So I present an unpopular but fact-based argument in the form of two “Am I wrong?” queries. If you accept my facts, you will see the massive challenge we face in transforming human assumptions and ways of living on Earth. I welcome being told what crucial facts I might be missing. Even a realist — … Continue reading “Don’t Call Me a Pessimist on Climate Change. I Am a Realist”
As positive as it all sounds, the £65,000 investment is a lot. Are the trees worth it? They definitely are, says Briggs, and because trees grow on only half of the farm, he can make a direct comparison. The arable yields per hectare are the same and the trees only take up 8% of the … Continue reading “Trees in the Field: Taking Farming to a New Dimension”
“[Native American Heritage Month] allows for us to remind [non-Natives] that we are still here, living here, despite their attempts to make us like them,” says Redner, the Phoenix Indian Center CEO. “We will continue to survive, but it’s our time to thrive now; it’s time for the seventh generation to use our knowledge.”
It is in the other English tradition – a tradition starting with the Charter of the Forest, later championed by the Levellers, later by the Chartists and the Co-operatives, the trade unions and the original Labour Movement that brought us the Welfare State – a tradition of resistance to autocracy and privilege – and a … Continue reading “Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth by Guy Standing: Review”
Repeating and evolving. We are learning together. You are welcome in. Your voice is needed. Your transformation of shock and grief into response and relief is needed. We’re all in this together. Humanity finally has a common challenge.
1.9 million. 13 trillion. 10 billion. These are the numbers that jumped off the page when I read PCI Fellow David Hughes’s latest “shale reality check ” report on the U.S. government’s forecasts of domestic oil and gas production.
California and Colorado’s public pension funds together lost out on over $19 billion over the past decade by investing in fossil fuel stocks, according to a report released on Tuesday. The three public pension funds analyzed are currently worth a combined $663 billion.
In the scenic Nicasio Valley of Marin County, Stone Steps Farm is a small, family farm breeding Pygora goats, mini Nubian goats, and Gotland sheep. Animals of all three breeds are friendly, gentle, and small enough to be handled and transported easily. Leigh, her husband John, and their sons care for the animals, including doing the milking … Continue reading “Fine Fleece at Stone Steps Farm”
US futures fluctuated between $56 and $57.50 last week as stockpiles rose, the rig count dropped, and hopes for a breakthrough in the US-China trade negotiations kept coming and going. Brent rose above $63 a barrel on Thursday after China hinted at progress towards a trade deal with the United States.
Nah, there’s nothing deathly or millenarian about the XR activists I know. They’re just ‘ordinary’, flawed, caring (middle-class) people like me, full of love and zest for life, and really, really scared about the deathly devastation that climate change threatens to wreak upon the world and the life they hold dear, unless governments act radically … Continue reading “Extinction Rebellion: Four More (Unconvincing) Criticisms”
In her testimony to the US Congress, Greta Thunberg did not prepare a statement for submission to the record. Instead, she submitted the most recent scientific report, issued by the IPCC three weeks earlier. She said simply, “I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me, I … Continue reading “Of warnings and their ripple effects”
Qatar is both a country and a peninsula which juts out about 100 miles into the Persian Gulf. It is precisely this geography which makes it both one of the hottest and muggiest places on Earth. The average daily high in mid-summer is 108 degrees F (42 degrees C).
We are now starting to learn from other countries – and from an increasing body of research – the numerous benefits of silvopastoral systems. There is also an urgency that climate change brings for an uptake of these systems. Project Drawdown, a climate mitigation project, identified silvopasture as one of the top ten climate solutions.
After seven years of promoting fracking, Conservative ministers have withdrawn their support and blocked the prospects of a shale gas industry. The UK government has issued an immediate moratorium in England because of the risk of earth tremors. Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already issued measures that amount to moratoriums on fracking.
In the places where citizen-leaders come together, we can promote the idea of the great middle ground. The ‘middle ground’ refers to the masses of people all over the world whose way of living is between over-consumption and poverty; they live without making excessive demands on the earth.
United States House Resolution 109, the document that proposes a Green New Deal, focuses narrowly on the US. It threatens to create Green New Colonialism through increased extraction abroad. It also gives no mention of the US military’s environmental impact or its ability to maintain global injustice by force.
There are more possibilities than a marginally less-bad business-as-usual future. Effectively and justly achieving deep emissions cuts requires fundamentally changing the system, not merely modifying it or slapping its beneficiaries’ wrists. Real change requires state programs and regulations as well as trying out new forms of ownership and governance.
The phrase “integrity of life” reached out and grabbed me when I heard it in church a while ago. Those three words express what I’ve always been trying to work toward: why I’ve several times given up my old life and gone to live in primitive circumstances; why I’ve worked, raised my family, and ordered … Continue reading “Integrity of Life”
But then he dropped a big rock, the ripples of which reached all the way to me standing a bit removed on the shore. He said, “This life is not yours.”
The wildfire crisis, one that is expected to get worse in the Golden State in the coming years as the full effects of climate change kick in, illuminates a glaring disparity. When fires rip through a community, its most vulnerable members — the old and sick, domestic workers, construction workers, and incarcerated folks — get … Continue reading “When Wildfires Sweep through California, Who Gets Left Behind?”
The global economy is clearly headed for another recession after a decade of lukewarm recovery. The bailouts and loose monetary policy of the post-2008 world did nothing to fix the fundamental causes of capitalism’s latest systemic crisis. Instead, they papered over structural weakness while enabling another orgy of irresponsible lending and rampant speculation.
Mackenzie Feldman, Founder of Herbicide-Free Campus has been working to end herbicide use by the University of California campus system. This May, the University announced a ban on glyphosate citing “concerns about possible human health and ecological hazards”.
The big news of the week—kind of—was Trump’s starting the paperwork for getting the US out of the Paris Climate Accord (Accord). Although Trump announced his intentions in June 2017, the rules of the Accord prohibited any formal action before a few days ago. The US won’t actually be off the Accord until November 4, … Continue reading “Climate Politics/Capitol Light (37)”
We need keystone policies that are underpinned by a vision of a rich social, personal and economic habitat for people. The role of politics is to design institutions and policies that enable people to co-operate and that facilitate citizens to act for the common good. The policies mentioned above function in this way. If key … Continue reading “Keystone Attitudes and Policies of Enough”
In this post, I reflect on the vocabulary we need to be familiar with if we are to raise awareness and develop widespread literacy and skills for responding to all our interrelated problems, from climate breakdown to soil erosion, species extinction, human suffering and inequality. The issue of language and vocabulary has arisen in a … Continue reading “We Need to Talk About … Green New Deal and Other Necessary Vocabulary for our Times”
So finally, vegan or not, it comes down to this: Live rightly, and don’t worry about how large an impact you’re having. The intractable evil of the world around you is no excuse for you to violate your own conscience. If you think it is right to eat differently, spend differently, live differently, then do … Continue reading “What Can One Person Do?”
Every time a group of people starts to make others understand that there’s a need to take action for a given problem, they can start to undertake initiatives to adopt this law, as we are doing. The abolition of slavery in America and of apartheid in Africa started with small groups which engaged themselves in … Continue reading “‘Coyote’ Alberto Ruz on the Rights of Nature”
The daily shower would be hard to sustain in a world without fossil fuels. The mist shower, a satisfying but forgotten technology which uses very little water and energy, could be a solution. Designer Jonas Görgen developed a do-it-yourself kit to convert almost any shower into a mist shower and sent me one to try … Continue reading “Mist Showers: Sustainable Decadence?”
As environmental crises and the urgency to create ecological sustainability escalate, so does the importance of ecological economics. This applied, solutions-based field of studies is concerned with sustainability and development, rather than efficiency and growth.
I don’t know where we are going – no one does really – and I don’t know what we will find ultimately in this unprecedented new world, but I do know something about the early days of the voyage and have thoughts and experiences to share.
Neighborhood groups, business improvement associations, and unions can adopt policy. Universities can adopt policies to buy local and sustainable food. The power of public and para-public purses is more widely available than ever before. As well, the talents of citizens for self government and leadership are higher than ever before. We need to look ahead to a … Continue reading “We Need Good Policy on Good Food Policy”
Fundamentally, migration has always been, and will always be, a part of human development. There is no use in casting it as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ phenomenon in itself: the notion of being ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ migration is a useless hook for popular debate and undermines the dignity of people who have migrated.
And what I say to those who choose to criticise XR is please by all means criticise us, and come up swiftly and proactively with something better we can do to meet the challenges of imminent climate catastrophe and ecological disaster. I would be the first to be behind you. But if you cannot then … Continue reading “With XR Disrupting London’s Streets”
Human beings are at their worst when they are consumers, locked into the miserable pursuit of satisfaction through the isolation of individual consumption – particularly when that shopping and consuming is done online (and when, as with Instagram, we learn to turn ourselves into commodities). T
The one thing I am sure of, however, is that there’s too much hedging going on both in politics and the private market. We’ll never prevail in keeping below the temperature thresholds scientists are warning of by hedging climate defense investments with continuing investments in fossil fuels.
In 1972 economists became embroiled in a controversy with a group of systems scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and declared themselves the winners. It became the conventional wisdom that the economists won the argument. This complacent judgement now turns out to be premature.
In the past, we did not need to make a big deal of enough; it was built into our lives in many ways. Our language recognised it in phrases like ‘enough is as good as a feast’, and ‘waste not, want not’. But in modern life the sense of enough is badly underdeveloped; in affluent … Continue reading “Enough is Plenty”
On Wednesday, the price of oil came under pressure after the EIA reported a crude oil inventory build of 5.7 million barrels for the week to October 25. Analysts had expected a much smaller build of 729,000 barrels after a 1.7-million-barrel draw interrupted a string of five weekly inventory builds.
Kadalie’s book is one more testament that a collective awakening is taking place to jettison the state and redefine global history from the bottom up. For all this, direct democracy by itself can hardly promise social and ecological restoration. Democracy is not a matter of implementing formulaic procedures and structures; it is a matter of … Continue reading “The Stories We Need: Pan-African Social Ecology”
Like most people, I hoped climate policy would improve, but years of infighting and adversarial politics have resulted in a dearth of climate action, where cooperation might well have yielded positive results. One solution to this frustrating deadlock is to place the responsibility for climate policy at arm’s length from political actors. We need a … Continue reading “A ‘Council for the Future’ Could Break Australia’s Climate Paralysis”
How we think about progress governs what we do every day. The dominant notions of progress, however, are driving us to ruin even when they are deployed to help us address the critical environmental problems of our day.
While many people have concerns with large dams, very few realize their impending connection with the Green New Deal. In addition to threats that they pose to wildlife, human rights, and human health, the article explains two problems that most environmentalists are unaware of.
It may come as a shock to Harvard students, faculty, and alumni, as well as the millions of educators and others in the United States whose pensions are managed by TIAA, to learn that these two institutions are deeply and directly invested in this destructive expansion of agribusiness. Over the past twelve years, TIAA and … Continue reading “Harvard and TIAA’s Farmland Grab in Brazil Goes Up in Smoke”
Climate literacy, which should by now be universal, lags out of all proportion to the crisis — and yet it promises large returns for a relatively small investment. If every student was climate literate, we could begin to effect change on a large scale. If every person was truly climate literate, imagine the change we … Continue reading “Mind the Climate Literacy Gap”
California is the fifth-largest economy in the world and likes to shout about its genius at innovation, but it is a victim of its lack of energy innovation. It’s a climate disaster zone, with the new reality of hotter, dryer conditions made far worse by the outdated power grid and corrupt private corporation in charge of … Continue reading “Ordinary Life has Vanished in Fire-Ravaged California”
President Trump divides just about everything political he or his administration touches. The latest industry Trump has caused to turn against itself is automaking. Since Day 1 of the Trump presidency, the auto industry has been hoping to re-negotiate the deal it struck with the Obama administration on auto and light truck fuel efficiency standards … Continue reading “Federal Fuel Efficiency Standards: Another Unnecessary Conflict in the Age of Trump”
The Case for the Green New Deal (by Ann Pettifor), and A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal (by Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Daniel Aldana Cohen and Thea Riofrancos) each clock in at a little under 200 pages, and both books are written in accessible prose for a general audience. Surprisingly, there is … Continue reading “Platforms for a Green New Deal”
The minute there’s an orthodoxy of language and an orthodoxy of thought, which we all feel we have to stay within otherwise we’re going to get punished, or cancelled, then that’s the end of expression, that’s the end of any attempt to explore outside the boundaries. It’s what every orthodoxy from fascism to communism to … Continue reading “The Earth Does Not Speak in Prose”
Oil spills, hazardous waste, and ship groundings hex America’s oceans and rivers every year. Pollution drives people away from beaches, leaving them silent as a boneyard. NOAA looks for ways to bring waterways back to life. To do this, NOAA and our partners often look for opportunities to remove or bypass barriers for fish passage … Continue reading “Rivers of the ‘Dammed,’ Rising from the Grave”
The national budget in any country is one of the key instruments a government can use to fight inequality and bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. For this reason, Fight Inequality Alliance Zambia has been carrying out a People’s Budget campaign in the last couple of months to advocate for a more equal budget … Continue reading “In Zambia, a People’s Budget Campaign Demands a Budget that Works for Women”