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Environment

  • Climate change viewed from the attic of the world

    From 1962 to 2006 the glaciers of the Himalaya appear to have lost more than a fifth of their ice. They did not all shrink at the same rate. In fact, some glaciers haven’t shrunk at all, but measurements of the overall trend in the Sikkim-Nepal region put the average loss at seven inches of depth every year across the whole extent of ice. And, of course, the melting continues.

  • From Clayoquot Sound to Fairy Creek: What have we learned?

    For those who lived through BC’s legendary War in the Woods nearly 30 years ago at Clayoquot Sound, the blockades and mass arrests at Fairy Creek are indeed a déjà vu experience. The question is: Why is this still going on? Why is history repeating itself while the world burns, oceans rise and irreplaceable ancient forests disappear? What will it take to change the script?

  • Is a Cold War still possible in an overheating world?

    One way or another, however, we can be reasonably certain of one thing: as the term makes all too clear, the old Cold War format for military policy no longer holds, not on such an overheating planet. As a result, expect Chinese soldiers to be spending far more time filling sandbags to defend their country’s coastline from rising seas in 2049 than manning weaponry to fight American soldiers.

  • Electoral politics can’t solve climate change

    Climate change isn’t a technical problem, it’s a power imbalance problem. And polite participation in electoral politics—perform your civic duty then return to a quiet life of economic production—has never successfully challenged power before. We shouldn’t expect it to be able to now. Instead, we need to draw our lessons from major social breakthroughs of the past.

  • On the brink: the scenario the IPCC isn’t modelling

    The IPCC report bases itself on the physical laws of the climate system to tell us that we are on the brink of the abyss, on the verge of irreversibly tipping over into an unimaginable cataclysm; on the other hand, it objectifies and trivializes the political-technological headlong rush by which capitalism is once again trying to postpone the irreconcilable antagonism between its logic of unlimited profit accumulation and the limits of the planet.

  • For a ‘Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty’

    The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, reprinted in full here, is spurring international cooperation to end new development of fossil fuels, phase out existing production within the agreed climate limit of 1.5°C and develop plans to support workers, communities and countries dependent on fossil fuels to create secure and healthy livelihoods.

  • Centerra’s battle for the Kumtor gold mine rages on

    As the legal battle over the Kumtor gold mine rages on, Centerra’s legal options for extending its management of the mine look more limited by the day. Any Canadian who is interested in how their country’s capital functions on the global stage, and how affected countries are trying to resist this neocolonial domination, should eagerly follow new developments in the case.

  • Humans aren’t as stupid as they seem—something else is blocking climate action

    Almost a century ago, US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis observed: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” That could be updated: “We can have a world that is livable for humans or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of the few; but we can’t have both.” That’s the real choice on the ballot. The rest is just talkity-talk.

  • All must change utterly: We need a ‘People’s Green New Deal’

    Clearly and starkly, the “progressive” climate proposals Max Ajl critiques in his new book, A People’s Green New Deal, are frighteningly inadequate. Dire human threats and the meeting of human needs require an informed, people-collaborative implementation in varied regulatory jurisdictions worldwide. The current system is steeply regressed and must be changed utterly to provide basic human needs.

  • How Canada failed its farmers and agri-producers

    Private control over Canada’s agricultural sector now extends well beyond farms and into the food processing and retail space, effectively securing policy and regulatory influence along the supply and value chain. The harms perpetuated by this model are having grave consequences, expanding the power of corporate players at the expense of local producers—jeopardizing livelihoods that once existed within a well-balanced landscape.

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