Articles Environment

  • 20 Essential Books on Marxist Ecology

    Environment

    It’s two years since I published my last Essential Reading list. Since then I’ve received many suggestions for additions, and many new books have been published. It’s time for an update. My selection criteria are subjective: these are books that I have found particularly valuable, that I refer to frequently, and that I often recommend to others. I make no apology for including two of my own books — if I didn’t think people ought to read them, I wouldn’t have written them.

  • Top 5 Reasons the Green New Deal is Workable, Winnable and the Idea We Need Right Now

    Canadian Politics

    We know that investments in renewable energy and efficiency create many more jobs than investments in fossil fuels. 5 times more, per unit of electricity generated, according to one UK study. But that only scratches the surface of the transformation required to cut our emissions at least in half in a decade. When you start thinking about the rest of the low-carbon economy: health care, education, local agriculture, land and water defense, and other forms of care work, the job creation potential is far greater.

  • No Deal without Nature

    Environment

    In both North America and Europe, the discussions around a Green New Deal for a decarbonised world are commendably strong on human rights – in particular pressing the claims of Indigenous peoples and working people – 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.

  • The Cheapest Way to Save the Planet Grows Like a Weed

    Environment

    Hemp historians have been writing about the crop’s myriad uses and its senseless prohibition for decades. What is news is that hemp cultivation is finally legal across the country. The time is short to save the planet and its vanishing diversity of species. Rather than engaging in endless debates over carbon taxes and Silicon Valley style technological fixes, we need to be regenerating our soils, our forests and our oceans with nature’s own plant solutions.

  • Public Banks and a Just and Green Transition

    Economic Crisis

    In a financialized world dominated by a powerful, unaccountable, and self-interested financial class, there will be no just or green transformation without first reclaiming financial capacity in the public, not private, interest. But it would be a grave mistake to assume that resurgent public banks, by virtue of being publicly-owned, will necessarily function in the public interest. Public banks can and do go wrong. For public banks to work in the public interest, they must be made to do so.

  • What Will it Take to Win a Green New Deal?

    Environment

    The Pact calls the GND “a vision of rapid, inclusive and far-reaching transition, to slash emissions, protect critical biodiversity, meet the demands of the multiple crises we face, and create over a million jobs in the process. It would involve the full implementation of the UNDRIP, including the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), dozens of other pieces of legislation, new programs and institutions, and a huge mobilization calling on the creativity and participation of all of us.”

  • Trudeau should cut his losses on the Trans Mountain pipeline

    Canadian Politics

    In 2015, Trudeau made a deal with Alberta. He would get an oil pipeline built to a coast if the province joined his pan-Canadian climate plan. After his election this past April, Conservative Alberta Premier Jason Kenney ripped up Alberta’s side of the bargain and declared war on Trudeau’s climate plan. What should Ottawa do now after being jilted by Alberta? Should the Liberal government proceed with the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to the Vancouver area and lose credibility as a climate warrior?

  • Why a Green New Deal Could Spark a Technological Revolution

    Environment

    The Green New Deal is more than a policy platform. What is perhaps most important are the conversation taking place under this vision about how new forms of social and economic security can enable a green transition. We should reject the idea that asking these questions adds unnecessary baggage to already complex climate policy arenas. Rather, articulating a new vision for a more secure and equal society is needed to create the right political conditions for unlocking the potential of green energy technologies.

  • B.C. Green’s anti-worker biases expose the party’s contradictions on climate change

    Canadian Politics

    Instead of helping provide a basis for worker solidarity and grass roots mobilizations against the economic system that caused climate change, Green Party policies emphasize shallow concepts like “innovative enterprise” and “sustainable business.” The B.C. Greens use those buzzwords to distinguish themselves from other major political parties, but in practice such terms indicate the same thinly veiled pro-employer and pro-market biases as the neoliberal mainstream.

  • A Green New Deal Needs to Fight US Militarism

    Environment

    The war on terror unleashed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack has led to almost two decades of unchecked militarism. We are spending more money on our military than at any time in history. Endless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere are still raging, more wars are threatened against Iran and beyond, costing the US trillions of dollars and creating humanitarian disasters. Treaties to control nuclear arms are unraveling at the same time that conflicts with the major powers of Russia and China are heating up.

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