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Environment

  • Climate capitalism and ‘regimes of obstruction’

    While there are thankfully an increasing number of serious books proposing what can be done to actually meet the scale of the crisis we face (including Seth Klein’s A Good War and Max Ajl’s A People’s Green New Deal), it is still worth giving a nod to the essential works that expose the forces holding us back from climate action in Canada—especially because these works get little attention from mainstream media.

  • ‘A false solution’: 500+ groups urge US, Canadian leaders to reject carbon capture

    More than 500 organizations pressured political leaders in the United States and Canada to reject carbon capture as “a false solution” that has become “a dangerous distraction driven by the same big polluters who created the climate emergency.” The messages were not only shared as letters, but also published as full-page advertisements in the Washington Post and Ottawa’s Hill Times.

  • After BC’s historic heatwave, Canada should double down on building retrofits

    This week’s heatwave in western Canada is an unfortunate reminder that as the end of the COVID-19 pandemic nears, the climate crisis is only growing in intensity. Dramatically lowering emissions in all sectors of our society is critically urgent if we are to prevent hotter and deadlier heatwaves. That’s why deep energy retrofits can play a critical role for the economy and the climate.

  • When corporate interests trump the human right to clean drinking water

    Two corporations are in the midst of seeking Government of Manitoba approval to build and operate silica sand mines and processing facilities that would extract and process some 2.6 million tonnes of silica sand per year. One proposed mine would employ an unconventional and unproven mining method of extracting the silica sand by pumping it from deep within the aquifer that supplies drinking water to all of southeastern Manitoba.

  • Will there be resource wars in a renewable future?

    It’s tempting to conclude that the days when competition over finite supplies of energy was a recurring source of conflict will soon draw to a close. Unfortunately, think again: while the sun and wind are indeed infinitely renewable, the materials needed to convert those resources into electricity—minerals like cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, and the rare-earth elements, or REEs—are anything but.

  • Long-awaited ‘reforms’ fail to address realities of environmental injustice

    Purported ‘reforms’ to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act amount to little more than nice words, with little to none of the material change that working Canadians need from environmental legislation. Real reform would recognize that the working class bears the brunt of industrial capital’s impact on the environment and resultantly faces disproportionately poor health outcomes.

  • Trudeau’s climate strategy: Denialism through gradualism

    In their attempt to please everyone, the Trudeau government is forced to lie about or downplay the severity of the climate crisis at hand. The problem is that when faced with an existential threat like catastrophic global warming, trying to please everyone—including the institutions that are causing the crisis—means the Liberals are standing in the way of necessary, systemic solutions.

  • Ontario NDP’s climate plan is too little, too late

    Now is not the time for timidity. The NDP is ostensibly the only party willing to take on a Green New Deal and make it a part of its platform. Andrea Horwath and party insiders, however, are too afraid of the cries of populism from the Liberals and Tories to give the people what they are craving. Standing with the voters isn’t populism, it is how elections are won. And winning, well that’s good politics.

  • Nuclear colonialism and the Marshall Islands

    On March 1, 1954, the United States military detonated a 15 megaton thermonuclear weapon called “Bravo” (the first in the “CASTLE” test series) and exposed the residents of the Bikini Atoll to its radioactive fallout. Those down-wind of the explosions suffered severe burns and were exposed to massive amounts of radiation, irreversibly altering the trajectory of the region and its inhabitants forever.

  • Land grabs for rare earth metals continue outside the South American Lithium Triangle

    Flying under the radar of Canadian media, Mongolia has long been one of Canada’s closest partners in Asia as a source of strategic metals and minerals, while occupying a fulcrum point between Southeast Asia, Russia and the Middle East. Yet, little light has been shed on the bleak implications of the increasing demand for lithium, and other strategic resources found across Central Asia that are essential to the energy transition.

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