Ecuador just showed the world what it means to take climate change seriously
Ecuador just showed the world what it means to take climate change, biodiversity loss, and Indigenous sovereignty seriously, all with one national referendum. Canada is a rich country and one of the nations most responsible for climate change. It is long past time we catch up to reality and end our mad rush to burn the planet to the ground.
The changing climate of class struggle
To an ever greater degree and in ways we can’t yet fully appreciate, the unfolding climate disaster is transforming the class struggle and posing massive challenges in the process. In our unions and communities, we need to take stock of these developments, set new goals and develop strategies that reflect the harsh reality that we are now in a struggle for survival.
The Charlebois Shuffle
Like Jordan Peterson in his prime, Sylvain Charlebois will walk back his most outrageous suggestions by claiming he was just asking questions, accusing anyone who inferred otherwise of misinterpreting him. Making bold claims and then backing away from them by feigning neutrality as a dispassionate observer is what I call the “Charlebois Shuffle.”
Ecuador oil drilling referendum a victory for biodiversity
On August 20, 2023, Ecuador held two major referenda, one regional and one national. As Owen Schalk explains, the results of these votes indicate an overwhelming preference for environmental preservation over the expansion of mineral and oil extraction—as well as the nation’s desire to move away from the right-wing, pro-business policies of Guillermo Lasso.
Canadian mining, oilsands companies saw huge revenue increases in 2022
The Canadian Mining Journal, an industry magazine catered to insiders, has released its annual ranking of Canada’s top 40 miners. Describing 2022 as “a remarkable year” for Canada’s largest mining companies, editor Tamer Elboki praised the mining sector for “prov[ing] to be as solid and robust as it could be” in the face of the pandemic and geopolitical instability.
Alpha dog of extractivism pushes status quo
Coups, colonialism, and various forms of political subterfuge are important elements in explaining the unequal terms of global exchange. Reducing global inequities requires economic interventions irrespective of “free-market” ideology or WTO rules. It is unsurprising that Canadian capital is hostile to measures that chip away at inequities they benefit from.
Indigenous resistance challenges Ontario’s ‘mining boom’
A central focus of the Ford government is exploiting the “Ring of Fire” region in the northern James Bay Lowlands, despite the resistance of Indigenous nations there. These nations assert that the provincial government has failed in its consultation duties, and that its drive to exploit the area’s minerals is endangering the region’s peatlands, which act as crucial carbon sinks.
The climate emergency is a crisis of capitalism
I sincerely hope that campaigners are able to make these wildfires into the “critical juncture” we’re all waiting for. But doing so will require taking an approach that makes one thing clear: human social structures exist within complex ecological systems. We can’t solve systemic problems in silos, or with a reductive focus on individual facets of the much bigger, more fearsome, beast.
Confronting the unmitigated disaster of climate change through system change
“System change, not climate change.” It’s amazing how these few words so accurately sum up the challenges that face us when it comes to climate change–the single largest challenge humanity has ever faced. As far as slogans go, it’s not as succinct as “no war” or “freedom now,” but on the other hand it represents how far social movements have come in a few short decades.
Capturing carbon with machines is a failure—so why is it being subsidized?
The science tells us that policymakers and investors have so far been wrong to advocate so strongly for mechanical carbon-dioxide removal (CDR) solutions to the detriment of biological ones. The fate of future generations is at stake, and we cannot afford to waste both time and money on techno-fixes that are ineffective at achieving our climate goals.
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