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Cowichan Conversations: The Change Within: The Obstacles We Face Are Not Just External-Naomi Kline

Naomi Kline once again shares her eloquence and understanding of the challenges facing us on what is the threatened condition of ‘Planet Earth’

The climate crisis has such bad timing, confronting it not only requires a new economy but a new way of thinking.

“If the ideas that rule our culture are stopping us from saving ourselves,” says author and activist Naomi Kline, “then it is within our power to change those ideas.” (Image, via The Nation)One of the most disturbing ways that climate change is already playing out is through what ecologists call “mismatch” or “mistiming.”

This (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: What’s the risk? Climate activism aiming at supply and demand

One way to think about climate activism is to see if it focuses on the supply of or demand for fossil fuels – pipelines or cars, hydrocarbons or carbon emissions. This distinction is not a new one, is doubtless very simplistic and has often been used to chastise activists. Here, I hope it will draw out some potentially useful thoughts that centre on the aims of activism and the idea of risk.

In an article published yesterday in The Nation, Chris Hayes makes an interesting analogy between the struggle for climate justice and abolitionism: despite numerous differences, both assume (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Happy Earth Day

I truly wish there was something to celebrate. Take a look at my previous post and the commentary from the Mound of Sound that accompanies it; then watch this short video.

Their commonality? A rapacious industry and an economic system that disdains impediments to their profits, and a federal government (a.k.a. the Harper regime) at their compete disposal.

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The Common Sense Canadian: Environment Ministry staff warn BC govt about LNG emissions

VANCOUVER – British Columbia Environment Ministry staff have warned their minister that the province’s dreamed-of liquefied natural gas industry poses some big challenges with greenhouse gas emissions.

Internal briefing notes prepared for Environment Minister Mary Polak since she took office last year and obtained by The Canadian Press, single out methane emissions for concern.

On top of emissions from combustion and flaring of natural gas, methane and carbon dioxide escape during hydraulic fracturing process, or fracking, the documents said. One July briefing note warned:

Methane emissions are a particular concern since they have a global warming impact 21 times (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The World Economic Forum Is Now Occupy’s Mouthpiece

By the way, if you were keeping track, the World Economic Forum rules the world. They’re the richest corporations in the world getting together with governments to plan the world. And why not, they’re the elite.

And it turns out, since you’re keeping track, that Occupy has been quite successful. How successful?

Simple. Check this out, from the WEF’s recent document called Global Risks 2014, page 13.

Occupy is all about justice and equality, politically, socially, economically and environmentally. Since we’ve convinced the World Bank and IMF that grotesque inequality is trouble, the WEF has now acknowledged it’s one (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

Happy Earth Day Weekend!

Montreal Simon: Harperland and the Winds of Change

Sometimes I think that getting Canadians to take any kind of political action is like that swan trying to get the wooden ones to follow. Because we must be one of the most democratically complacent people on Earth. But even in this frigid spring, even in Harperland, the winds of change are blowing.

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The Progressive Economics Forum: Fur trade and tar sands

Here is Joseph Boyden talking with the Globe and Mail last fall about his novel Orenda:

“You look at this novel and you think immigration, who you allow in and who you don’t. The Hurons allow in the ones who ulimately destroy them, because the Huron aren’t perfect either. They need the trade, and how much greed was involved in that? Look environmentally – you wipe out all the furs and your economy is gone. It’s like the oil sands.”

The fur trade destroyed the Huron economy and the Huron. Bitumen destroys the Canadian economy, and through carbon emissions (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Paul Krugman explains how one’s political values figure to affect one’s view of evidence as to the success or failure of a policy: (T)he liberal and conservative movements are not at all symmetric in their goals. Conservatives want smaller government as an end in itself; liberals don’t seek bigger government per se — they want government to achieve certain things, which is quite different. You’ll never see liberals boasting about raising the share of government spending in GDP the way conservatives talk proudly about bringing that share down. Because liberals want government to (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Brief Programming Note

Since spring finally seems to be arriving in my place on the planet, it seems like a propitious time to take a day or two off from this blog and contemplate other matters. In the interim, I recommend the following for your perusal:

The Star’s Thomas Walkom writes about democracy, voting and past democratic reform measures in his column today.

A series of thoughtful letters from Star readers provides an ample basis for some serious contemplation of climate change.

And finally, on the oligarchy that has essentially subverted supplanted democracy, the Mound of Sound recommends this interview with Thomas Krugman, (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The Consequences of Climate Change: Timeframe, Our Lifetime.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered. Climate denialists, the exit is over there on the right. Ta-ta.

Filed under: Science Tagged: AGW, Climate Change, Climate Science, PotHoler54, Science

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

Something to consider on Earth Day weekend – maybe before negotiating any kind of international deals, world leaders should greet each other the way these strangers do; the world would be a safer place for all of us, I think.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Canada Coaching Countries to Waste Water

Canada, a decade ago, used to do more good than bad in the wider world. Now we’re an international wrecking crew, teaching countries how to waste their water supplies on international disasters like shale oil.

This sort of unproductive activity is also changing our climate. It’s also slowing investment in renewable energy technologies that don’t pollute and consume water or air.

In any case, I have the utmost confidence that solar will continue to collapse at its current rate of -600%.— Chris Turner (@theturner) April 15, 2014

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Sorry Oil Shills, Try Another Talking Point

The Oil and Gas sectors are the biggest of the air polluting sectors in Canada. They’ve recently surpassed transportation. Amazingly, despite Saskatchewan’s refusal to do away with coal burning, electricity sources of air pollution have dropped thanks to Ontario’s phase-out of coal power.

Politics and its Discontents: A Guest Post From The Mound Of Sound

I have missed reading the Mound of Sound since he put his blog, The Disaffected Lib, on hiatus about five weeks ago. A man of wide-ranging interests and passions, his posts on climate change and politics never failed to catch my attention and stimulate my own reading and research.

Yesterday I received an email from Mound; while he is not interested at this point in restarting his own blog, he asked if I would be open to hosting the occasional guest post from him. I responded with both alacrity and pleasure. What follows is the first of what I (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great Kitimat Rebellion

When historians assess the legacy of Stephen Harper fifty years from now, the many scandals of his corrupt regime will probably merit only a few paragraphs.But what they will say of him without a doubt, is that at a critical point in human history he failed his country and his planet.For at a time when scientists were warning that time was running out for climate change action. The disconnect couldn't be greater. Read more »

Politics, Re-Spun: What Yoko Ono Knows About Fracking

Today we are fresh off the tar soaked heels of Enbridge’s lie and spin machine in Kitimat, leading to a vote AGAINST their toxic future.

In Kitimat, in a non-binding plebiscite, the people of Kitimat, but not the first peoples who live outside the town boundary, voted about 60-40 to kick out Enbridge.

They’re liars, don’t you know, making up a fake map of BC’s coast to pretend that oil tanker risks are lower than they are.

But it also turns out that Yoko Ono knows a thing or two about fracking and carbon energy.

And we also know (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Will Hutton writes about Thomas Piketty’s rebuttal to the false claim that inequality has to be encouraged in the name of development – and the reality that we have a public policy choice whether to privilege returns on capital or broad-based growth: It is a startling thesis and one extraordinarily unwelcome to those who think capitalism and inequality need each other. Capitalism requires inequality of wealth, runs this right-of-centre argument, to stimulate risk-taking and effort; governments trying to stem it with taxes on wealth, capital, inheritance and property kill the goose that lays (Read more…)

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

This is incredibly beautiful – newborn twins sharing a bath respond to each other like they are still in the womb. *

Trashy's World: So, yeah, climate change is just not happening, is it?

A few interesting graphics forwarded to me by a colleague. (2) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

The Common Sense Canadian: A very human dilemma: Population woes vs. biological imperative

Every baby is a biological miracle. In its development from conception to birth it undergoes a remarkable process summarized by “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” — a fetus growing into a human being moves through the entire succession of animal phyla, from the most simple unicellular organism to the most complicated of the multicellular. This process not only confirms the evolutionary history of life but highlights the incredible memory and genetic intelligence contained within a single fertilized cell.

Concurrent with this development of the fetus is the utter wonder of becoming sentient, of ascending through levels of consciousness until awareness is even (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: David Suzuki: Earth Month should be a time for action

April is Earth Month, and April 22 Earth Day. We should really celebrate our small blue planet and all it provides every day, but recent events give us particular cause to reflect on our home and how we’re treating it.

Through an amazingly ordered combination of factors, this spinning ball of earth, air, fire and water – with its hydrological, carbon, nitrogen and rock cycles, biological diversity and ideal distance from the sun – provides perfect conditions for human life to flourish. But with our vast and rapidly increasing numbers, breakneck technological advances, profligate use of resources and lack of (Read more…)

350 or bust: It’s Up To Us To Decide The Future

Global weirding has begun. We still have time to act, but not an indefinite amount of time: * Produced by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and Globaia and funded by the UN Foundation. The data visualization summarises and visualizes several of the most significant statements in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent Fifth Assessment […]

LeDaro: Fires in California in winter and melting of glaciers on the Northern Pole

It is very troubling and unsettling. What next?