In The News
► Climate Struggles News/Analysis/Events ◄
- January 10, 2017: Giant iceberg poised to break off from Antarctic shelf
A thread of just 20km of ice is now preventing the 5,000 sq km mass from floating away, following the sudden expansion last month of a rift that has been steadily growing for more than a decade.
- January 9, 2017: Why capitalism is hopelessly devoted to fossil fuels
With Donald Trump in the White House the future for our climate looks bleak, but capitalism's love affair with fossil energy runs much deeper than the desires and personalities of individual politicians.
- January 4, 2017: Low-income families join solar revolution with help of California NGO
If you were to make a list of the poorest areas in Los Angeles, somewhere on that list would be Bertha Dortch's neighbourhood in Inglewood.
- January 2, 2017: Does Justin Trudeau have a dam and transmission line agenda?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to be backing both the controversial Site C dam and a 1,000-kilometre hydro transmission line that would extend from it.
- January 1, 2017: Unions and Climate Change
How do we build a trade union movement that promotes solutions to the climate crisis and responds to the attacks on workers' rights and protections? The ecological and social implications of climate change have - or should - become a central parameter for all discussions of work and capitalism. The unrelenting build-up of greenhouse gases has led to the jarring conclusion, drawn by climatologists, ecological militants and union activists, that an exit from reliance on fossil fuels for energy needs to occur with some urgency.
- December 30, 2016: Arrested Development
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had barely finished delivering his statement approving the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines, and rejecting Northern Gateway on Nov. 29 when anti-pipeline activists erupted on Twitter.
- December 28, 2016: Fight to Stop Oil Spoiling BC's Coast Is 50 Years Old
'No intelligent person can doubt that if the present misuse of so-called fossil fuels and assorted broad spectrum poisons' continues, a whole range of irreversible ecological changes will undo the natural world.
- December 28, 2016: In Michigan, Anti-Pipeline Activists Aim to Save Their Great Lakes
Nine hundred miles east of Standing Rock, North Dakota, another clean-water movement fights a battle against a pipeline that has run through the waters of the Great Lakes for 63 years.
- December 27, 2016: What's Missing in Media Coverage of Canada's Pipeline Debate
If you read any commentary in the wake of Trudeau's pipeline approvals, you might have come across the sentiment that pipeline opponents are 'environmental NIMBYs' and 'angry mobs' who are 'stuck in bondage to strange ideologies... eyes ablaze with truth oil,' having 'demolished trust in agencies.'
- December 22, 2016: Scientists just found 15 ways Alberta's oilsands sector can alter oceans
When Stephanie Green and a team of seven other scientists first began their latest research study more than two years ago in Vancouver, she said they were driven by curiosity. Green, a Canadian, is a Banting post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University in California. She specializes in marine ecology and conservation science.
- December 21, 2016: Site C Dam shows how broken our democracy is
This week I said I would talk about Site C but little did I know what I had taken on. I spent nearly a day and a half with stuff that wouldn't likely be in the article but knew I needed to read.
- December 20, 2016: Scientists confirm that warm ocean water is melting the biggest glacier in East Antarctica
Scientists at institutions in the United States and Australia on Friday published a set of unprecedented ocean observations near the largest glacier of the largest ice sheet in the world: Totten glacier, East Antarctica. And the result was a troubling confirmation of what scientists already feared -- Totten is melting from below.
- December 18, 2016: The Rise and Fall of Cheap Nature
Finance. Climate. Food. Work. How are the crises of the twenty-first century connected? In Capitalism in the Web of Life, Jason W. Moore argues that the sources of today's global turbulence have a common cause: capitalism as a way of organizing nature, including human nature. Recorded in Toronto, 13 December 2016.
- December 13, 2016: North Dakota's Oil Spill Record: 85 Pipeline Accidents in 20 Years
Environmentalists who oppose the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline have a message for the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the incoming Trump administration: When it comes to pumping oil across North Dakota, past is prologue, and that’s bad news for human health and the environment.
- December 11, 2016: Toward Energy Democracy
How are people across the world taking back power over the energy sector, kicking-back against the rule of the market and reimagining how energy might be produced, distributed and used? How can the concept of energy democracy be deployed to demand a socially just energy system, with universal access, fair prices and secure, unionized and well-paid jobs?
- December 11, 2016: Principles of Energy Democracy
Fair pay and green jobs creation; Public and social ownership; Renewable, sustainable and local energy; Universal access and Social Justice.
- December 11, 2016: Energy democracy in UK and Spain: from ideas to practice
Four years ago, at the 2012 Climate Camp in Lusatia (Lausitz), the German climate justice movement agreed upon a definition of energy democracy, marking a pivotal moment in the development of this new political imaginary.
- December 10, 2016: We did it again! November is hottest on record
Last month was easily the hottest November on record globally, according to satellite data sets. In fact, satellite data, ground-based weather stations, sea-based buoys, and even weather balloons all reveal a steady long-term warming trend.
- December 8, 2016: Canada's clean growth century
The strongest economies of the world over the next century will be those that find cleaner ways to generate, store and use energy.
- December 8, 2016: Ready for Canada's 'Clean Growth Century'
With Canada’s 150th birthday fast approaching, the Canadian Labour Congress is joining with business, faith, community and environmental groups to articulate a vision for a “Clean Growth Century” for our country.
- December 7, 2016: Presentation to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project Ministerial Panel
On June 30, 2016 the Government of Canada announced how the Ministerial Panel established by Natural Resources Minister Carr planned to gather Canadians’ views on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
- December 7, 2016, Bullet No. #1337: Workers’ Climate Plan Four-Week Report, Iron and Earth
Sometimes in this vast and complicated world, it's easy to feel a bit lost and hopeless. It can be hard to see progress or positives in the face of so much struggle. But I find if I focus things inward and think about the community with which I work to put renewable energy on the map, my mood changes. Drastically.
- December 6, 2016: Economist warns insufficient oil demand hinders Trans Mountain pipeline
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed high hopes for the newly-approved Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline this week. But Jeff Rubin has been crunching the numbers and according to him, the promised economic benefits of the pipeline don't add up.
- December 5, 2016: Build a dozen pipelines, Alberta. It won't help.
“I won’t let up,” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told delegates to the NDP’s national convention last week. “We must get to ‘yes’ on a pipeline.” She repeated that message Saturday, asking the convention to support “pipelines to tidewater that allow us to diversify our markets.”
- December 1, 2016: The centre-left's narrative on climate change has convinced no one
The election of Donald Trump reflects the unraveling of the centre-left across the West, and with it a fragile consensus on climate change. For two decades parties of the centre-left have created narratives about climate change that they do not really believe.
- December 1, 2016, Bullet No. #1335: Global Climate Justice Movements Refuse to Be Overshadowed by Election of Climate Change Denier
We the undersigned organizations, networks, and movements gathered in Marrakech at COP22 issue the following collective statement in support of communities and movements around the world in response to Donald Trump becoming President-Elect of the United States of America and its potentially devastating implications for the cause of climate justice.
- November 30, 2016: The End of the Paris Prophecy
Following an initial period of shock and horror, experts, stakeholders, observers, and journalists linked to the international climate process have energetically downplayed the consequences for the Paris Agreement of Donald Trump’s election victory.
- November 30, 2016: Kinder Morgan: The fight starts now!, Brad Hornick
At the thousands-strong demonstration against Kinder Morgan earlier this month in Vancouver, I lounged in a sailboat in False Creek with kayaktivists swarming around me, looking up under the Cambie Bridge at a very large homemade 'NO KINDER MORGAN' banner that my friends had stitched in fishnet. As I watched the horizon, hordes of righteous, beaming souls started a police-escorted procession and then moved across the bridge and into downtown. The demo ended with spectacular speeches by a range of First Nations displaying a singular commitment to defeat Kinder Morgan's plan to massively expand its Trans Mountain Pipeline, which runs from Alberta to Burnaby, BC.
- November 30, 2016: Trudeau's carbon tsunami by the numbers
Prime Minister Trudeau's climate policies are being swamped by his simultaneous push for massive expansions in climate pollution. The numbers speak for themselves. Here they are along with a chart to put them all into context.
- November 30, 2016: Cooling the Planet: Frontline Communities lead the struggle
Small-scale food producers and consumers, including peasants, indigenous peoples, hunters and gatherers, family farmers, rural workers, herders and pastoralists, fisherfolk and urban people – the frontline communities – are increasingly confronted by the grabbing of natural resources and systematic violations of human rights. Already pushed to the fringe, frontline communities additionally face the increasingly frequent natural disasters and impacts of climate destruction that are caused by the climate change – and the inability of governments to agree to real solutions.
- November 28, 2016: CAPP's bad math explained
Canada’s oily fossil fuel lobby group the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has been trying for years to convince Canadians that we are out of pipeline capacity. They have been repeatedly crying wolf, arguing wrongly every year since 2012 that we would run out of space in the pipeline system within a year. Just last June they once again put out a press release saying Canada would run out of pipeline space this year. Their math just doesn’t add up.
- November 28, 2016: Arctic ice melt could trigger uncontrollable climate change at global level
Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 “tipping points” in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe.
- November 27, 2016: Climate Change and the Struggle Against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline
Thousands have been pouring onto Vancouver streets, as well as protesting across Canada, against the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been attempting to square the impossible – expanding oil sands production and building pipelines while addressing climate change. The Liberal governments of BC and Canada have ignored theses issues, as well as wider questions about First Nations consultations and sovereignty claims, already in the cases of the PacificNorthwest LNG, Woodfibre LNG and the Site C Dam in BC.
- November 26, 2016: Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on 'politicized science'
Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said. Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.
- November 23, 2016: Gregor Robertson warns of Trans Mountain protests 'like you've never seen before'
With growing signs the federal government may support an expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says public opposition to the project could soon boil over. "The temperature is already very hot on this," Robertson told CBC's Chris Hall on The House. "I think you'll see protests like you've never seen before on this one."
- November 22, 2016: Trudeau says pipelines will pay for Canada's transition to a green economy
Steadfast in his commitment to getting Canadian oil to market, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said putting pipelines in the ground will help pay for the country's transition to a greener future.
- November 22, 2016: Greenprint for Greater Toronto, John Cartwright
Only months after he spoke, metaphorically, of the need to build a bridge to avoid disaster, Smith, an Alberta oil sands worker and local union president, was evacuating his own family from the epic fire in Fort McMurray. He has no doubt: climate change is real, and its impact on working people will be immense. Here in Toronto, we have no doubt, either. Since 1871, our labour movement has fought for justice for working people in the Toronto region.
- November 22, 2016: Groundbreaking Study Shows Direct Link Between Fracking and Earthquakes
Geoscientists have revealed a direct link between hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and earthquakes in Canada. The groundbreaking study found that earthquakes can even occur intermittently over several months after drilling operations end.
- November 20, 2016: The North Pole is an insane 36 degrees warmer than normal as winter descends
Political people in the United States are watching the chaos in Washington in the moment. But some people in the science community are watching the chaos somewhere else — the Arctic.
- November 20, 2016: Thousands expected to protest Kinder Morgan pipeline in Vancouver as decision looms
Another protest will take place on the west coast to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline as the federal government is set to make a decision in a matter of weeks. The march starts at noon in downtown Vancouver.
- November 17, 2016: Canada gives $3.3bn subsidies to fossil fuel producers despite climate pledge
Canada’s attempt to act on climate change is being undermined by $3.3bn in government subsidies flowing to oil and gas producers in the country a year, a new report has warned.
- November 16, 2016: Trudeau Clears Path for Canada to Approve Kinder Morgan Pipeline
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has set the table for Canada to approve Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by announcing environmental measures aimed at placating opposition to the project.
- November 15, 2016: As Trump Heads to Washington, Global Warming Nears Tipping Point
Global temperatures continue to shatter records this year, rising to within less than one degree of the level that scientists say would be catastrophic, according to the United Nations. During the first nine months of the year, temperatures were 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.16 degrees Fahrenheit) above those recorded at the end of the 1800s, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization said in a report Monday.
- November 10, 2016: UNEP: Paris agreement could fail to prevent global warming
Projected emissions for 2030 would increase the global temperature around 3 degrees Celsius this century - even if the Paris agreement is fully implemented, the UNEP's 2016 Emissions Gap Report warns.
- November 8, 2016: Six Nations protests in solidarity with Standing Rock at Brantford mall
Brantford's Lynden Park Mall was filled with dancing and drumming on Friday evening as people from Six Nations participated in a "flash mob" in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Nation's fight against the construction of a contentious oil pipeline in North Dakota.
- November 8, 2016: How Trans Mountain Pipeline Delivers Max Profits to U.S. Investors By Avoiding Paying Canadian Taxes
Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based multinational that owns and operates the Trans Mountain Pipeline System, claims Trans Mountain is a significant contributor to federal and provincial income tax revenues. The company is relying on this as proof it deserves public licence to triple its pipeline capacity in Western Canada.
- November 7, 2016: Take into account captured carbon's use and Saskatchewan coal plant just as dirty as others, critic
SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3 carbon capture and storage project is the world’s most ambitious application of the technology. And it’s supposed to make the coal-fired plant the cleanest in the world.
- November 7, 2016: 'Real climate leaders don't build pipelines,' say protesters occupying MP's office
A dozen people occupied the Winnipeg constituency office of Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr on Thursday. Protesters held signs and chanted their message in hopes to gain the minister's attention. "Hey Jim Carr, it's your mandate. You can do it, for the climate," they sang.
- November 6, 2016: North Dakota had 292 oil spills in 2 years-officials disclosed 1 to the public
From January 2012 – September 2013, these pipeline spills were just a part of approximately 750 “oil field incidents” that took place in the state without the public’s knowledge, according to a report by The Associated Press. It’s estimated that around 4,328 barrels worth of oil were spilled in this period.
- November 3, 2016: Alberta oil workers want retraining for renewable energy jobs
A climate plan released Tuesday by Iron & Earth, an organization started last year by oil industry tradespeople, calls for short-term training and expanded apprenticeships, as well as retooling existing facilities to increase Canada’s renewable energy manufacturing.
- October 31, 2016: The British Columbia Carbon Tax: A Failed Experiment in Market-Based Solutions to Climate Change
Our planet’s climate crisis is intensifying, but many in industry, government and even the advocacy community have turned to market mechanisms to alleviate climate change instead of regulating the pollutants that cause it. These free-market approaches rely on putting a “price” on climate change-inducing emissions — such as imposing taxes on carbon — as an indirect method to reduce these pollutants.
- October 31, 2016: Off the Wall: Saskatchewan Premier's Bizarre, Contradictory Climate Plan
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has repeatedly argued that putting a price on carbon would be bad for the economy — but experts say Wall’s own climate change strategy will end up costing the province more per tonne than the federal government’s plan, while failing to be nearly as fair or effective as a carbon tax.
- October 28, 2016: Resettling China's 'Ecological Migrants'
Ankle-deep sand blocked the door of their new home. Pushing bicycles through the yard was like wading in a bog. The “lake” part of Miaomiao Lake Village turned out to be nothing but a tiny oasis more than a mile from the cookie-cutter rows of small concrete-block houses.
- October 27, 2016: Climate Emergency: Global Insurgency
The Lilliputian defenders of the earth’s climate have been winning some unlikely battles lately. The Standing Rock Sioux, supported by nearly two hundred Native American tribes and a lot of other people around the globe, have put a halt, at least for now, to completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- October 27, 2016: Pennsylvania Pipelines Bursts, Leaks 55,000 Gallons Of Gas Into One Of US' Most Endangered Rivers
A pipeline owned by the same company behind Dakota Access leaked 55,000 gallons of gasoline into a major river, endangering the drinking water of six million people.
- October 27, 2016: The Nature of Capitalism
Climate change is already here and it is dreadful, as a slew of correlated severe droughts, wildfires, floods, cyclones, and invading species can attest. Yet carbon emissions have to peak in four years and thereafter quickly decline to nil by 2040 if there is to be any chance of containing the catastrophe to a mere two degrees of warming.
- October 25, 2016: Arrested students to Trudeau: approve pipelines, lose the youth vote
We talked about standing in solidarity with Indigenous peoples, like the Tsleil-Waututh Nation who have been fighting on the frontlines against Kinder Morgan since day one. We talked about how being in our early twenties, we’ve never lived through a month of below average temperatures.
- October 24, 2016: On Melting Ice: Inuit Struggle Against Oil and Gas in the Arctic, Chris Williams
The Inuit in the Canadian Arctic are engaged in a centuries-old fight to retain their culture and reestablish self-determination and genuine sovereignty. In particular, Inuit in the autonomous territory of Nunavut are resisting what American Indian studies scholar Daniel R. Wildcat has described as a 'fourth removal attempt' of Indigenous people, coming on the heels of failed efforts at spatial, social and psycho-cultural deletion.
- October 21, 2016: The Standing Rock Split
The leadership of the AFL-CIO seems determined to meet the indigenous rebellion at Standing Rock with the most parochial view of trade unionism it can muster.
- October 20, 2016: World's Largest Solar Project Would Generate Electricity 24 Hours a Day, Power 1 Million U.S. Homes
The race to build the world's largest solar power plant is heating up. California-based energy company SolarReserve announced plans for a massive concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Nevada that claims to be the largest of its kind once built.
- October 18, 2016: The Carbon Tax Is Doomed, Matt Huber
Climate change is often chalked up to 'market failure.' We’re told that, despite prevailing assumptions that prices accurately transmit 'signals' about the costs of goods and services, emitters like power plants, refineries, automobiles, and households simply do not pay the full ecological costs of their emissions. Hence, the market has failed.
- October 13, 2016: A reality check on a national carbon price
After years of waffling, Canada is finally moving forward on climate action, including the thorny issue of putting a price on carbon. Last December, Canada helped usher in the Paris Agreement, a new international framework to reduce the carbon pollution that is warming the planet.
- October 12, 2016: How to Stop Capitalism’s Deadly War With Nature, Paul Street
Earth scientists now know that the history of our planet has been set for some time in our current geological age, the Anthropocene. According to leading experts Will Steffen, Paul Crutzen and John McNeill, in this era, 'human activities have become so pervasive and profound that they rival the great forces of Nature and are pushing the earth into planetary terra incognita.
- October 11, 2016: World needs $90tn infrastructure overhaul to avoid climate disaster, study finds
A gigantic overhaul of the world’s buildings, public transport and energy infrastructure costing trillions of dollars is required if dangerous climate change is to be avoided, according to a major new report.
- October 11, 2016: Recalculating the Climate Math
The future of humanity depends on math. And the numbers in a new study released Thursday are the most ominous yet. Those numbers spell out, in simple arithmetic, how much of the fossil fuel in the world’s existing coal mines and oil wells we can burn if we want to prevent global warming from cooking the planet.
- October 11, 2016: Will the U.S. align fossil fuel production with climate goals?
With 75 Parties now on board, including the USA, China, India and the European Union, the Paris Agreement is set to enter into force on 4 November. This commits countries to fulfilling the pledges they put forward last year – their “nationally determined contributions” to tackling climate change.
- October 11, 2016: As Tribes Fight Pipeline, Internal AFL-CIO Letter Exposes 'Very Real Split', Jon Queally
The AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor federation, generated waves of criticism by standing against the Standing Rock Sioux and supportive allies last week when it endorsed the Dakota Access Pipeline – a project opponents say threatens tribal sovereignty, regional water resources, and sacred burial grounds while also undermining efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.
- October 9, 2016: Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate but US Still Toys With Skepticism
Every month, after I finish writing this climate dispatch, I think that this is the most dire, intense, mind-bending, heartbreaking dispatch I have written to date. And every month, for the more than two years that I've been writing them, I am correct.
- October 9, 2016: No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously
One of the morbidly fascinating aspects of climate change is how much cognitive dissonance it generates, in individuals and nations alike.
- October 8, 2016: Most people alive today set to witness dangerous global warming in their lifetime, scientists warn
The world could hit two degrees Celsius of warming – the point at which many scientists believe climate change will become dangerous – as early as 2050, a group of leading experts has warned. In a report called The Truth About Climate Change, they said many people seemed to think of global warming as “abstract, distant and even controversial”. But the planet is now heating up “much faster” than anticipated, said Professor Sir Robert Watson, a former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and one of the authors of the report.
- October 8, 2016: The World War to Save Livable Ecology
One of many disturbing moments in the first “presidential” “debate” between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump one week ago at Hofstra University came when the latter contender proclaimed dismissively that nuclear war, “not climate change,” posed the greatest threat to humanity today.
- October 7, 2016: Trudeau can't charm his way around the mathematics of climate change
For those of us Americans seeing him up close last week, Justin Trudeau was everything other world leaders aren’t. He has a tattoo! He takes his shirt off, like, constantly! He smiles! Just for giggles, I Googled “Justin Trudeau” and “swoon.”
- October 7, 2016: Of Literature and Fossil Fuels
Earlier this year, acclaimed Bollywood actor Salman Khan was acquitted by the Rajasthan High Court in an 18-year case regarding the actor’s poaching of wild chinkaras, a species of Indian antelope.
- October 2, 2016: The Climate Justice Moment: A Movement of Movements
From the People’s Climate March to COP 21, there has been a recent groundswell of attention around our planet’s need to come together around climate justice. How have different movements converged to support and push left the climate justice movement?
- October 1, 2016: The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently
In the centuries to come, history books will likely look back on September 2016 as a major milestone for the world’s climate. At a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide is usually at its minimum, the monthly value failed to drop below 400 parts per million.
- September 29, 2016: The New, New Climate Math: 17 Years to Get Off Fossil Fuels, Or Else
Though it may not have seemed possible, climate catastrophe is even closer than previously thought, with new figures released Thursday finding that—when the wells already drilled, pits dug, and pipelines built, are taken under consideration—we are well on our way to going beyond 2C of warming.
- September 27, 2016: One pipeline is too many: It's time for a united east-west opposition
The activist offensive against Energy East has quickly become the most successful climate campaign in the country. The coordinated and creative activism happening in Manitoba, Ontario, the Maritimes, and especially Quebec is blowing the rest of the country’s (and the world’s) mind, and providing TransCanada and the corrupt National Energy Board with a formidable opponent.
- September 25, 2016: The New Climate Denialism: Time for an intervention
For decades, the urgent need for climate action was stymied by what came to be known as “climate denialism” (or its more mild cousin, “climate skepticism”). In an effort to create public confusion and stall political progress, the fossil fuel industry poured tens of millions of dollars into the pockets of foundations, think tanks, lobby groups, politicians and academics who relentlessly questioned the overwhelming scientific evidence that human-caused climate change is real and requires urgent action.
- September 24, 2016: Entering the age of humans, Ian Angus
Anthropocene is the proposed name for the present stage of Earth history: a time in which human activity is transforming the entire planet in unprecedented and dangerous ways. Scientists divide Earth’s 4.5 billion year history into time intervals that correspond to major changes in the conditions and forms of life on Earth.
- September 24, 2016: Socialism and Democracy: The Energy Transition
This year, New Scientist reports, will emulate the last (2015) by becoming the warmest yet recorded. This fact adds to an increasingly familiar list of dangerous thresholds that we are burning through.
- September 24, 2016: Ears on the earth: Taking the next leap
The final day covering the World Social Forum, we are topping our week off with coverage of climate change and the environment. This episode focuses on a conference titled 'The Leap Manifesto: A Conversation.' The panel included Ellen Gabriel, Maude Barlow, Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis, Bianca Mugyenyi, and Mike Palacek, who discussed an intersectional approach to climate change.
- September 22, 2016: The Climate Movement Needs to Get Radical, but What Does that Mean?
It’s been over a year since Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate was published to generally favorable, and sometimes ecstatic, reviews. Why write about it at this late date?
- September 21, 2016: Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert
Beef’s environmental impact dwarfs that of other meat including chicken and pork, new research reveals, with one expert saying that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars.
- September 13, 2016: Feds Appoint Chair of B.C. Industry Group to Panel Reviewing Environmental Assessment Process
Resource Works claims to promote balanced conversations about B.C.’s resource development, but the group takes a consistently pro-industry position on, well, basically everything: mining, LNG development, new pipelines, climate legislation, carbon taxes, raw log exports, environmental opposition, the Site C dam, oil tankers and the National Energy Board.
- September 12, 2016: Facing Left
Facing the Anthropocene hits nails on their heads over and over again. It should transform the relationship between leftist ecological thought and Earth System science. It’s easy to praise it here, because Angus’s analysis is in many ways very similar to my own in The Birth of the Anthropocene. There are some differences too, and it’s good to have a chance to clarify my own stance by contrasting it with his. But the connections are so substantial that I’m going to spend at least couple of posts on working through the powerful contribution that Facing the Anthropocene makes.
- September 11, 2016: Canada's ‘dirty oil’ climate change dilemma, Tama Muru
When Hanna Fridhed welcomed us into her home in Fort McMurray last month, there was no door to walk through and no windows to look out of, just the charred remains of a house obliterated by fire. The culprit? The Beast – the name given to the massive wildfire that swept through northern Alberta in Canada in May, destroying parts of Fort McMurray and forcing the evacuation of its roughly 90,000 residents.
- September 9, 2016: The Summer of Consultations: Ottawa and the Theatre of Listening, Alex Tétreault
Last spring, the Premiers of the country met in Vancouver. The meeting led to the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change. This meeting was the follow-up to the government committing to 1.5 degrees’ maximum of global warming in Paris, last fall.
- September 7, 2016: Canada Will 'Wildly Miss' Its Greenhouse Gas Targets, Justin Ling
If Canada wants to get even close to the targets it signed on to this week at the United Nations, it's going to have to do a lot more. And Canadians are going to feel the pinch. That's according to a new report that says that Canada's greenhouse gas emissions are expected to stay flat over the next 15 years. The report was released just a day before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed a document at the UN, committing to a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
- September 7, 2016: Just 90 companies are to blame for most climate change, this 'carbon accountant' says, Douglas Starr
Last month, geographer Richard Heede received a subpoena from Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Smith, a climate change doubter, became concerned when the attorneys general of several states launched investigations into whether ExxonMobil had committed fraud by sowing doubts about climate change even as its own scientists knew it was taking place.
- September 2, 2016: The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age
Humanity’s impact on the Earth is now so profound that a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – needs to be declared, according to an official expert group who presented the recommendation to the International Geological Congress in Cape Town on Monday.
- September 1, 2016: U.S. Approves Fracking California's Santa Barbara Channel
Claiming that fracking poses “no significant impact” to the environment, Obama administration officials on May 27 finalized their plans to allow oil companies to resume offshore fracking and acidizing in California’s Santa Barbara Channel.
- August 31, 2016, Bullet No. #1298: Standing Up At Standing Rock, Brian Ward
Some 1,000 Native American activists from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and across the country faced off against police and security forces protecting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline project. Dozens of people have been arrested and assaulted by police while attempting to stop the project, and many more continue to risk arrest to protest the pipeline. The Dakota Access pipeline, which is being built by Energy Transfer Partners, is planned to stretch 1,172 miles from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa, before ending in Illinois.
- August 30, 2016: Biofuels increase, rather than decrease, heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions
Contrary to popular belief, the heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas emitted when biofuels are burned is not fully balanced by the CO2 uptake that occurs as the plants grow, according to a study by research professor John DeCicco and co-authors at the U-M Energy Institute.
- August 29, 2016: Suburban sprawl and poor preparation worsened flood damage in Louisiana
This month’s extraordinary flooding in southeast Louisiana damaged some 40,000 homes, prompting more than 70,000 people to sign up for FEMA assistance.
- August 29, 2016: Montreal mayor, PQ leader call for emergency suspension of Energy East hearings
In a press conference at city hall late this afternoon, Montreal mayor Denis Coderre dropped a bombshell. He called for the suspension of National Energy Board hearings on TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project, set to start on Monday in Montreal.
- August 29, 2016: Next year or the year after, the Arctic will be free of ice
Scientist Peter Wadhams believes the summer ice cover at the north pole is about to disappear, triggering even more rapid global warming.
- August 27, 2016: BC's 'New' Climate Plan Scales Olympian Heights of Political Cynicism
In 30 years of evaluating government climate plans, I have learned to classify them into three categories: somewhat effective, naively ineffective and cynically ineffective. BC’s new climate plan fits perfectly into one of these categories. Can you guess which?
- August 27, 2016: Environment minister defends Alberta's oil sands 'gas' cap
Alberta's Environment Minister Shannon Phillips has defended plans to allow the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the province's oil sands operations to be increased. Oil sands operations produce about 70 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year but the cap will be set at 100 megatonnes.
- August 26, 2016: Climate leadership or climate corporatocracy?
Last Friday afternoon, in a remote warehouse in Richmond, Premier Christy Clark delivered the long-overdue B.C. Climate Leadership Plan. She was flanked by people in white coats and an electric car, which she plugged in with the help of Minister of Environment, Mary Polak.
- August 26, 2016: Germany: Renewable gains, won by people's power, face corporate threat
In 2000, renewable energy made up just 6.3 per cent of Germany's electricity. By last year, it had risen to 31 per cent. Cloudy Germany became a leading innovator in solar energy. It did so not by subsidising large power utility companies, but by mobilising hundreds of thousands into energy cooperatives.
- August 25, 2016: Early Warning Signs for James Hansen's Superstorms Visible
Extreme weather. It’s something that’s tough to predict 2 weeks out, much less 2 decades. But for more than twenty years Dr James Hansen has been warning that the out-flush of cold water from glaciers in Greenland and Canada into the North Atlantic could set up a storm-producing weather pattern the likes of which human civilization has never seen.
- August 25, 2016: The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here
Historians may look to 2015 as the year when shit really started hitting the fan. Some snapshots: In just the past few months, record-setting heat waves in Pakistan and India each killed more than 1,000 people.
- August 22, 2016: Corporations Call for 'Net Zero' Emissions: Do They Know How to Get There?
In the months leading to the December 2015 Paris Climate Conference, representatives of global institutional investors and multinational corporations made headlines after they demanded that world leaders adopt radical emissions reduction targets, among them “net zero” emissions by 2050.
- August 22, 2016: Bracing Ourselves for the Climate Tipping Point
On Monday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration released its updated global temperature data for July, and a stunning record was broken: For as long as we’ve been keeping track (since 1880), and likely since long before, there has never been another month as warm as the one just past.
- August 21, 2016: New Documentary Exposes Enbridge Line 5
A compelling new documentary was released today that scrutinizes the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac. It is a must-watch for anyone concerned about keeping oil out of the Great Lakes.
- August 20, 2016: Ecology and the Labour Movement
A talk given by Raymond Williams at the Plinston Hall, Letchworth
2nd June 1984. Organized by the Socialist Environment and Resources Association.
- August 19, 2016: New revelations on earthquake dangers from fracking in B.C. should spark debate
Until very recently, the link between fracking and earthquakes was considered unproven. But today it was revealed that years ago BC Hydro and the commission in charge of regulating B.C.’s oil and gas industry were already discussing the danger of fracking-induced seismic activity near major hydroelectric projects in the province’s northeast.
- August 18, 2016: Clean energy won't save us - only a new economic system can
Earlier this year media outlets around the world announced that February had broken global temperature records by a shocking amount. March broke all the records too.
- August 18, 2016: Tackling Climate Change Equitably
This year’s Democratic platform has the fingerprints of progressive movements all over it. A $15 minimum wage, a pathway to cannabis legalization, improvements to Social Security, police accountability, and financial reforms — including a tax on speculation — all make an appearance.
- August 18, 2016: Climate Change is Here and Now, Dire NOAA Report Warns
Environmental records of all kinds are being shattered as climate change takes effect in real time, scientists warned on Tuesday.
- August 17, 2016: On 'heterodox' macroeconomics
Noah Smith has a new post on the failure of mainstream macroeconomics and what he perceives as the lack of ‘heterodox’ alternatives. Noah is correct about the failure of mainstream macroeconomics, particularly the dominant DSGE modelling approach.
- August 17, 2016: National Energy Board's credibility as an independent agency at stake
In the dying days of his government, Stephen Harper went to considerable lengths to ensure that the National Energy Board panel tasked with vetting the controversial Energy East pipeline be made up of commissioners hand-picked by the Conservatives -- regardless of the election outcome.
- August 17, 2016: Trudeau's new pipeline process: worse than National Energy Board?
First Nations leaders left in the dark. The public, once again, denied the chance to speak. Add to that a clear conflict of interest at the heart of the panel chosen to review Kinder Morgan’s pipeline proposal and you have a recipe for yet more lawsuits and squandered public trust.
- August 17, 2016: Leading the Public Into Emergency Mode: A New Strategy For the Climate Movement, Margaret Klein Salamon
Imagine there is a fire in your house. What do you do? What do you think about? You do whatever you can to try to put out the fire or exit the house. You make a plan about how you can put out the fire, or how you can best exit the house. Your senses are heightened, you are focused like a laser, and you put your entire self into your actions. You enter emergency mode.
- August 16, 2016: An epic Middle East heat wave could be global warming's hellish curtain-raiser
Record-shattering temperatures this summer have scorched countries from Morocco to Saudi Arabia and beyond, as climate experts warn that the severe weather could be a harbinger of worse to come.
- August 16, 2016: Kinder Morgan expansion 'idiotic' and 'insane,' residents tell federal pipeline panel
It was July 24, 2007, when a backhoe ruptured the decades-old pipeline carrying crude from the oilsands to a nearby marine terminal. Black sludge flew 40 feet in the air for at least 25 minutes, while Kinder Morgan, a Texas-based oil giant, mobilized a spill response.
- August 16, 2016: Climate Change: Capitalism is the culprit
Fossil Capital, which is the Swedish Marxist Andreas Malm’s first book in English, is a wide-ranging explanation of the manner in which capitalism tends toward climate crisis in the present era.
- August 15, 2016: How to Socialize America's Energy
To hear Lyndon Rive tell it, there is a war brewing between the private-sector innovators building the clean energy economy and the utility bureaucrats standing in its way. Rive is the cofounder and CEO of SolarCity, one of the country’s largest solar providers.
- August 14, 2016: Oppose the Energy East Pipeline
TransCanada’s Energy East project is the largest tar sands pipeline proposed yet. Stretching from Alberta to New Brunswick, Energy East could carry over 1 million barrels per day of tar sands crude to the Atlantic coast. Despite TransCanada’s promises that Energy East is for domestic gain, they are making plans to export the vast majority and leave us to bear the real costs of climate change, spills and clean-up.
- August 10, 2016: Worse Than KeystoneXL? TransCanada's Terrifying 'Plan B', Deirdre Fulton
The pipeline giant TransCanada, stymied in its attempt to drive Keystone XL through America's heartland, is facing renewed opposition to its 'new and equally misguided proposal' to build the Energy East pipeline across Canada and ship tar sands oil via tankers along the U.S. East Coast to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
- August 9, 2016: One Million Climate Jobs: A Challenge for Canadians
The Canadian Labour Congress has recently adopted its COP21 Statement, emphasizing that climate change is already affecting production and consumption patterns in many sectors of our economy. The warnings by the IPCC that the current pace of emissions is already consuming the entire global carbon budget is a clear indication that market forces on their own are not in a position to provide the kind of transition that will prevent catastrophic climate change.
- August 6, 2016: Climate Change is Here and Now, Dire NOAA Report Warns
Environmental records of all kinds are being shattered as climate change takes effect in real time, scientists warned on Tuesday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) released its annual State of the Climate report with the dire warning that 2015 was the hottest year on record since at least the mid-to-late 19th century.
- August 5, 2016: The climate crisis is already here - but no one's telling us
What is salient is not important. What is important is not salient. The media turns us away from the issues that will determine the course of our lives, and towards topics of brain-melting irrelevance.
- August 5, 2016: The Leap Manifesto hits home, Denise Leduc
After I became a parent in the early 1990s, I soon became concerned about the environment. I read extensively on the topic, made shifts in my lifestyle choices and aspired to one day be like Scott and Helen Nearing, the 1930s pioneers who advocated simple living for the health of people and nature. For me, concern over the environment is not a fad.
- August 4, 2016: We're out of time on climate change. And Hillary Clinton helped get us here
There aren’t a lot of certainties left in the US presidential race, but here’s one thing about which we can be absolutely sure: the Clinton camp really doesn’t like talking about fossil-fuel money.
- August 4, 2016: Planning for Disaster
Scandinavian design is going to war with climate change in New York City, but the battle hasn’t yet left Manhattan. Sometime next year NYC will break ground along the East River for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, a 2.3 mile, $335-million flood barrier that doubles as a park.
- August 2, 2016: Worse Than Keystone XL? TransCanada's Terrifying 'Plan B'
The pipeline giant TransCanada, stymied in its attempt to drive Keystone XL through America's heartland, is facing renewed opposition to its "new and equally misguided proposal" to build the Energy East pipeline across Canada and ship tar sands oil via tankers along the U.S. East Coast to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
- July 31, 2016: Global Analysis - Temperature Anomalies
Temperature anomalies and percentiles are shown on the gridded maps below. The anomaly map on the left is a product of a merged land surface temperature (Global Historical Climatology Network, GHCN) and sea surface temperature (ERSST.v4) anomaly analysis as described in Huang et al. (2016).
- July 31, 2016: Capitalism in the Web of Life, Kamran Nayeri
Jason W. Moore’s Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital (2015) offers a new perspective on capitalism and its current systemic crisis by developing an ecologically centered theory of capital accumulation. This essay first presents a concise account of Moore’s theory.
- July 29, 2016: Hottest ever June marks 14th month of record-breaking temperatures
As the string of record-breaking global temperatures continues unabated, June 2016 marks the 14th consecutive month of record-breaking heat. According to two U.S. agencies – Nasa and Noaa – June 2016 was 0.9C hotter than the average for the 20th century, and the hottest June in the record which goes back to 1880. It broke the previous record, set in 2015, by 0.02C.
- July 28, 2016: Global Warming Happening Faster Than Predicted
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported the first six months of this year have seen all previous global warming records broken.The WMO said 2016 is on track to be the world’s hottest year on record with more heat on the way.
- July 28, 2016: No More Pipelines, Daniel Cayley-Daoust
On Thursday July 21st, a Husky Energy owned pipeline spilled between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of heavy oil mixed with diluents in the North Saskatchewan River near Lloydminster and Maidstone, Saskatchewan. An official from the petroleum and natural gas branch of the province’s economy ministry said that the pipeline was built in 1997 and was carrying heavy oil.
- July 24, 2016: Highest ever annual rise in carbon dioxide levels recorded
It is not just temperature records that are falling. The average carbon dioxide level recorded at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, during February 2016 was 404.02 parts per million – 3.76 ppm higher than the average for February 2015, according to preliminary figures.
- July 20, 2016: Clean energy won't save us - only a new economic system can
Earlier this year media outlets around the world announced that February had broken global temperature records by a shocking amount. March broke all the records, too. In June our screens were covered with surreal images of Paris flooding, the Seine bursting its banks and flowing into the streets. In London, the floods sent water pouring into the tube system right in the heart of Covent Garden. Roads in south-east London became rivers two metres deep.
- July 18, 2016: The Future of Iron and Earth in Saskatchewan
Just as Canada was signing the Paris Climate Treaty this spring, the LEAP Manifesto was continuing to generate discussion about renewable energy and a new national economic strategy based on shifting away from the fossil fuel and extractive industries. The NDP convention this year amplified the relevance of LEAP even further. At the same time emerged the unlikely voices of oil sands workers as part of Iron and Earth, a solutions-based initiative aimed at boosting Canada’s renewable energy industry.
- July 16, 2016: Report warns of severe future effects of climate change on the U.K., Joe Paxton
Two experts from Manchester have contributed to a new Government report on climate change, which predicts that global warming will hit our shores with severe heatwaves, flooding and water shortages. The contributors, who include Environment and Climate Change Lecturer Dr Ruth Wood and Professor of Ecology Richard Bardgett, say that action to tackle urgent threats including widespread flooding and new diseases must be taken promptly.
- July 16, 2016: ExxonMobil: New Disclosures Show Oil Giant Still Funding Climate Science Denial Groups
ExxonMobil and the climate science denial machinery that it has helped to build over the years are now under more scrutiny than ever before. At its most recent AGM, the oil and gas giant faced a barrage of questions and resolutions over its position on climate change.
- July 13, 2016: A Just Transition for U.S. Fossil Fuel Industry Workers, Robert Pollin and Brian Callaci
According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2015 was the globe’s warmest year since at least 1880, when such figures were first recorded. 2014 was the next warmest, and the hottest five years also include 2013, 2010, and 2005. Can it be any more obvious that we absolutely must stop playing Russian roulette with the global climate?
- July 13, 2016: We just broke the record for hottest year, nine straight times
2014 and 2015 each set the record for hottest calendar year since we began measuring surface temperatures over 150 years ago, and 2016 is almost certain to break the record once again. It will be without precedent: the first time that we’ve seen three consecutive record-breaking hot years.
- July 12, 2016, Bullet No. #1280: From the Tar Sands to ‘Green Jobs’? Work and Ecological Justice, Greg Albo and Lilian Yap
The ecological and social implications of climate change have – or should – become a central parameter for all discussions of work and capitalism. It is generally agreed that reliance on the burning of fossil fuels as the pre-eminent energy source for production and consumption over the history of capitalism is the critical factor in the ruinous greenhouse gas emissions triggering global warming, which would become irreversible if the earth's atmosphere were brought to a ‘tipping-point’.
- July 9, 2016: Capitalism in the Web of Life
Jason Moore is a key figure in the World-Ecology Research Network and has produced a text that is required reading. It is a challenging read which assumes the reader is familiar with Marx’s critique of political economy but Moore and his co-thinkers seek to bring nature to the centre of historical change and a dialectical understanding of capitalism to the heart of the analysis.
- July 9, 2016: Climate Change Teach
Megan Whitfield, Toronto President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, speaks on the theme of community power. "We have to get our own members engaged in efforts regarding climate change," by remaking Canada's publicly owned postal service into a community - based network to reduce carbon emissions, she said.
- July 6, 2016, Bullet No. #1278: Trudeau Climate Plan Challenged at Toronto ‘Town Halls’, John Riddell
The first two public consultations on climate action organized by Canada's national government in Toronto, gave strong support to the demands of the People's Climate Plan (PCP), an alternative to climate-related proposals. The two concepts most frequently voiced at the gatherings, held June 17 and June 24, were support for Indigenous rights and opposition to further expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. Participants listened attentively to the government's presentations but offered no congratulations for its initial proposals.
- July 4, 2016: The Climate Movement Needs to Get Radical, but What Does that Mean?, Peter Dorman
It's been over a year since Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate was published to generally favorable, and sometimes ecstatic, reviews. Why write about it at this late date? If the purpose of a book review is to advise readers whether they should add a new line to their to-read list, there's not much point. But I think Klein's book and its reception have important implications, most of them unpleasant, for the state of the left in the United States and deserves a close reading for that reason.
- July 1, 2016: Unprecedented: Scientists declare 'global climate emergency' after jet stream crosses equator
Climate scientists this week expressed alarm after “unprecedented” data showed the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream crossing the Equator. “It’s the very picture of weather weirding due to climate change. Something that would absolutely not happen in a normal world,” he wrote. “Something, that if it continues, basically threatens seasonal integrity.”
- June 26, 2016: Why austerity is a problem for just transition and climate action
Last year we launched the Corporate Mapping Project, which is investigating the power and influence of the fossil fuel industry in Western Canada. One of the first things we did was hold a series of community meetings with environmental, Indigenous and labour groups to discuss the project.
- June 22, 2016: Climate Crisis, the Deindustrialization Imperative and the Jobs vs. Environment Dilemma
Since the 1990s, climate scientists have been telling us that unless we suppress the rise of carbon dioxide emissions, we run the risk of crossing critical tipping points that could unleash runaway global warming, and precipitate the collapse of civilization and perhaps even our own extinction.
- June 18, 2016: We are NOT all in this together
Every two years, the leaders of the world’s richest countries assemble for UN Climate negotiations, and deliberately sabotage any effort to slow climate change. After one of those betrayals, in Copenhagen in 2009, activists from hundreds of African organizations eloquently expressed their outrage in the African Climate Justice Manifesto...
- June 17, 2016: Fredericton and Saint John chapters of CoC organize counter-conference vs Energy East pipeline
CTV reports, "The Energy East pipeline is dominating discussion at major conference underway in Saint John, and some of the top names in the Maritime energy industry are lining up to support the project. Gary Doer is a former premier of Manitoba and former Canadian ambassador to the United States."
- June 17, 2016: Group envisions a greener Canada Post
A grassroots organization believes it has a radical vision that may help position Canada Post as leader in the climate-friendly economy. Activist group Friends of Public Services is touring Canada in an effort to share their visions of Canada Post that is the centre of community care and economic development, all while creating a green economy.
- June 16, 2016: How a national climate strategy can strengthen the labour movement
For the first time in over a decade, Canada has a government that is not ideologically opposed to even talking about climate change. Instead of criminalizing environmentalists, muzzling scientists and actively lobbying on behalf of the oil industry, Trudeau has promised a new age of cooperation. Before the election, he committed to developing a national climate strategy by the end of 2016. Last March, all 13 provincial and territorial leaders met in Vancouver to develop that framework.
- June 14, 2016: Social ownership can help address climate change
In Manitoba will benefit from Ontario’s climate policy (June 7), Scott Forbes weighs in on the debate over climate change policy and the Leap Manifesto. What we need is not more vitriol. We need solutions that make our community better prepared to weather the storms of climate change -- because the carbon clock is ticking.
- June 14, 2016, Bullet No. #1268: Climate Justice Transitions, Jesse McLaren
The devastating fires in Fort McMurray show the urgent need to transition to an economy that supports people and the planet, and this is part of a transition in climate justice politics. The mainstream environmental movement used to be dominated by a narrow focus on consumerism, individual lifestyle choices, and single issue politics – taking for granted the broader context of colonialism and capitalism.
- June 13, 2016: Ontario's new climate plan needs bigger sticks, more carrots
This week, the Ontario government released its five-year Climate Change Action Plan, which includes 28 initiatives designed to gradually electrify the transportation system, improve building efficiency, and ultimately reduce Ontario’s emissions of greenhouse gases.
- June 12, 2016: World Sets Record For Fossil Fuel Consumption
Each year in June two very important reports are released that provide a comprehensive view of the global energy markets. The highlight of the recently released Renewables 2016 Global Status Report was that the world’s renewable energy production has never been higher.
- June 10, 2016: The North Pole's Revenge: Arctic Melting Spurs Extreme Weather
According to a new report, extreme weather patterns are likely impacted by the encroaching effects of global warming in the Arctic — and it's going to get worse.
- June 10, 2016: 'We've never seen anything like this': Arctic sea ice hit a stunning new low in May
The 2016 race downward in Arctic sea ice continued in May with a dramatic new record. The average area of sea ice atop the Arctic Ocean last month was just 12 million square kilometers (4.63 million square miles).
- June 9, 2016: Can Canada Expand Oil and Gas Production, Build Pipelines and Keep Its Climate Change Commitments?, David Hughes
Under the Paris Agreement, Canada has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. This study assesses the consequences of several scenarios of expansion in the oil and gas sector in terms of the amount that the non–oil and gas sectors of the economy would need to reduce emissions to meet Canada’s Paris commitments. It finds Canada cannot meet its global climate commitments while at the same time ramping up oil and gas extraction and building new export pipelines.
- June 8, 2016: Oilsands growth makes it nearly impossible for Canada to meet Paris Agreement targets
Even with provincial climate plans in place, anticipated growth in Alberta's oilsands and British Columbia's natural gas sector will make it nearly impossible for Canada to reduce emissions to agreed-upon levels under the Paris Agreement, according to a new report.
- June 8, 2016, Bullet No. #1266: Toronto Teach-In Poses Climate Justice Alternative, John Riddell
The People's Climate Plan Teach-in, held in Toronto June 4, took great strides forward in presenting a forceful alternative to the inadequate and deceptive climate action proposals of Canada's federal government. In the opening session, five leading climate activists presented a coherent, unified climate justice strategy, proposing effective action to save the world from climate disaster interlocked with practical measures to assist working people and the poor who are the first victims of global warming.
- June 6, 2016: The End of the Road: Andreas Malm on Ende Gelände, Andreas Malm
On Sunday afternoon, Swedish national television publishes what must be deemed a sensational report: for the first time, a coal-fired power plant in central Europe has been shut down by climate activists. All electricity production at Schwarze Pumpe – ‘black pump’ – has ceased due to shortage of coal. The spokesperson for Vattenfall, the state-owned Swedish corporation operating the east German plant, declares that some heat is still being generated, but that activists blocking the supply routes from its nearby mine have succeeded in starving it of fuel for electricity.
- June 5, 2016: We are NOT all in this together
Every two years, the leaders of the world’s richest countries assemble for UN Climate negotiations, and deliberately sabotage any effort to slow climate change. After one of those betrayals, in Copenhagen in 2009, activists from hundreds of African organizations eloquently expressed their outrage in the African Climate Justice Manifesto.
- June 3, 2016: Explaining the Anthropocene, Ian Angus
Human activity has transformed the Earth, accelerating climate change in just a few decades. Author Ian Angus talks to Socialist Review about facing up to the new reality. Angus will be one of the keynote speakers at Socialism for the 21st century: Moving beyond capitalism, learning from global struggles being held in Sydney on May 13-15.
- June 2, 2016: Memo to government: Climate emergency means no new fossil fuel mega-projects
Why do we continue to use a euphemism pushed by a Fox News contributor and advisor to President George W. Bush to describe the global climate emergency? In 2002, Republican consultant Frank Luntz wrote a memo to the White House urging the president to use the term “climate change” because it sounded less scary than global warming.
- June 2, 2016: Climate Catastrophe Will Hit Tropics Around 2020, Rest Of World Around 2047
The first study to integrate all prior scientific research in order to project approximately when climate change will produce permanent catastrophic consequences has been accepted and will soon be published in the scientific journal Nature, and it finds that things will start going haywire in the tropics at around the year 2020, and in our part of the world at around 2047.
- June 1, 2016: Why Scientists Are Amazed at Oilsands Smog Levels, Andrew Nikiforuk
On any hot day Shell and Syncrude tour guides used to call the gasoline-like vapours that wafted from Fort McMurray's huge open-pit bitumen mines 'the smell of money.' But a new study in Nature has another name for the stench: air pollution and megacity volumes of it. In fact the tarsands, already the largest source of climate disrupting greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, have a new grim moniker: 'one of the largest sources of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosols in North America.'
- May 30, 2016: UMass Becomes First Major Public University to Divest from Direct Fossil Fuel Holdings
The University of Massachusetts today became the first major public university to divest its endowment from direct holdings in fossil fuels. The decision was made by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors of the UMass Foundation, a separate not-for-profit corporation that oversees an endowment whose value was $770 million at the end of the last fiscal year.
- May 28, 2016: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration Has Passed the Point of No Return
A recent trip up Washington State's Mount Rainier brought home to me how rapidly things are changing, even in the high country. I first climbed the mountain in 1994, when the main route was a picturesque climb up smooth glaciers. Most of the time crevasses weren't even visible, and snow cover was abundant.
- May 24, 2016: Climate change puts 1.3bn people and $158tn at risk, says World Bank
The global community is badly prepared for a rapid increase in climate change-related natural disasters that by 2050 will put 1.3 billion people at risk, according to the World Bank.
- May 23, 2016: Time to Pull the Plug on Urban Fossil Consumption, Daniel Aldana Cohen
Andreas Malm’s wonderful book, Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming, is about power. Since I’m a scholar who researches urban climate politics, I’m especially excited that Malm’s analysis of power is so centered on urban politics. I’ll explain what I mean by that, then suggest some interesting lessons from Malm’s account that his arguments around contemporary climate politics have underplayed.
- May 22, 2016: Towards Energy Democracy
How are people across the world taking back power over the energy sector, kicking-back against the rule of the market and reimagining how energy might be produced, distributed and used? How can the concept of energy democracy be deployed to demand a socially just energy system, with universal access, fair prices and secure, unionised and well-paid jobs?
- May 20, 2016: People's climate Plan
In May and June 2016, Members of Parliament across the country will hold public climate consultations. We’ll be there: showing up and speaking up for the People’s Climate Plan.
- May 19, 2016: World's largest coal producer pivots to solar with 1,000 MW agreement
With the age of fossil fuels on the ebb, the largest coal company in the world, which extracts hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal from the earth every year, is looking to the future.
- May 19, 2016: $15 and Fairness on a finite planet
On October 1 Ontario’s minimum wage will increase to $11.40 an hour, a mere 15 cents increase from the current wage. As Trish Hennessy astutely pointed out we’ll have to wait until 2040 for Ontarians to finally achieve a $15 minimum wage. This raise, if we can even call it that, is clearly not enough for workers to keep up with rising living costs in Ontario.
- May 19, 2016: World's carbon dioxide concentration teetering on the point of no return
The world is hurtling towards an era when global concentrations of carbon dioxide never again dip below the 400 parts per million (ppm) milestone, as two important measuring stations sit on the point of no return.
- May 19, 2016: At Break Free Protests Around the World, Climate Activists Put Bodies on the Line
Fossil fuel projects were blockaded simultaneously on three continents on Saturday—the "crest" of a wave of global actions responding to the growing threat of climate change.
- May 15, 2016: The arsonists of Fort McMurray have a name
As the fire that ravaged Fort McMurray finally moves past the city, and the province tallies the heartbreaking damage, a search will begin to discover the source of the destruction. Investigators will comb the nearby forests for clues, tracing the fire’s path to what they call its “point of origin.” They’ll interview witnesses, collect satellite imagery, and rule out natural causes—much like the work of detectives.
- May 15, 2016: Energy Transition Can Drive Global Jobs Recovery
It is now often said, with reason, that the environment and the economy are not in conflict. But it is even more true to say that seriously addressing the crisis of global climate change could revive a moribund global economy.
- May 15, 2016: Climate change should be linked to Alberta inferno
The Fort McMurray fire disaster brings out the eloquence in Canada’s politicians. They talk movingly – and I think sincerely – about the devastation wreaked on the inhabitants of the northern Alberta city. They praise the generosity of those Canadians who help.
- April 26, 2016, Bullet No. #1251: Austerity vs. the Planet: The Future of Labour Environmentalism, Trish Kahle
Last December members of the International Trade Union Confederation joined other civil society activists in a mass sit-in at the COP21 talks in Paris. Unionists and their allies, some 400 strong, filled the social space adjacent to the negotiating rooms for several hours, in defiance of a French ban on protests that remained in effect in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks. The ITUC delegation demanded the negotiators go back to the table and make a serious effort to incorporate labour's demands for a just transition.
- April 24, 2016: COP21 Is a Disaster for the Global South: Friends of the Earth
Rich countries led by the United States want to “do away with the concept of historic responsibility” through the COP21 climate agreement which will be signed in New York Friday, Asad Rehman, an international spokesperson for the United Kingdom-based environmental organization Friends of the Earth told teleSUR.
- April 13, 2016: Build a dozen pipelines, Alberta. It won't help.
“I won’t let up,” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told delegates to the NDP’s national convention last week. “We must get to ‘yes’ on a pipeline.” She repeated that message Saturday, asking the convention to support “pipelines to tidewater that allow us to diversify our markets.”
- April 10, 2016: Carbon Markets after Paris: Trading in Trouble, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy
Since the early 1990s, “putting a price on carbon” has been, perhaps, the primary policy proposal for fighting climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Whether through carbon taxes or cap-and-trade emissions trading schemes, proponents of carbon pricing see it as a way to guide investment toward green solutions without the need for governments to intervene directly in the economy. ETSs, in particular, have been favored by businesses and neoliberal policy makers seeking to limit emissions without disrupting business-as-usual.
- April 6, 2016: Austerity vs. the Planet: The Future of Labor Environmentalism
Last December members of the International Trade Union Confederation joined other civil society activists in a mass sit-in at the COP21 talks in Paris. Unionists and their allies, some 400 strong, filled the social space adjacent to the negotiating rooms for several hours, in defiance of a French ban on protests that remained in effect in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks.
- April 4, 2016: One Million Climate Jobs Challenge
By investing up to 5 per cent of the annual federal budget, each year, for a five-year period — in public renewable energy developments; energy efficiencies through building retrofits; public transit improvements and expansion; and in higher speed rail between urban cities within urban corridors — Canada could create one million new jobs in the economy while reducing between 25 and 35 percent of our annual greenhouse gas emissions.
- April 3, 2016: What do the temperature targets mean for Canada?
At last year's United Nations climate change conference in Paris, Canada emerged from a decade in the shadows to help build a global framework aimed at preventing dangerous levels of climate change.
- March 29, 2016: James Hansen's Bombshell Climate Warning Is Now Part of the Scientific Canon, Eric Holthaus
Last summer, James Hansen—the pioneer of modern climate science—pieced together a research-based revelation: a little-known feedback cycle between the oceans and massive ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland might have already jump-started an exponential surge of sea levels. That would mean huge levels of sea level rise will happen sooner—much sooner than expected. Hansen’s best estimate was 2 to 5 meters by the end of the century: five to 10 times faster than mainstream science has heretofore predicted.
- March 25, 2016: Global Warming's Terrifying New Chemistry
Global warming is, in the end, not about the noisy political battles here on the planet’s surface. It actually happens in constant, silent interactions in the atmosphere, where the molecular structure of certain gases traps heat that would otherwise radiate back out to space. If you get the chemistry wrong, it doesn’t matter how many landmark climate agreements you sign or how many speeches you give.
- March 11, 2016: Don't believe the hype on BC's carbon tax
The other day, I saw two new examples of breathless praise for BC’s carbon tax, and how it has been wonderful for the province economically and environmentally.
- March 10, 2016: Forget the Praise: BC's Carbon Tax Is a Failure
To hear it from Premier Christy Clark, our province is a beacon of trailblazing perfection in the battle against climate change. And the crowning glory of B.C.'s efforts is the carbon tax introduced in 2008. The tax now adds 6.67 cents a litre to the price of gasoline and imposes costs on other fuels for residents and industries.
- March 9, 2016: Our Hemisphere's Temperature Just Reached a Terrifying Milestone
Since this post was originally published, the heat wave has continued. As of Thursday morning, it appears that average temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere have breached the 2 degrees Celsius above “normal” mark for the first time in recorded history.
- March 9, 2016: Large Inheritances, Wealth Inequality, and Real Equality of Opportunity
Thomas Piketty argues in his recent bestseller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, that capitalism has a natural tendency towards ever increasing concentration of wealth, and that inheritances play a major role in perpetuating and increasing inequality. While wealth inequality is much lower than in the late Victorian “Gilded Age”, we are headed in the wrong direction.
- March 8, 2016: The Paris Climate Agreement and the Fight Against Climate Change
The following article offers a detailed, critical dissection of the Paris Climate Agreement. A case study of the situation in Canada, following the Paris Agreement, is also presented. The article concludes with a discussion on the need for an integral, multidimensional view in response to climate change, and on how we may begin to build transformative power from below.
- March 6, 2016: David Suzuki and labour movement join forces
The Liberal government needs to make strategic investments if Canada is going to meet the climate change goals the country announced at the Paris Conference of Parties COP 21. With that statement, President of Canadian Labour Congress Hassan Yussuff opened a press conference today in Vancouver.
- March 2, 2016: Fossil fuel use must fall twice as fast as thought to contain global warming
Available carbon budget is half as big as thought if global warming is to be kept within 2C limit agreed internationally as being the point of no return, researchers say.
- March 2, 2016: Trade Unions at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
The period which preceded COP21 showed clearly that it would be a unique conference. The French Presidency, the UN Secretariat, most governments and even many in civil society were determined to show that the Paris outcome would be the “best possible outcome”, and that a feared lack of ambition could not be seen as problematic.
- February 21, 2016: Welcome to the Anthropocene: A Reading List
2015 was the hottest year in recorded history. Scientists have confirmed that the staggering growth of global emissions this past century has caused a definitive turning point in global climate history.
- February 14, 2016: Evaluating the Paris Deal
Hope and failure coexist in the Paris climate agreement. One may want to curse or cheer the deal, but it is history now, and we have to get on with it. The agreement provides an opportunity to assess our ecological progress and prepare to be effective in the future.
- February 12, 2016: After Paris climate talks, Canada on track to fail even Harper's emissions target
Canada’s late biennial climate change accountability report came out this morning, projecting increases in greenhouse gas emissions.
- February 8, 2016, Bullet No. #1218: Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go, Nothing to Say, James Jordan
It has been two months since the UN climate summit in Paris, aka COP 21. One might expect the kind of ebb and flow we often see in popular movements. Interest in climate issues, the cause of the day during the summit, might be expected to wane and move to the back burner of public discourse until another development pushes it forward again.
- February 2, 2016: COP21 - climate and capitalism
Anyone reading these quotes could easily be lulled into thinking that the COP21 talks in Paris marked a game-changing moment in the fight against climate change. Unfortunately, for the mass of human beings and other species, the opposite will be the case.
- February 1, 2016: Norwegian industry plans to up fossil fuel production despite Paris pledge
Norway wants other countries to leave their coal and oil in the ground to meet new global climate change targets, but its industry is planning to increase production of its own fossil fuels.
- January 22, 2016, Bullet No. #1210: To Change the Heart and Soul, Herbert Docena
On the final day of the UN summit (COP21) held in Paris in December 2015, thousands of people defied a ban on public gatherings by converging at a boulevard leading to the business district in La Défense to denounce the new climate agreement that government negotiators were about to sign and celebrate at the conference venue in Le Bourget, 20 kilometres away. Hoping to counter governments’ attempts to control the narrative regarding the summit, they gathered behind giant inflatable ‘cobblestones’ and a red banner proclaiming “System change not climate change!”
- January 14, 2016: Essential reading on the Paris climate agreement, John Foran
The recent COP 21 UN climate summit is something of a political, social, and climate justice Rorschach test. Opinion is as all over the place as for any historic event I can think of. And make no mistake, Paris was historic. We knew it was likely to be historic going into it; we just didn’t know what that history would look like. And that, of course, is one of the hallmarks of the hinges of history – we don't know who will make it, or how it will turn out, until it happens.
- January 4, 2016: Another Climate Strategy is Possible, Ariel Salleh
Did world leaders at the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change agree to the recommended carbon emissions target of 1.5 degrees Celsius? No: citizens and activists observing the December 2015 Paris meeting simply encountered business as usual – a polite ‘we'll get back to you’. This article argues that climate politics will go nowhere as long as peoples’ movements remain locked into debates over arithmetic.
- January 3, 2016: The Church of Economism and Its Discontents
Two centuries of explosive economic growth have radically altered our material and ideological worlds. With human activity now the major driver of geological change, the industrial era has come to be called the Anthropocene.
- January 2, 2016: May 2016: Break Free from Fossil Fuels
Join a global wave of resistance to keep coal, oil + gas in the ground. We’re mobilising to shut down the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects and support the most ambitious climate solutions. Actions are being planned at locations all over the world, and plans are coming together quickly -- be a part of it from the very beginning.
- January 1, 2016: Inside the Paris Climate Agreement: Hope or Hype?
It has become a predictable pattern at the annual UN climate conferences for participants to describe the outcome in widely divergent ways. This was first apparent after the high-profile Copenhagen conference in 2009, when a four-page non-agreement was praised by diplomats.
- January 1, 2016, Bullet No. #1204: After Paris: Unify Fights Against Austerity and Climate Change, Asbjørn Wahl
The Climate Summit in Paris has once again reminded us of how vulnerable we are on planet earth. However, humanity is faced with a number of deep and challenging crises: economic, social, political, over food – and, of course, over climate change, which is threatening the very existence of millions of people. These crises have many of the same root causes, going to the core of our economic system.
- December 27, 2015: Exxon's Oil Industry Peers Knew About Climate Dangers in the 1970s, Too
The American Petroleum Institute together with the nation's largest oil companies ran a task force to monitor and share climate research between 1979 and 1983, indicating that the oil industry, not just Exxon alone, was aware of its possible impact on the world's climate far earlier than previously known.
- December 22, 2015: Why big NGOs won't lead the fight on climate change
In the wake of ISIS’ attacks on Paris, French authorities jumped on the opportunity to revoke permits for the Global Climate March, a well-planned series of demonstrations scheduled to coincide with international climate talks. After speculation around the fate of the demonstrations, several prominent groups including 350.org and Avaaz gave in and announced that the march was canceled, while key grassroots groups announced they would take to the streets despite the ban.
- December 21, 2015: Lake Poopo, Bolivia's 2nd-largest lake, dries up
What happens when a lake dries up entirely? In the case of the Lake Poopo in Bolivia, the Andean nation's formerly second largest after the famed Titicaca, the answer is nothing short of devastation.
- December 21, 2015: Achieving the Paris climate goals, John Riddell
Commenting on world climate negotiations, Canadian Climate Change minister Catherine McKenna said, “We're going to go home and figure out the plan... Every Canadian has to do their part.” Her words reflect the ambiguous outcome of negotiations between 195 countries in Paris November 30 – December 12. They adopted a goal of holding global warming “well below” 2c degrees, a step forward, but it did not establish an effective mechanism to achieve it.
- December 20, 2015: World's 15 Biggest Ships Create More Pollution Than All The Cars In The World
Says James Corbett, professor of marine policy at the University of Delaware: “Ship pollution affects the health of communities in coastal and inland regions around the world, yet pollution from ships remains one of the least regulated parts of our global transportation system.”
- December 19, 2015: Winners and Losers of the Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement is the first of its kind in history; that much is true. But the real gains in terms of Climate Change prevention are negligible.
- December 19, 2015: Canadian Government Actions Around COP21
On November 27, on the eve of COP 21, the Government of British Columbia released the recommendations of its appointed Climate Leadership Team, summarized in a press release. The recommendations centred on increases to the carbon tax and a 2030 target to reduce emissions across three broad sectors.
- December 18, 2015: Claim no easy victories. Paris was a failure, but a climate justice movement is rising
Two certainties existed entering the Paris climate talks. They hold as true coming out. The first was that the world’s heads of state were not prepared to act as is necessary. The second is that it was never going to be up to them anyway.
- December 17, 2015: Renewable Energy After COP21
Nine issues for climate leaders to think about on the journey home.
- December 17, 2015: Paris climate change agreement: the world's greatest diplomatic success
With all 196 nations having a say, the UN climate deal, with all its frustrations and drama, has proven that compromise works for the planet.
- December 17, 2015: Seven Wrinkles in the Paris Climate Deal
The headlines from the Paris climate talks tell an inspiring story. Agence France-Presse reported an outbreak of “euphoria” as the international climate accord was sealed. Reuters hailed a global “turn from fossil fuels.” The Guardian headlined “a major leap for mankind.”
- December 16, 2015: 'Fossil Fuels' Nowhere to be Found in the Paris Agreement
Professor Chris Williams says 21 years of treaties and negotiations have all been stepping around the main problem: the production of fossil fuels.
- December 16, 2015: The Paris Agreement: Paper Heroes Widen the Climate Justice Gap
The day after can be a source of regret, or a new beginning. It all depends on how much we can perceive the importance of events in time, in history, in life itself. On Saturday, December 12, in Paris, the negotiators at the COP 21 UN climate summit came to a final decision on the text they have been negotiating for four years, or six, or twenty-one by signaling their assent to a thirty-two page document, titled simply “The Paris Agreement.”
- December 16, 2015, Bullet No. #1197: How Emissions Trading at Paris Climate Talks Has Set Us Up For Failure, Steffen Böhm
The Paris Agreement has mostly been greeted with enthusiasm, though it contains at least one obvious flaw. Few seem to have noticed that the main tool mooted for keeping us within the 2-degrees global warming target is a massive expansion of carbon trading, including offsetting, which allows the market exchange of credits between companies and nations to achieve an overall emissions reduction. That's despite plenty of evidence that markets haven't worked well enough, or quickly enough, to actually keep the planet safe.
- December 15, 2015: Which way after Paris Agreement?
In 2007, a man named Keno was killed with two bullets to the chest at point blank range near the Iguagu National Park in Brazil. He was one of many farmers peacefully occupying a GMO research plant to protest the imposition of an industrial agricultural system that had no place for them.
- December 15, 2015: Paris: World Agrees to Increase Emissions
The circus is over. The suits are leaving Paris. There have been millions of words written about the text. But one fact stands out. All the governments of the world have agreed to increase global greenhouse gas emissions every year between now and 2030.
- December 15, 2015: 5 things Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall doesn't seem to get about climate change
Did Brad Wall miss the memo about how climate change is the biggest threat facing the planet? Over 97% of the world's scientists, as well as nearly 200 countries seem to get that – they just signed on to a major global agreement in Paris to fight climate change.
- December 15, 2015: What Comes After Capitalism?
Naomi Klein released her latest book, This Changes Everything, as more than four hundred thousand people joined the People’s Climate March in New York City and environmental activists around the world organized 2,646 solidarity protests in 162 countries, making it by far the largest climate justice march in history.
- December 15, 2015: Falling Short on Climate in Paris
The climate news last week came out of Paris, where the world’s nations signed off on an agreement to finally begin addressing global warming. Or, alternately, the climate news came out of Chennai, India, where hundreds died as flooding turned a city of five million into an island. And out of Britain, where the heaviest rains ever measured over 24 hours in the Lake District turned picturesque villages into lakes. And out of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, where record rainfalls flooded atolls.
- December 15, 2015: Fueling the Fire
This report focuses on the environmental destruction and public policy interference of the leading COP21 sponsors including fossil fuel conglomerates Engie (formerly GDF Suez) and Suez Environnement, as well as global banking giant BNP Paribas and French utility Électricité de France (EDF). By detailing the corporations’ abuses to the environment and aggressive lobbying to undermine environmental policy, the report lays bare the conflict of interest inherent in allowing such sponsorship to exist.
- December 14, 2015: COP21: The curtain falls on a masquerade
After two weeks of heads of states taking centre stage to salve their consciences, COP21 has come up with an agreement that many worried in advance would offer nothing good for the peoples of the world.
- December 14, 2015: Scientists Warn: The Paris Climate Agreement Needs Massive Improvement
The long-running clash between climate science and climate politics again took center stage at the Paris summit on Friday as the talks headed into overtime and activists prepared an unauthorized march near the Arc de Triomphe on Saturday “because climate justice won’t wait for governments—it is up to us to keep fossil fuels in the ground.”
- December 14, 2015: Collaborative approach will be key to realizing Canada's climate change obligations
The Paris COP21 climate change summit has culminated in an agreement that commits governments to the long-term goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C by the second half of this century.The agreement mandates reviews of emission reduction plans starting in 2018, signalling a commitment by all countries to phase out fossil fuels and reduce emissions to zero by the end of this century, making renewable energy a global priority.
- December 14, 2015: Grand promises of Paris climate deal undermined by squalid retrenchments
By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster. Inside the narrow frame within which the talks have taken place, the draft agreement at the UN climate talks in Paris is a great success.
- December 14, 2015: Trade Unions and Climate Change
At a packed meeting in Paris, Naomi Klein, supported by UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, calls for mass civil disobedience to break the ban on demonstrations on December 12.
Trade unionists and others discuss the real solutions to climate change: an end to fossil fuels, energy democracy, and a just transition to millions of cllimate jobs.
- December 13, 2015: Paris deal: Epic fail on a planetary scale
Yesterday, after two weeks of tortuous negotiations – well, 21 years, really – governments announced the Paris Agreement. This brand new climate deal will kick in in 2020. But is it really as ‘ambitious’ as the French government is claiming?
- December 13, 2015: Decrying Draft Deal that 'Fails Humanity,' COP21 Protesters Draw Red Line
People from around the world on Friday stretched a large "red line" through the COP21 summit to register their outrage at politicians' failure to strike an ambitious draft climate deal—and to call for social movements in Paris and internationally to continue to take to the streets.
- December 13, 2015: The Paris Climate Accords Will Cause the Planet to Burn
The Paris agreement, according to Pablo Solón, a veteran of climate negotiations, “will be an agreement that will burn up the planet.” The result of the COP21 (Twenty-first United Nations Climate Change Conference), which began on Monday, Nov. 30 and will end on Dec. 11, “can already be announced, because we already know what it will be,” he said in an interview with the Americas Program.
- December 13, 2015: Canada and 1.5 degrees: Rhetoric or real change?
On Sunday, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that Canada would support over 50 small island states and vulnerable nations calling for a new limit of 1.5C of warming to be enshrined in the Paris climate agreement.
- December 13, 2015: Paris talks may set a lofty (but meaningless) climate change goal
Compared to the conferences that came before it, Paris is going smoothly. So smoothly, relatively speaking, that there is still some sense of positivity amid the last-minute scrambling. As if to emphasize just how optimistic world leaders are feeling, negotiators released a draft agreement on Thursday that actually puts forward a more ambitious goal for global warming than many had expected going into the conference.
- December 13, 2015: Protesters Are in Agreement as Well: Pact Is Too Weak
Several thousand climate activists from across Europe and many from farther afield gathered peacefully near the Arc de Triomphe on Saturday to protest the outcome of the COP 21 climate conference about 12 miles away. The demonstration was an official exception to a ban on public gatherings across France after the Paris terrorist attacks in November.
- December 12, 2015: James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks 'a fraud'
Mere mention of the Paris climate talks is enough to make James Hansen grumpy. The former Nasa scientist, considered the father of global awareness of climate change, is a soft-spoken, almost diffident Iowan. But when he talks about the gathering of nearly 200 nations, his demeanor changes.
- December 11, 2015: How can unions and social movements connect anti-austerity and climate justice policies?
Humanity is currently faced with a number of deep and challenging crises: economic crisis, social crisis, political crisis, food crisis – and last, but not least, the climate crisis, which is threatening the very existence of millions of people on this planet. These crises have many of the same root causes, which go to the core of our economic system.
- December 10, 2015: Climate Matters: in conversation with Paul Beckwith
Paul speaks with Beyond Crisis in Ottawa on abrupt climate change; the earth's warming creating dramatic loss of sea ice in the Arctic; and the urgent need to act NOW to reduce emissions, cool the Arctic and slow the warming trend. This piece gives a detailed analysis on the risks we face from Arctic warming to the overall climate system.
- December 10, 2015: Indigenous activists take to Seine river to protest axing of rights from Paris climate pact
Indigenous groups from across the world staged a paddle down the Seine river in Paris on Sunday, calling on governments to ensure Indigenous rights are included in the United Nations climate pact currently being negotiated in France. The United States, the EU, Australia and other states have pushed for Indigenous rights to be dropped from the binding parts of the agreement out of fear that it could create legal liabilities.
- December 10, 2015: Alberta's climate plan stands in the way of Canada's, Gordon Laxer
It was quite a sight: The CEOs of Alberta’s oilsands projects stood with NDP Premier Rachel Notley to announce Alberta’s climate plan before the climate talks in Paris. The CEOs had the widest smiles. No wonder. Alberta’s climate plan targets the 28 per cent of Alberta’s greenhouse gases from power generation and transportation (driving), and leaves the 46 per cent of the province’s emissions from the production of oil and gas almost scot-free.
- December 10, 2015: Paths Beyond Paris, Joanna Cabello and Tamra Gilbertson
The main focus of the December 2015 climate negotiations in Paris, as of previous climate summits, is on protecting and advancing the interests of large corporations and banks. This booklet aims at helping to build stronger, more diverse and radical movements that can not only take on the root causes of global warming, but also engage successfully against the counterproductive “solutions” advocated at such conferences.
- December 9, 2015: With a 1.5 Degrees Celsius Target, the Climate-Justice Movement Is Poised to Score a Surprise Win
?Here at the Paris climate summit, the big news is that the final agreement governments hope to sign by week’s end may urge limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- December 8, 2015: Canada and COP: a History, Naomi Roy
In 1992, Canada joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) along with 153 other nations. By 1994 the agreement became official with currently a universal membership with 195 Parties. As a signatory, Canada is part of the Conference of Parties (COP) and annually participates in their sessions and negotiations. Within the COP, Canada is part of the Annex I countries meaning our government is committed to lowering GHG emissions to a target set below its 1990 levels.
- December 8, 2015: Nearly 1,000 mayors from five continents back aggressive climate change policies in Paris
The mayors, including the City of Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson, pledged to support such long-term climate goals as a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy in their communities or an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. On Thursday, the City of Vancouver was honoured in Paris by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group for the Greenest City Action Plan.
- December 7, 2015: COP21: How to Ramp Down Fossil Fuels Fast, Without Leaving People Behind
Throw a stick at COP 21 and you’re likely to hit something bearing the word “renewable,” written in one language or another. The expansive Climate Generations Area, an official portion of the La Bourget compound open to the general public, is somewhere between an Ikea and a high-production-value science fair.
- December 7, 2015: The elephant in the room at Paris climate talks: why food production must change
The grand political narratives around the COP21 conference in Paris will barely touch on one crucial aspect – food. The Paris talks are of vital importance, not just for climate change itself but for framing what kind of food economy follows. And why does food matter for climate change? Well, it’s a major factor driving it yet barely gets a mention.
- December 7, 2015: Secret Agreement between Environmental Groups and Oil Companies Marks the End of an Era, Dru Oja Jay
“For traditional conservationists, it was a little like finding out that Amnesty International had opened its own prison wing in Guantanamo.” That's how Naomi Klein described the Nature Conservancy's decision to allow oil drilling on land it was conserving to protect an endangered bird in 1999. My, how things have changed! Since then, Amnesty International-branded prisons -- or at least their environmental equivalent -- have become de rigeur among well-funded NGOs.
- December 6, 2015: Paying climate debts for global climate justice
The issue of worldwide climate injustice has been high on the agenda of the global climate movement for several years. This injustice stems from the fact that many countries of the Global South are suffering the worst effects of anthropogenic climate change even though they themselves played a very small role in creating it.
- December 6, 2015: Climate change and social change
This issue of Other Voices spotlights climate change, the escalating crisis that the upcoming Paris climate conference is supposed to address. But climate change is not a single problem: it is a product of an economic system whose driving force is the need to grow and accumulate.
- December 6, 2015: This Is What Energy Democracy Looks Like
With climate change looming, we are facing an energy emergency. How can unions fight for change? Great video from RLS–NYC and Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED).
- December 6, 2015: After Oil 2015
"After Oil" is a collaborative, interdisciplinary research partnership designed to explore, critically and creatively, the social, cultural and political changes necessary to facilitate a full-scale transition from fossil fuels to new forms of energy. A foundational premise underpins the work carried out by our team: energy plays a critical role in determining the shape, form and character of our daily existence.
- December 5, 2015: The contrails conspiracy is not only garbage, it's letting aviation off the hook too
You spend years trying to get people to take an interest in aircraft emissions. Then at last the issue gets picked up – but in the most perverse way possible. The pollutants spread by planes are a major issue. They make a significant contribution to global warming, yet they are excluded from international negotiations, such as the conference taking place in Paris. As a result, aviation’s expansion is unchecked by concerns about climate change.
- December 5, 2015: COP21: a climate crisis reading list
As the great and the good gather in Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in the coming weeks to discuss the Earth's future in the face of the looming economic catastrophe, Francois Hollande's government has taken the step of banning all protests and gatherings from the French capital.
- December 5, 2015: COP21, climate inaction and corporate power
This week marks the beginning of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, the latest episode in a UN framework that has been trying, and failing, to reduce global carbon emission for over two decades now. For my first interview, I caught up with Oscar Reyes, Barcelona-based climate policy researcher, to get an overview of what to expect from the talks.
- December 4, 2015: COP21, Round One
Battle Lines Are Drawn - A Report on the Global Climate March and the Opening of the Paris COP 21 Negotiations.
- December 4, 2015: What kind of 'just transition'?
Everyone but a few Republican crackpots now acknowledge that the planet faces a climate emergency. But the bosses at ExxonMobil had a bit of a head start.
- December 4, 2015: Climate change and the summit smokescreen
President Barack Obama joined world leaders at the UN climate summit--officially called the 21st Congress of the Parties for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP 21--in Paris this week, and promised to work for an "ambitious" agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
- December 4, 2015: COP21: Richest 10 per cent 'produce half the world's CO2 emissions'
The enormity of climate-change inequality has been laid bare by new research showing that the richest 1 per cent of the world’s population produces 175 times as much CO2 per person as the bottom 10 per cent.
- December 4, 2015: The Paris Agreement Will See the Planet Burn
He once sat at the same table as the world leaders gathered in Paris to hammer out a U.N. agreement on global warming. Now he stands on the outside. We speak with Pablo Solón, former chief negotiator on climate change for Bolivia, as well as the country’s former ambassador to the United Nations. "The target was: We shouldn’t go beyond an increase of two degrees Celsius," Salon says of negotiators’ failed attempts to limit an increase in global temperatures. "And now to be speaking about four or even five degrees Celsius is, to put it in other terms, to burn the planet."
- December 3, 2015: Will Bill Gates and his billionaire friends save the planet?
Not to worry, the world’s richest philanthropists are on the case. As the United Nations climate talks kicked off in Paris amid worries that governments aren’t committing to serious emissions reductions, Bill Gates stole the spotlight with a bold promise to usher in a clean-tech future.
- December 3, 2015: The War on Climate Change
Bernie Sanders has twice called climate change the United States’ “biggest threat to national security.” The first time was during the inaugural Democratic debate on October 13.
- December 3, 2015: Evo Morales at COP21
Capitalism is the Biggest Climate Threat.
- December 3, 2015: Indigenous Peoples Release Joint Statement to UN Talks in Paris on Climate Change
Thousands are gathered in Paris for the United Nation’s climate talks that began today, November 30 and will run through December 11, 2015. Among the world leaders in Paris, including President Barack Obama, are indigenous peoples from around the world.
- December 3, 2015: New exposé unearths the true dirt behind COP21’s corporate sponsors
Corporate Accountability International has released a new report, “Fueling the Fire: The corporate sponsors bankrolling COP21,” exposing the filthy track record of the corporations sponsoring the Paris climate talks. With less than one week before the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the climate treaty, the report pulls back the green veil of four of the meeting’s dirtiest sponsors.
- December 2, 2015: A Path for Climate Change, Beyond Paris
The pledges that countries have signaled they will make in Paris over the next two weeks to cut emissions will inevitably fall short of what is needed to solve the problem of climate change. But many political leaders gathering there -- including governors, mayors, and provincial cabinet secretaries -- are pushing for more aggressive cuts.
- December 2, 2015: Food and climate change
It's not only how we choose to travel or heat our homes that determines our carbon footprint. What we eat also has a climate impact. Understanding the resources that go into producing our meals can make us more aware of the relationship between food and climate change, and help us make better choices.
- December 2, 2015: Paris climate talks: What you need to know about COP21
Negotiations to seal the most important global climate agreement in the last six years begin today at COP21. Governments from around the world have descended on Paris to attend the talks, and journalists and activists have followed, undeterred by the terrorist attacks that occurred just over two weeks ago or the French government’s clampdown on protest. But what’s this all about?
- December 2, 2015: What's really at stake at the Paris climate conference now marches are banned
Whose security gets protected by any means necessary? Whose security is casually sacrificed, despite the means to do so much better? Those are the questions at the heart of the climate crisis, and the answers are the reason climate summits so often end in acrimony and tears.
- December 2, 2015: From Climate Crisis to Solar Communism, David Schwartzman
Leaders from 147 countries have assembled in Paris for COP21, the most important climate summit since the 2009 Copenhagen meeting. But climate justice activists worry the result will be the same: platitudes and handwringing, with no firm commitment from Global North countries to drastically curb carbon emissions. What, then, would a just solution look like?
- December 2, 2015: Canada's New Climate-Denying National Government
On November 10, newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met in Ottawa with the leadership council of the Canadian Labour Congress, the federation of trade unions in English-speaking Canada. Amazingly, this was the first meeting of a Canadian prime minister with a national labour body since 1958. The event was very cordial, according to a report published in the Globe and Mail. The CLC group numbered some 120 delegates.
- December 2, 2015: BC's climate action masquerade
When BC Premier Christy Clark arrives at the Paris climate conference, as part of a reinvigorated Canadian delegation under PM Trudeau, the world will hear bold statements about BC’s climate leadership.
- December 2, 2015: ITF reporting from COP21
Tomorrow the 21st UN Climate Change Summit (COP21) starts in Paris. All the way since the Rio Conference in 1992, the aim of these summits has been to agree on policies which can stop global warming and prevent climate catastrophe.
- December 2, 2015, Bullet No. #1193: Our Fight for Survival, Andreas Malm
The climate negotiations entered their final day, and we geared up for our most audacious action. Several buses brought four hundred activists to different locations near the conference hall. Adrenaline running, we walked fast toward the gates and the guards. After a week of discussing sea level rise, eating vegan food, blocking car traffic, and marching in the streets dressed as polar bears and turtles, we were out to make a real difference.
- December 1, 2015: Why the Paris climate talks are doomed to failure, like all the others
Even if the world celebrates a Paris climate deal on December 11, the process will still have to be regarded as failure. Let me explain why. The basic reason is that the unequal distribution of carbon emissions is not even on its agenda.
- December 1, 2015: The 12 days that will decide Earth's future
A guide to COP21
- December 1, 2015: France Puts 24 Climate Activists Under House Arrest Ahead of COP21
French police have placed 24 activists under 'house arrest' ahead of the major UN climate warming COP21 talks starting near Paris next week. The French interior ministry said Friday the government was trying to prevent the activists from demonstrating ahead of the COP21 conference, but their lawyers and Amnesty International accused the government of abusing the 'state of emergency' put into effect after the Paris attacks.
- December 1, 2015: Over a hundred arrested at climate change rally in Paris
On Sunday November 29, French riot police fired tear gas at activists protesting on the eve of the COP21 climate summit in Paris. Some demonstrators were also severely beaten with batons. Over a hundred people were arrested at the demo that was attended by more than 5,000 people.
- December 1, 2015: Trudeau's climate plan for Paris falls well short of what's needed
With the COP 21 climate talks beginning in Paris on Monday (Nov. 30), the indications are that the critical aspects of the Trudeau's climate policy fall well short of what is needed.
- December 1, 2015, Bullet No. #1192: COP21 Fossil Fuel Addiction, Brad Hornick
Fossil Fuel Addiction is killing the planet. The Climate Justice Movement must ready for an intervention before this addiction kills us all. The following is a practical guide to recognize addictive behaviour as well as how to effectively intervene to assist in the Addict's recovery. On the middle of global climate marches and actions worldwide, climate justice activists would do well to study these tips for an informed intervention.
- November 30, 2015: How to Avoid a 'COP Out' at the Paris Climate Talks
Six years ago, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America condemned the Copenhagen Climate Conference, stating: “We, the developing countries, are dignified and sovereign nations and victims of a problem that we didn’t cause.” As it continued, the statement pointed out that the climate crisis is the result of the “imposition of an absolutely predatory model of development on the rest of the world.”
- November 30, 2015: France Uses Sweeping Powers to Curb Climate Protests, but Clashes Erupt
The French government is using the sweeping emergency powers it gained after the Paris terrorist attacks to clamp down on any possible disruption to the two-week global climate conference that starts on Monday, limiting public demonstrations, beefing up security and placing two dozen environmental activists under house arrest.
- November 30, 2015: Paris climate protesters banned but 10,000 shoes remain
Over 10,000 pairs of shoes on the Place de la Republique replace marchers who were set to take part in a climate cancelled protest as activists take to the streets around the globe. The Paris march was expected to bring 200,000 people onto the city's streets but was forbidden by French authorities in light of security concerns. Elsewhere, thousands marched in Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney ahead of the Paris climate summit on Monday.
- November 30, 2015: Alberta carbon plan looks ambitious, but won't actually cut emissions
Beware environmental announcements that the oil industry likes, and the Alberta oil industry certainly liked Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s response to her province’s delinquent status on the climate file. There they were, lined up alongside Ms. Notley in Edmonton last Sunday, as the climate plan was rolled out. The bosses of Suncor Energy, Shell Canada, Cenovus Energy and Canadian Natural Resources – among the biggest emitters of planet-warming carbon dioxide not just in Canada, but in North America – were all smiling. The message: We have a deal we can live with. Uh-oh.
- November 30, 2015: Beijing residents told to stay inside as smog levels soar
Beijing’s residents have been advised to stay indoors after air pollution in the Chinese capital reached hazardous levels. The warning comes as the governments of more than 190 nations gather in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change.
- November 30, 2015: If Canada is 'back', Paris is just the introduction
Based on the details Canadians have so far, the federal government is effectively taking a rain check on getting serious about climate change. The logistics haven’t been kind to the Liberals. Less than a month after taking office, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team have to show up next week at what could the most important United Nations conference on climate change ever. It’s not their fault that their plan going into Paris leaves something to be desired.
- November 30, 2015: Global climate march 2015
Hundreds of thousands march around the world – live feed...
- November 29, 2015: EU-U.S. trade deal will unleash oil sands and fatally undermine climate efforts
The prospects for a meaningful agreement at the UN climate change talks beginning on Monday are bleak. As a result, so too are the prospects for the 100 million more people predicted to be living in poverty by 2030 as a result of global warming. Though framed by record high temperatures and an increasing number of extreme weather events, the Paris talks are already beset by the same problems that repeatedly dog climate change negotiations.
- November 29, 2015: French police use state of emergency
...to raid climate protesters before Paris COP21.
- November 29, 2015: Canada and the Kyoto Protocol
From its ratification in 2002 to Canada’s eventual withdrawal from the agreement in 2011, the Kyoto Protocol has caused many debates, disagreements and discussion for the country and its citizens. In December, Canada is expected to sign on to a new climate agreement at COP21 in Paris. Is there anything to learn from Canada’s tumultuous journey with the Kyoto Protocol?
- November 28, 2015: To the (inflatable) barricades!
Around 60 climate justice activists are huddled around workbenches in a sprawling warehouse in Jardin D’Alice, a convergence centre in the Robespierre district of Paris. They are making disobedient art for the protests planned around the Cop21 climate conference, scheduled to begin in three days.
- November 27, 2015: After Keystone XL: Why the Paris climate summit could be different
From the vantage point of a few days out, the Paris climate summit looks set for success - at least by the metrics we've learned to use for these types of meetings.
- November 27, 2015: Looking under the hood of Alberta's new climate plan
How times have changed in 2015. Just days away from the Paris climate conference, Prime Minister Trudeau met with the Premiers to talk about working together to make Canada a leader on climate. Compare this to PM Harper, who never met with the Premiers, championed the oil and gas industry, and if anything was a disruptive force in global climate negotiations. And leading the march to Paris? The Premier of Alberta, a province long considered a laggard.
- November 27, 2015: Don't cheer Alberta's premier
Alberta’s new climate plan is drawing praise from sources that have rarely got on with the oil-exporter – Al Gore, labour unions and some of North America’s biggest green groups. At first glance, it’s not hard to see why: Alberta is promising an accelerated phase-out of coal, increased funds for renewable energy and impacted workers, and a price on carbon. It’s a major step hard to imagine scarcely a year ago, when the province was still under a multi-decade Conservative reign.
- November 27, 2015, Bullet No. #1190: The Tragedy of the Commons, the Pope, and the System, Michael A. Lebowitz
There's an old argument that common property inevitably leads to exhaustion of resources. In the parable of “the tragedy of the commons,” the story is told that, given the absence of private property, everyone had an incentive to graze his own animals on the common fields without limit with the result that overgrazing destroyed the land. No matter that, historically, individual communities have always found ways to manage their common property; nevertheless, the story continues to be told.
- November 26, 2015: Canada warming at twice the global rate
Canada's rate of warming is about twice the global rate, according to a climate change briefing presented to the country's premiers on Monday. For the first time in nearly seven years, federal, provincial and territorial leaders gathered together in Ottawa with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Their meeting comes a week before the start of the UN climate change conference in Paris, known as COP21.
- November 26, 2015: Capitalist Production vs. The Earth, Umair Muhammad
In a short story titled “Sally,” science fiction writer Isaac Asimov describes a world in which cars are endowed with artificial intelligence. The mass adoption of “automatobiles,” as they are called in the story, makes travelling easy: “You got in, punched your destination and let it go its own way.” What is more, the intelligent cars helped bring an end to the tens of thousands of road fatalities that were caused by human error each year. But all is not well in this world of intelligent cars.
- November 25, 2015: Global heat records falling like dominoes as world heads to Paris
It's a simple recipe. Take one stable climate. Pour in 62,000,000 kilograms of heat-trapping pollution. Repeat every minute of every day. Bake in rising temperatures. Now, after a several decades of pouring in over a trillion tonnes of climate pollution, we find ourselves seriously cooking in 2015.
- November 24, 2015: Luxury Apartment Buildings Are Driving Climate Change In NYC
Climate change is slowly turning NYC into the lost city Atlantis, and Mayor de Blasio has vowed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% (over 2005 levels) by 2050. He officially unveiled his ambitious OneNYC environmental plans earlier this year, but he might want to consult with a new report by the Climate Works for All coalition, which points a big red arrow at the biggest climate change offenders currently in the city: luxury apartment buildings.
- November 23, 2015: What's really at stake at the Paris climate conference now marches are banned
Whose security gets protected by any means necessary? Whose security is casually sacrificed, despite the means to do so much better? Those are the questions at the heart of the climate crisis, and the answers are the reason climate summits so often end in acrimony and tears. The French government’s decision to ban protests, marches and other “outdoor activities” during the Paris climate summit is disturbing on many levels.
- November 22, 2015: 139 Countries Could Get All of their Power from Renewable Sources
Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi have done it again. This time they’ve spelled out how 139 countries can each generate all the energy needed for homes, businesses, industry, transportation, agriculture—everything—from wind, solar and water power technologies, by 2050. Their national blueprints, released Nov.
- November 22, 2015: How neoliberalism used the 'limits to growth'
It’s not that material limits don’t exist, or are not significant, but what they mean at any given moment is a complicated socially- and politically-determined process. The question of what those limits are, and how they might be shifted – not transcended by some techno futurism, but how a different mode of social organisation or economic production might have different limits.
- November 20, 2015: Paris Climate March Is Canceled Over Security Concerns
All marches and rallies set to coincide with United Nations climate treaty talks in Paris have been canceled due to heightened security concerns following terrorist attacks that killed 129 people and injured 350 more, French police told environmental and activist groups Wednesday afternoon. Environmental leaders had been expecting some 200,000 people in Paris for a march on Nov. 29, the day before UN negotiations begin, and thousands more for dozens of other climate demonstrations over the course of the two-week meeting.
- November 19, 2015: The Paris attacks make climate protests more important than ever, Nick Dearden
It will be deeply ironic if climate activists from around the world are among the first to fall foul of France's emergency powers. Of course, those campaigners have nothing to do with the brutal attacks on Paris last Friday night. On the contrary, they will challenge the unequal, unsustainable and militaristic policies on which terrorism has thrived.
- November 18, 2015: COP 21: movements rally to Paris for climate justice
We know how it all started — colonialism was the original metabolic rift in our history, which has been profoundly extended and deepened by industrial capitalism. Yet as we enter the 6th mass extinction, there is an ambient sense that there is no alternative to this way of life.
- November 16, 2015: Vancouver among cities affected by rising sea levels caused by climate change
More than one million Canadians are at risk of being inundated by rising sea levels if no efforts are made to combat global warming, according to a new report by Climate Central. The report outlines consequences if global warming continues unabated and average global temperatures rise by a projected 4°C, melting polar icecaps and submerging land around the world that is home to up to 760 million people.
- November 16, 2015: Collapsing Greenland glacier could raise sea levels by half a metre
A major glacier in Greenland that holds enough water to raise global sea levels by half a metre has begun to crumble into the North Atlantic Ocean, scientists say. The huge Zachariae Isstrom glacier in northeast Greenland started to melt rapidly in 2012 and is now breaking up into large icebergs where the glacier meets the sea, monitoring has revealed.
- November 13, 2015: G20 countries spend $450B a year on fossil fuel subsidies
G20 countries are spending $452 billion US a year subsidizing their fossil fuel industries and are undermining the world's effort to combat climate change in the process, according to a new international report by an environmental advocacy group. "It's quite a shocking amount. I think we were surprised the scale of the subsidies is so great," said study co-author Alex Doukas, who is senior campaigner with Oil Change International.
- November 13, 2015: Corporate agenda threatens to straightjacket Paris COP 21 proceedings yet again
After 20 years of meetings and failed attempts to limit carbon emissions, annual emissions this year are 60 per cent higher that when United Nations Climate Talks began in 1990. In the lead up to this year's meetings at the "Committee of the Parties" (COP 21) conference in Paris, countries have submitted pledges in the form of "Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC)" that observers have noted will still commit the world to catastrophic levels of warming.
- November 12, 2015: From Eco-Art to Biopolitical Struggle on the Eve of COP21
The timing of this questionnaire is canny. It appears at a moment in which we are witnessing the daily intensification of climate crisis, the strengthening of the climate justice movement, and the radicalization of artists in the orbit of insurgent political formations over the past few years including Occupy, Rising Tide North America, and Black Lives Matter.
- November 12, 2015: Freeze the Tar Sands!
Climate change demands urgent, decisive action. As we approach the most important round of international climate negotiations of the decade, we need a deliberate, steady plan to wean Canada off volatile boom-and-bust oil revenues, and reorient our economy toward 21st—not 19th—century technology.
- November 12, 2015: Is the Paris climate conference designed to fail?
From the end of this month through early December, much of the world’s attention will be focused on Paris, the site of the upcoming round of UN climate negotiations. This is the twenty-first time diplomats and heads of state will gather under the umbrella of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change...
- November 11, 2015: Earth's climate entering new 'permanent reality' as CO2 hits new high
The Earth’s climate will enter a new “permanent reality” from next year when concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are likely to pass a historic milestone, the head of the UN’s weather agency has warned. The record concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere were up 43% since pre-industrial times, said the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), prompting its secretary general Michel Jarraud to say immediate action was needed to cut CO2 emissions.
- November 11, 2015: How Will We Reach an Ecological Civilization and Who Will Build It?, Chris Williams
We are now officially living amid the sixth great extinction, according to scientists, but the global economy has still not shifted to prevent climate change's existential threat to human civilization and much of the biosphere. Will transnational corporations and the political leaders that cater to them realize that it is in their own interest of self-preservation to address the problem of global climate change by halting the unrelenting use of fossil fuels?
- November 10, 2015: Airpocalypse now: China pollution reaching record levels
Residents of north-eastern China donned gas masks and locked themselves indoors on Sunday after their homes were enveloped by some of the worst levels of smog on record. Levels of PM2.5, a tiny airborne particulate linked to cancer and heart disease, soared in Liaoning province as northern China began burning coal to heat homes at the start of the winter.
- November 9, 2015: The Future of Climate Change Is Widespread Civil War
At the end of November, delegations from nearly 200 countries will convene in Paris for what is billed as the most important climate meeting ever held. Officially known as the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the 1992 treaty that designated that phenomenon a threat to planetary health and human survival), the Paris summit will be focused on the adoption of measures that would limit global warming to less than catastrophic levels.
- November 8, 2015: Forget Paris?
At the end of September, something Earth-shaking happened. After 10 years and $7-billion, Shell abandoned its plans to drill in the Alaskan Arctic. Shell’s U-turn wasn’t driven by government action or international climate agreements. It was years of public protest, direct action, online organizing and legal challenges – particularly by Indigenous communities – that delayed the project and ratcheted up the costs.
- November 8, 2015: (Social) Theory for the Anthropocene
So what becomes of social theory in the Anthropocene? Well, maybe it could no longer be about the social. Maybe it would no longer be possible to take the social as given, as an artifact for thought. It is rather more messy and complicated connections to the non-social might have to be more evident. This might itself be one of the tasks that a non- or extra-social theory might set itself.
- November 7, 2015: Grounding the Anthropocene: Sites, Subjects, Struggles in the Bakken Oil Fields
The windswept plains of western North Dakota are experiencing a dramatic geological and social restratification, where surface and depth, past and present, inside and outside, are folded together, producing new subjectivities, new economies, new natures as well as new political spaces that extend throughout and beyond the region.
- November 6, 2015: Up against the clock: Climate, social movements and Marxism
Time is running out. This is not an alarmist call to arms but a reflection of the scientific consensus about what is happening to the climate and what will happen in the coming years unless action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases happens on a huge scale and begins now.
- November 6, 2015: Pacific islands make last-ditch plea to world before Paris climate change talks
Amid the rustling palm trees, blissed newlyweds and colourful attire of a tropical island resort, Pacific leaders have been getting blunt with wealthy nations about the unfolding calamity of climate change that is gradually gnawing away their remote idylls.
- November 6, 2015: Freezing Tar Sands is Crucial to Building a Nation to Nation Relationship with Indigenous Peoples
This week, I will be attending the Climate Welcome in Ottawa to communicate to Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal government the urgent need to freeze the expansion of the tar sands The message is clear. We can longer base our economy around industries that wreck havoc on our environment, causing permanent damage to our lands and waters. It is no longer ok for the Canadian government to invest in an aggressive resource extraction industry.
- November 1, 2015: Trudeau's big test in Paris
In just one month, the most anticipated United Nations climate summit in history will begin in Paris. With ominous signs of accelerating climate change already upon us, and negotiators pinning their hopes on a new binding international agreement, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change promises to be its most important gathering to date.
- October 26, 2015: Evidence corporate interference stopping climate progress
On the heels of new findings that corporate influence is undermining climate policy progress globally and a U.S. Congressional call for an investigation into ExxonMobil, civil society is mounting a historic campaign to jettison polluters from climate policymaking.
- October 18, 2015: Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela agrees to defend Mother Earth at COP21
The presidents of Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela agreed to speak for "Pachamama", or Mother Earth, and civil society at the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21, in Paris this December. Bolivian President Evo Morales, along with Rafael Correa and Nicolas Maduro, his counterparts from Ecuador and Venezuela respectively, emphasized Monday the role of society in defending the environment, at the closing of the II World People's Conference on Climate Change in Bolivia's Cochabamba.
- October 13, 2015, Bullet No. #1172: Can Autoworkers Save the Climate?, Lars Henriksson
At the UN Climate Change Conference COP 19, the even-more-depressing-than-usual climate summit that took place in Warsaw in 2013, one small ray of light made it through the dark corporate clouds that were otherwise suffocating even the slightest effort to address the ongoing environmental disaster. On the last day of the conference, an unusual alliance was formed as environmental organizations and trade unions together walked out of the venue under the banner of 'Enough Is Enough'.
- October 12, 2015: Activists promise largest climate civil disobedience ever at Paris summit
Thousands of climate change campaigners have promised to blockade a major UN climate summit in Paris with what they say will be non-violent direct action on a scale Europe has not seen before.
- October 11, 2015: Will Canada Finally Tackle the Climate Challenge?
Environmental Defence and Équiterre have launched an updated comparison looking at the federal parties’ main climate policies. Only six weeks after Canada's federal election, national governments will gather in Paris for United Nations talks to finalize a global climate change agreement. Recent polls show that Canadians are looking for greater leadership from the federal government on climate change.
- October 11, 2015: Linda McQuaig is Right: Keep the TarSands in the Ground!
At the beginning of the federal election campaign, Toronto Centre NDP candidate and respected author Linda McQuaig stated a simple fact: "a lot of people recognize that a lot of the oil sands oil may need to stay in the ground if we're going to meet our climate change targets." This sparked a corporate media backlash, accusing her of being ideologically-driven, anti-Alberta and anti-jobs.
- October 8, 2015: UN publishes draft of slimmed-down Paris climate change deal
A new draft of the potential global agreement on climate change, to be negotiated this December in Paris, has been published by the United Nations. The text is a crucial step forward for the talks, as previous versions of the draft were judged to be too long and unwieldy for negotiators to grapple with in time for the December deadline.
- September 10, 2015, Bullet No. #1160: Nations' Climate Pledges Set Course for Disastrous Warming, Andrea Germanos
Greenhouse gas reduction pledges countries have submitted to the United Nations in advance of global climate talks set the planet on a path that keeps critical climate goals out of reach. That's according to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a project of four research organizations that assesses nations' climate pledges and actions.
- August 6, 2015, Bullet No. #1151: The Pope's Message in Bolivia and to the World, Richard Fidler; Judith Marshall
In retrospect, it must be said that the College of Cardinals made an astute decision in 2013 when they chose Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the Vicar of Christ. Pope Francis, as he is now called, has emerged as a world leader in speaking out on the major social and humanitarian issues ranging from climate crisis to poverty and social exclusion.
- August 3, 2015: A Brief History of Global Warming
Global warming turns 120 next year... sort of. Next year will be the 120th anniversary of the first time we figured out that human activity could be causing climate change. Since then, the science has gotten firmer and the politics have gotten murkier, but the outlook for the future remains uncertain. This is the history of manmade global warming in three minutes.
- July 21, 2015: Climate scientist James Hansen gives most dire prediction yet, Fram Dinshaw
A leading climate scientist gave an alarming warning that limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius may not prevent a catastrophic sea level rise that would leave major cities from Miami to Mumbai at risk of drowning.
- July 12, 2015: Capitalism vs. Ecology
It is no longer plausible to propose incremental solutions to the ecological crises of our time. The numbers are clear: to avoid a trillion metric tons of cumulative carbon emissions by 2039, it is necessary to stabilize immediately Greenhouse Gas emissions. Presentations by Niloofar Golkar, Greg Albo and Jodi Dean.
- July 7, 2015: The Road to Paris
The climate justice movement is organizing in anticipation of the upcoming United Nations COP21 events in Paris this December. This website brings together many of the leading activist intellectuals within the climate justice movement, to discuss strategies in advance of the COP21 - how should we prepare for Paris, what should we do in Paris, and what about the post-Paris era that will soon open up?
- May 24, 2015, Bullet No. #1121: From FAILURE20 to COP21, Asbjørn Wahl
Climate change is going on. Extreme weather conditions, storms, floodings, landslides, droughts and ice melting are reported ever more regularly from many parts of the world. Millions of people are losing their livelihood, their homes, their jobs -- and many also their lives. The successive reports of the United Nation-IPCC have increasingly called for urgent action in order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.
- April 22, 2015: Earth Day 2015, Mike Constable
- March 4, 2015, Bullet No. #1087: The Paris Climate Talks and the Failure of States, Gabriel Levy
The officials in charge of the United Nations climate talks say that no deal will be done in Paris in December (COP21) to avoid dangerous global warming. After preparatory negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, this month, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, confirmed that the target set previously, of limiting warming to 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, would be missed.