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Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

– Naomi Klein discusses how Canada’s longstanding – if far from inevitable – identity as a resource economy is standing in the way of both needed action on climate change and reconciliation with First Nations:

In Canada, cultivation and industrialization were secondary. First and foremost, this country was built on voraciously devouring wildness. Canada was an extractive company – the Hudson’s Bay Company – before it was a country. And that has shaped us in ways we have yet to begin to confront.
Because such enormous fortunes have been built purely on the extraction of wild animals, intact forest and interred metals and fossil fuels, our economic elites have grown accustomed to seeing the natural world as their God-given larder.
When someone or something – like climate science – comes along and says: Actually, there are limits, we have to take less from the Earth and keep more profit for the public good, it doesn’t feel like a difficult truth. It feels like an existential attack.
The trouble isn’t just the commodity roller coaster. It’s that the stakes grow larger with each boom-bust cycle. The frenzy for cod crashed a species; the frenzy for bitumen and fracked gas is helping to crash the planet.
Today, we have federal and provincial governments that talk a lot about reconciliation. But this will remain a cruel joke if non-Indigenous Canadians do not confront the why behind those human-rights abuses. And the why, as the Truth and Reconciliation report states, is simple enough: “The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide because it wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to Aboriginal people and gain control over their land and resources.”
The goal, in other words, was to remove all barriers to unrestrained resource extraction. This is not ancient history. Across the country, Indigenous land rights remain the single greatest barrier to planet-destabilizing resource extraction, from pipelines to clear-cut logging.
– Susan Delacourt highlights Charlie Angus’ frustration with the Libs’ Teletubbie political style, while Tony Burman notes that Middle East relations represent just one more area where Justin Trudeau’s actions couldn’t be much further from his rhetoric. 
– But Ethan Cox’ report on an Indigenous treaty alliance also signals what may the most effective response – as rather than allowing the Libs to feign friendship while pursuing another agenda, First Nations are presenting a united and direct contrast to Trudeau’s plans. And Doug Cuthand points out the widespread protest against the Dakota Access pipeline as the latest and largest example of that solidarity being put into action.

– Meanwhile, Marc Lee signals what we might expect from a federal climate change action plan based on the working groups currently reviewing the options.

– Laurie Monsebraaten reports on a needed push to ensure that child care funding is used to create not-for-profit spaces. And Ashifa Kassam points to Wellington’s loss of water rights to Nestle as a prime example of what happens when corporate dollars trump public needs.

– Finally, Alon Weinberg discusses why now is the time to implement a proportional electoral system in Canada. And Craig Scott makes the case for mixed-member proportional over the other options under consideration. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Naomi Klein writes about the racism and dehumanization behind climate change denialism and inaction. And George Monbiot reminds us of the dangers of overheating oceans, while Michael Wines interviews Todd Halih… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Alberta Politics: OMG! Energy industry faces ‘existential threat’ from Hollywood, ‘ever-growing matrix of activists’

PHOTOS: Brad Wall, increasingly the Mr. Disagreeable of Confederation. Below: Calgary’s Glenmore Reservoir as dreamed of by supporters of the Saskatchewan Party of Alberta. Actual Calgary beaches may not appear exactly as illustrated, either with reg… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: OMG! Energy industry faces ‘existential threat’ from Hollywood, ‘ever-growing matrix of activists’

The Canadian Progressive: Naomi Klein Wins 2016 Sydney Peace Prize

Canadian social activist, journalist and award-winning author of numerous bestsellers, Naomi Klein, is the the winner of the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize. The post Naomi Klein Wins 2016 Sydney Peace Prize appeared first on The Canadian Progressive. . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Naomi Klein Wins 2016 Sydney Peace Prize

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- David Akin reports that MPs from multiple parties are rightly challenging offshore tax evasion – though it remains to be seen how many will actually demand a change to the practice. And Tanya Tagala notes that it… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Cowichan Conversations: Disobedience-The Rise Of Global Fossil Fuel Resistance

  It has become crystal clear that our governments will only move as far and fast as they have to. The pressure from the corporate fossil fuel world, their bankers, and their obedient politicians Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Disobedience-The Rise Of Global Fossil Fuel Resistance

The Canadian Progressive: Statement On The Passing Of The NDP Leap Resolution

Statement by the Leap Manifesto Organizing Team on the passing of the Leap Resolution by the New Democratic Party of Canada. The Leap is “a call for a Canada based on caring for the earth and one another.” The post Statement On The Passing Of The NDP L… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Statement On The Passing Of The NDP Leap Resolution

Alberta Politics: If you were secretly relieved by yesterday’s NDP Alberta budget, you weren’t alone …

PHOTOS: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci addresses the media during a lockup early yesterday afternoon in Edmonton before reading the 2016 Budget Speech to the Legislature. Below: CFIB Alberta spokesperson Richard Truscott, Edmonton-Centre MLA David S… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: If you were secretly relieved by yesterday’s NDP Alberta budget, you weren’t alone …

Alberta Politics: The mystery of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s long fall: Why didn’t he see it coming?

PHOTOS: NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair accepts his defeat at his party’s national convention in Edmonton yesterday. Below: Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman, Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan, former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis and Albert… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: The mystery of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s long fall: Why didn’t he see it coming?

The Canadian Progressive: Naomi Klein on Hillary Clinton: “I Don’t Trust Her on Climate at All” [VIDEO]

Prominent Canadian journalist Naomi Klein told Al Jazeera this week that she doesn’t trust US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on climate change. The post Naomi Klein on Hillary Clinton: “I Don’t Trust Her on Climate at All&#82… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Naomi Klein on Hillary Clinton: “I Don’t Trust Her on Climate at All” [VIDEO]

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Claire Provost writes that corporate trade agreements are designed to make it more difficult to pursue fair tax systems:Governments must be able to change their tax systems to ensure multinationals pay their… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Ben Oquist laments the fact that trickle-down economics and destructive austerity remain the norm in Australia no matter how thoroughly they’re proven to fail. Alvin Powell discusses the burgeoning inequality of oppo… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

A Different Point of View....: Climate controls ‘slip slidin’ away’ following weak Paris agreement

 “World agrees to historic climate accord” 
The Toronto Star.
“Nearly 200 countries agree to historic pact in Paris
to reduce emissions and fight climate change”

The Vancouver Sun.
 “Climate deal: World praises France’s diplomacy, showing it’s still a master of the art”
The Winnipeg Free Press.

With these headlines appearing in newspapers across the country, Canadians must have been relieved that they don’t need to worry about climate change nearly as much now that everything has been worked out in Paris.

Unfortunately, this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.

The politicians meeting in Paris, faced with the possibility of total failure, were extremely excited to reach any kind of an agreement. As politicians will do, they convinced themselves and the compliant mainstream media that the accord all 195 countries signed was an amazing break through document.

The agreement is jam-packed with lofty language and idealistic goals. However, it is totally lacking in legally binding mechanism that will hold governments to emission limits that will stop global warming from reaching devastatingly high levels.

May & Klein have strongly different opinions

Even so, there are strong differences of opinion among environmental leaders concerning the value of the pact.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May is not concerned that the temperature goals in the agreement are not binding.

“It’s an historic and potentially life-saving agreement,” May writes in her blog.  . . . . “it may save the lives of millions.  It may lead to the survival of many small nations close to sea level.  It may give our grandchildren a far more stable climate and thus a more prosperous and healthy society.”

Two of the world’s leading climate activists disagree strongly with May.

Responding to the cheering going on in the meeting room when the deal was signed, Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org commented: “All the serious people in there in suits are playing fantasy games.”

Activist and author Naomi Klein said the agreed upon targets are far too weak. “They don’t lead us to 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2 degrees. They lead us to warming of 3 to 4 degrees Celsius, which is beyond catastrophic.”


This year global warming, compared to the pre-industrial age temperature, is expected to reach 1 degree Celsius. Scientists say that warming must be kept to 1.5 degrees if hundreds of islands are to be saved. If countries do not improve on the promises they made in Paris global warming could reach 3.5 degrees by 2100 or earlier.

In Paris, rich countries, instead of stepping forward and coming up with firm commitments to fight warming, abdicated their responsibility to powerful multi-national corporations.

Corporations were involved in just about every aspect of COP21, including helping to pay for the summit. Meanwhile, a few select non-governmental organizations were permitted only to look over the draft of the agreement at the end of each day. Organizers kept thousands of protestors away from the delegates.

Most of the actions that can come out of the agreement are left to the marketplace, and activities many will be carried out by the same corporations that have polluted the planet.

Incidentally, it was no surprise that none of the words “fossil fuels”, “oil” or “coal” appear in the agreement.

Carbon trading, which allow companies to make huge profits but that are slow to reduce emissions, are looked upon favourably. Because no action was taken against fracking, the practice, which produces highly damaging methane gas, will increase.

Financial institutions are already making large profits from financing many activities related to global warming. The most common funding is for clean energy solutions, underwriting green bonds and structuring catastrophe-linked securities to help clients manage climate change risks.

It is a bitter irony that the banks financed corporations as they destroyed our climate, and now they’ll provide the financing for many of the same companies to try to clean it up.

Rich North betrays developing nations

The lack of substantial outcomes from Paris for countries with the least ability to defend themselves from global warming has caused rifts that may not be overcome for years.

Helen Szoke, of Oxfam Australia, denounced the agreement as “a frayed lifeline to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific Region contribute just 0.3 per cent   of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet residents of many islands have had to leave their homes, and dozens of islands will disappear under water if strong actions to slow emissions in the developed world are not taken.

There was a lot of fancy talk in Paris about transporting millions of tonnes of earth to restore the most threatened islands, but residents aren’t holding their breath.

The strongest condemnation of the Paris agreement came from Kumi Naidoo, the executive director of Greenpeace, one of the world’s most influential environmental groups.

It’s “climate apartheid,” says Naidoo.

“Most of the people in the countries that emitted the most carbon are white and most people in the countries who are paying first and the most are people of colour,” says Naidoo. “There is no doubt in my mind that subliminal racism is at play in these negotiations.”

Environmentalists must pick up the slack

So with governments failing to move ahead the cause of a cleaner environment in any meaningful way, what can be done to pick up the slack?

The world’s many climate change groups need to organize a huge lobby movement – one that can match the power of the fossil fuel industry. The tobacco industry was not brought under some control until it was banned from lobbying governments, and the same needs to happen with the fossil fuel industry.

Across the globe, NGOs, civil society and all kinds of organizations need to work together lobbying all levels of government. It seems they may be the only segments of society – for now at least – willing to fight for climate justice.

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Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Climate controls ‘slip slidin’ away’ following weak Paris agreement

A Different Point of View....: Climate controls ‘slip slidin’ away’ following weak Paris agreement

 “World agrees to historic climate accord” The Toronto Star.“Nearly 200 countries agree to historic pact in Paris to reduce emissions and fight climate change” The Vancouver Sun. “Climate deal: World praises France’s diplomacy,… . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Climate controls ‘slip slidin’ away’ following weak Paris agreement

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Paul Mason weighs in on how income and wealth inequality spill over into every corner of a person’s life:It is very possible to be poor in the 21st-century welfare state. One in five children lives in poverty, … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- David Olive talks to Robert Reich about his work fighting inequality:There are certain irrefutable facts besides water always running downhill. There is no arguing, for instance, that the U.S. era Reich describe… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Emily Dugan writes about the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s finding that young UK adults are facing the worst economic prospects of the last several generations. And Betty Ann Adam reports on Charles Plante’s work on the value of a living wage, both for employers and society at . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: The fundamental issue

Naomi Klein and Maude Barlow weigh in on the need not to let sideshows distract us from what should be the most important issue of the federal election campaign. And as referred to here, the Pembina Institute reminds us where the major parties stand in advance of the Paris summit which may determine whether we’re . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: The fundamental issue

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Naomi Klein on Neoliberalism, the Shock Doctrine and Disaster Capitalism

Normally I post only essays that I have written on my blog, but this deserves to be an exception to the rule. This is a true Must-Watch. Naomi Klein clarifies the history of neoliberalism and the current state of the world in a few short minutes. 100,000 protests a year in China now, protests across . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: Naomi Klein on Neoliberalism, the Shock Doctrine and Disaster Capitalism

BigCityLib Strikes Back: The Leap Manifesto: Naomi Klein, Communism, and The Hollywood Hippys

CBC says:

“This is a document that was written collectively,” [author Naomi] Klein said, flanked by national indigenous Anglican bishop Mark MacDonald and environmentalist and broadcaster David Suzuki.  Actor Tantoo Cardinal, author Joseph Boyden and newly crowned Mrs.Universe Ashley Callingbull were also at the press conference.

…which is good to know, because the IQ emenating . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: The Leap Manifesto: Naomi Klein, Communism, and The Hollywood Hippys

Things Are Good: Documentary: This Changes Everything

The Toronto International Film Festival starts today and one of the documentaries that will be screened is based on the book This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein. The film shares the same title and looks like it carries the same optimistic and clear message: we can change the world and we have to!

Filmed . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Documentary: This Changes Everything

Things Are Good: Watch Naomi Klein Talk About Capitalism

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Lecture presented by the Vancouver Institute. Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Naomi Klein is the author of the critically acclaimed #1 international bestsellers, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies which have each been translated . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Watch Naomi Klein Talk About Capitalism

Dead Wild Roses: Climate Summit of the America’s – Nice idea.

Well you know it is important when Al Gore is in the house:

“Al Gore says there’s a “powerful voice” speaking out about climate change: Mother Nature.

Gore, citing “striking” examples of extreme climate-related conditions, said while scientists have long agreed climate change is real, the real environmental challenges facing people will drive change.”

What . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Climate Summit of the America’s – Nice idea.

The Canadian Progressive: For Canada, a commitment to the environment and jobs is possible

Naomi Klein and environmental activists will call for a “long term sustainable strategy that leads to renewable energy” during the March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate in Toronto on July 5.

The post For Canada, a commitment to the environment and jobs is possible appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: For Canada, a commitment to the environment and jobs is possible

Politics and its Discontents: The Next System Project: A Practical Example

Yesterday’s post revolved around The Next System Project, an initiative committed to exploring replacements for the traditional institutions that are failing our world so badly. One major focus of the project is on expanding business models that grant company ownership to workers.

That goal put me in mind of a documentary I saw a . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Next System Project: A Practical Example