Utopian musings on an endangered world
Half-Earth Socialism by Drew Pendergrass and Troy Vettese sets forth a unique ecosocialist vision that centres the preservation of the fullness of the natural world at a time when the dawning Holocene extinction, driven primarily by capitalism and consumption patterns in the Global North, is putting life on the line.
Holding pattern: the 2019 Canadian election
While the left needs to continue to work in and alongside social movements to advance concrete and winnable demands, we also need a vision that goes beyond immediate and disparate struggles and develop it together from coast-to-coast-to-coast, on the basis of mutual recognition of our ecological and economic interdependency and respective claims to sovereignty.
No deal without nature
In both North America and Europe, the discussions around a Green New Deal for a decarbonised world are commendably strong on human rights and on measures to combat inequality. But vastly more attention must be paid to what has long been the (endangered) elephant in the room when it comes to contemplating ways and means of reversing our kamikaze course, namely, the annihilation of biodiversity.
About six percent of the world’s oil is currently used to produce plastic. But plastic production is set to quadruple by 2050, at which point it will account for 20 percent of oil consumption and 15 percent of the global annual carbon budget that must be respected if there is any hope of preventing global temperatures from rising by more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The real opposition in Québec
In the last 40 years, rather than taking the lead in social struggles, the labour movement has been mostly on the defensive. One of the most critical challenges for QS is to generate enthusiasm, hope and active support for a renewed left political project among the union rank and file as well as all the other forces of social transformation, while avoiding the pitfalls of its own growing success – all this while mounting a fierce and compelling opposition to a right-wing government bent on sapping what remains of Québec’s social state after decades of neoliberal corrosion.
The People’s Pipeline
In an era of neoliberal privatization when governments the world over are hastening to sell off state owned assets, Justin Trudeau bucks the trend by ponying up $4.5 billion to buy the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, with complete disregard for the resolute opposition by the B.C. government, many Indigenous groups, most environmentalists and thousands of citizens across the country deeply worried about the ecological impact and risks of both the pipeline expansion and the ensuing escalation of tanker traffic.
Barbara Perry on the far right in Canada
Barbara Perry is co-author of Uneasy Alliances: A Look at the Right-Wing Extremist Movement in Canada, a three-year study involving interviews with Canadian law enforcement officials, community organizations and right-wing activists, as well as analyses of open source intelligence. She has written extensively on social justice and hate crimes, and has published several books spanning both areas.
Noxious weeds: The growth of the far right in Canada and Québec
Hate crimes against Muslims in Canada increased by 253 per cent between 2012 and 2015, according to Statistics Canada, and this abhorrent trend has continued, as evidenced this year by the horrific mass shooting by Alexandre Bissonnette on January 29 at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Québec City which left six dead and 19 injured.
One of the first things that strikes me—quite literally—is the abundance of bugs. Whether I am shooing flies, trapping ants, swatting mosquitoes, combing my dog for ticks or saving moths from suicide by light bulb, I am surrounded by a plethora of creepy crawlers and frequent fliers. It seems counterintuitive then to learn that their kind may actually be dwindling.
Such is the depth of Trump’s planned assault on environmental regulation that it bathes his predecessors in a greenish light. As the U.S. turns back the clock on its already grossly inadequate measures to mitigate the most menacing ecological fallout from industrial capitalist civilization, the countdown to ecocide accelerates.
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