily distracted by the promise (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Blue Ocean Event: Much Worse Than Predicted By The Models

Although I gladly yield expertise on the environmental and climate change files to my fellow blogger, The Disaffected Lib, who has been doing exemplary work these past several years, every so often I come across something that is a screaming indictment of world leaders who have been content to whistle past the graveyard while we plunge headlong toward irreversible climate change, change that will make life very difficult, if not impossible, for many of our children and grandchildren.

One of the blessings and, in some ways, curses, of using the Internet to seek out information that the mainstream media (Read more…)

350 or bust: Earth Too – Join The Mission

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is recruiting change agents who will commit to

The Common Sense Canadian: China’s emissions drop, global cleanteach boom are cause for optimism on climate change

Chinese solar company Suntech at the Bird’s Nest stadium

Despite Canada’s total lack of leadership in the green economy, a number of key global developments are grounds for optimism heading into the Paris UN conference on climate change.

Global emissions plateau in 2014

In a pleasant surprise for the planet at large, according to the International Energy Agency, global emissions reached a plateau in 2014.

Most importantly, this is not a onetime aberration, but rather an indication that the cumulative impacts of the growing numbers of measures to address climate change in China, Europe and the US are collectively bringing about transformative change. (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: What Are The Limits?

Humans, and other primates, it appears, have an innate sense of fairness. We expect, for example, in times requiring sacrifice, that no member of society will be exempted. When we are part of a long queue, for example, we expect everyone to bide their time and wait as well; someone attempting to jump the queue is rightfully deeply resented and scorned.

Of course, rules and expectations of fairness and equality are broken everyday by those with the means. If you are willing to pay for the privilege, you can buy into express lines, such as those that exist at (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on Brad Wall’s appalling admission that the Saskatchewan Party’s plan for a low-carbon economy is to move into Ontario’s basement rather than pursuing sustainable development in Saskatchewan.

For further reading…- Wall’s comments and other provincial positions in the lead up to this week’s premiers’ meeting can be found here. – Geoffrey Vendeville reported on the earlier cap-and-trade agreement between Ontario and Quebec. And Yasmine Hassan discussed the massive Quebec climate change rally.- The Saskatchewan greenhouse gas bill which has been passed but never proclaimed in force can be found here (PDF).- Joe Romm reports on (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Paul Krugman highlights the policy areas where we need to look to the public sector for leadership – including those such as health care and income security where we all have a strong interest in making sure that nobody’s left behind. And Andre Picard reminds us of one of the major gaps in Canada’s health care system, as expensive prescription drugs can make for a devastating barrier to needed care.

- Meanwhile, Paul Buchheit duly criticizes the combination of increasing wealth for the lucky few in the U.S., and increasing (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On projection

Shorter Leona Aglukkaq to Canada’s provinces: I’m very disappointed in all of you for my government’s longstanding failings, and demand that you take responsibility immediately.

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson argues that contrary to the attempt of the Ecofiscal Commission to impose right-wing values like tax slashing and devolution on any action to deal with climate change, we in fact need the federal government to take a lead role: While it is sensible in the current political context that provinces not wait for federal leadership, this does not mean those pushing for climate action should lessen our pressure on the federal government to lead. At a minimum, the federal government should be requiring all of the provinces to take some modest (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Is A Carbon Tax More Effective Than Cap And Trade?

Truthfully, I don’t know the answer to that question, although some might say that any action is better than none on the climate-change file. In any event, a Star reader offers his thoughts on the matter:

Provinces can lead the way on global warming, April 7 The fact that the Ontario government’s decision to endorse cap and trade was leaked to Canada’s leading business newspaper confirms my worst fears. This decision is a victory of Bay Street over Main Street.

Clearly, we need a system of carbon pricing if we’re serious about making the polluters pay. Cap and trade offers (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Noah Smith writes that the renewable energy revolution is further along than was projected just a few years ago: Each of these trends — cheaper batteries and cheaper solar electricity — is good on its own, and on the margin will help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, with all the geopolitical drawbacks and climate harm they entail. But together, the two cost trends will add up to nothing less than a revolution in the way humankind interacts with the planet and powers civilization.

You see, the two trends reinforce each other. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Joe Gunn argues that it’s long past time for Canada to live up to its climate commitments. And Carol Linnitt writes that further delay will do nothing but damage to our economy and our democracy as well as our planet: Taking meaningful climate action would mean increasing green infrastructure, prioritizing sustainable cities and investing in renewable and low-carbon sources of energy.

It would also mean slowing the rate of expansion of oil and gas projects including the oilsands, which would eventually put a stop to new pipeline projects. That would come with (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Next System Project

Bloggers far more skilled and knowledgeable that I have written extensively about how our societal systems are broken. Whether we look at the current model of rapacious capitalism, environmental non-regulation, fraying medical and social support programs, it is obvious that almost everything is largely rigged in favour of the few, not the many, with the profit motive being one of the few arbiters of ‘the public good.’ One quick example is the record profits that corporations are enjoying, while the standard of living of the average person continues its downward trajectory.

A new initiative has arisen to begin to (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

The Disaffected Lib: Getting Buried in the Babble

It’s been a while since I posted on a) the polar ice melting or b) sea level rise or c) a whole lot of other things.  It’s not for want of following those issues, it’s from becoming too immersed in them.  On climate change problems, the research is coming in so fast that it’s hard to keep the studies in any sort of coherent order.  It’s sometimes quite difficult to tell which report supercedes another or when they should be taken together to reveal a more comprehensive picture.

It’s a blur.

I know a lot about rearmament and arms races (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Arthur Neslen reports on the Health and Environmental Alliance’s study of greenhouse gas emission reductions showing that we’d enjoy both improved health and economic benefits by pursuing ambitious targets to fight climate change. And David Roberts examines the massive cost and minimal benefit of carbon capture and storage schemes which serve mostly to increase how much oil we burn at public expense.

- Chris Simpson writes about the need for physicians to consider social determinants of health as part of patient care. And Carolyn Shimmin offers a primer for journalists (and others) to (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SaskParty Avoids Clean Energy Boom

Saskatchewan leadership leaves a lot to be desired. Many people here are excited about how “strong” Saskatchewan is, thanks to SaskParty propaganda. We’ve also the strongest carbon air pollution per capita in the world, but few tend to talk about that here. Times are good, they’re good for me, and most of my friends (the ones who’ve not recently lost their jobs, that is). So why don’t I just shut up and enjoy myself? Maybe I do enjoy myself, maybe so much that I have an iota of time and money left over to care about how others are doing (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit