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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

So, Donald Trump will be president of the United States and both Congress and Senate will be dominated by Republicans. Environmentalists and social justice activists, almost universally, find this idea horrifying. But there are silver linings to be found amidst the wreckage. Let’s explore a few of them.

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I recently found myself in a part of Mississauga, Ontario (a bedroom community of Toronto), in which more than 90% of the visible landscape (excepting the sky) appeared to consist of concrete, in the form of pavement, asphalt, buildings, and such. The remaining 5-10% — rows of evenly spaced short trees, shrubs, a few patches of […]

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Damian White has posted an excellent review of Janet Biehl’s book Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin at the Jacobin blog. Bookchin’s legacy has undergone something of a revival of late thanks to the efforts of Kurdish eco-socialist communitarians in Rojava.

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Just as I=PAT serves as a handy, if problematic, formula for thinking about the causes of environmental impact, so I think there is a similar formula underlying tragedies like the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. It goes something like this: Hate + Technology + Distress = Carnage/Chaos

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McKenzie Wark has written a very provocative piece on the geopolitics of the Anthropocene, or what he calls “The Geopolitics of Hibernation.” A quote: 

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This article has been revised since it was first posted. It consists of a list of useful sources providing ongoing coverage of, and initial post-conference reactions to, the COP21 conference and mobilizations in response to it. Please suggest any other helpful sources and links in the “Comments.” (Previously suggested links have been added and the comments removed.)  Originally published: Dec. […]

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The Paris climate talks were successful in that they resulted in an agreement that is both better than nothing and better than most of us expected. They were a failure in that even if they are followed to the letter — and there’s no provision for enforcing whether anyone follows them or not — they would […]

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Here’s how I would explain the concept of Climate Justice in four easy steps: The wealthiest 1% emit 2500 times more greenhouse gases than the poorest 1%. Those greenhouse gases are in the process of changing the Earth’s climate to render it uninhabitable for the kind of mix of human & nonhuman species that exists […]

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Writing in The Independent, “Left accelerationists” Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek make the case that we need not bother protesting the Paris climate summit. There are better things to do than that. They argue, first, that the negotiators won’t change anything under pressure, and probably won’t even notice that pressure coming from the streets. (Especially […]

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Wes Enzinna’s New York Times Magazine article on “The Rojava Experiment” finally gives mainstream recognition to what has been happening among the Kurds of northern Syria. As he writes, “In accordance with a philosophy laid out by a leftist revolutionary named Abdullah Ocalan, Rojavan women had been championed as leaders, defense of the environment enshrined […]

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How connected are the recent Paris attacks with the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 21 (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)? At first glance, the targeting of Paris for ISIS’s act of war on civilian populations would seem to be motivated by other things: France’s role in […]

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Sometimes discussions in social media feel like the internal conversations of a person with severe multiple-personality disorder trying hard to give equal voice, or at least free rein, to their many voices. And I find I can agree with all or most of those voices; and at the same time disagree. In a facebook debate […]

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