Connexions Resource Centre:
Focus on Environment
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to environmental issues in the
Connexions Online Library.
For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
global climate change,
environment and agriculture,
and urban environment.
- Harper's Worst Offense against Refugees May Be His Climate Record (September 7, 2015)
The Middle East drought between 2006 and 2011 was without precedent since modern record keeping, killing over 80 per cent of livestock and driving up local food prices. Already poor populations had to contend with higher temperatures that dried soil and failed rains during the normally wet season due to weaker winds from the Mediterranean. A key long-term driver of this unfolding humanitarian catastrophe is climate change. And on that front, Canadas record of contributing to this crisis is far more significant than our wretched record so far in resettling Syrian refugees.
- Fish habitat protection waning under Harper government, analysis finds (September 2, 2015)
A statistical analysis of the Conservative government's changes to environmental laws and procedures suggests Ottawa has "all but abandoned" attempts to protect Canada's lakes and rivers.
- Will climate chaos reign in the Anthropocene? (July 1, 2015)
To judge by many accounts of climate change, the twenty-first century will gradually become a warmer, stormier, and less biodiverse version of the twentieth. There's an unspoken assumption that the Anthropocene will be less pleasant than the Holocene, but not fundamentally different, and that the transition will be smooth.
- Is Canada's government trying to kill off the wild salmon? (June 8, 2015)
Matthews discusses how the Canadian government's actions and legal changes threaten the wild salmon.
- Anthropocene Boosters and the Attack on Wilderness Conservation (May 12, 2015)
A number of academics, commentators, and groups argue that humans have so completely modified the Earth that concepts such as 'wilderness' or 'nature' have become meaningless, and that therefore there is no point in talking about 'preserving' wilderness or natural areas. The idea of 'nature', they say, is just a human cultural construct. Those advancing these ideas use different progressive-sounding labels, such as "pragmatic environmentalists" or "green postmodernism," but their message is that we should forget about wilderness conservation and just get on with the business of 'managing' the planet for human benefit. Not surprisingly, corporate and industry leaders have been jumping on the bandwagon.
- Future dustbowl? Fracking ravages Great Plains land and water (May 4, 2015)
The fracking boom has caused massive vegetation loss over North America's rangelands, as 3 million hectares have been occupied by oil and gas infrastructure and 34 billion cubic metres of water have been pumped from semi-arid ecosystems.
- Air pollution may be damaging children's brains - before they are even born (April 10, 2015)
Aside causing respiratory and cardiovascular damage, air pollution has also an impact on the brains and nervous systems of unborn children whose mothers suffer high levels of exposure.
- How Corporations and Law Enforcement Are Spying on Environmentalists (April 10, 2015)
In August 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit distributed an intelligence bulletin to all field offices warning that environmental extremism would likely become an increasing threat to the energy industry. The eight-page document argued that, even though the industry had encountered only low-level vandalism and trespassing, recent "criminal incidents" suggested that environmental extremism was on the rise.
- Ocean 'dead zones' are spreading - and that spells disaster for fish (April 9, 2015)
Oxygen levels in our oceans are falling, producing growing 'dead zones' where only the hardiest organisms can survive. The causes are simple: pollution with nutrient-rich wastes, and global warming. But the only solution is to stop it happening - or wait for 1,000 years.
- Crossing a chasm slowly, in ten small steps? Sustainable living demands big changes (March 29, 2015)
A call to re-engineer our infrastructure, re-imagine society and re-think the ways we live for disruptive, transformative change - rather than tinkering at the margins of 'normality'.
- Global water crisis causing failed harvests, hunger, war and terrorism (March 27, 2015)
The world is already experiencing water scarcity driven by over-use, poor land management and climate change. If we fail to respond to the warnings before us, major food and power shortages will soon afflict large parts of the globe.
- Tar sands campaigners are Canada's new 'terrorists' (March 5, 2015)
Canada's Harper government has targeted as a new crime being a member of an 'anti-Canadian petroleum movement', and equating such a stance with terrorism.
- Blue Betrayal (March 1, 2015)
Canadians have long taken their water heritage for granted. This is largely due to the myth that there is an abundance of water. While it is true that compared to many other parts of the world Canada is blessed with water, it is false that there is water to waste or sell.
- Crossing the River of Fire (February 1, 2015)
A review of Naomi Klein's book "This Changes Everything" on climate change and its political enviroment.
- Wind offers a healthy way to generate power (December 11, 2014)
To reduce global greenhouse gas emissions at a pace and scale that experts agree is necessary to avoid increasing catastrophic effects of global warming, we need a mix of renewable energy. Wind power will play a large role.
- Capitalism is failing the planet (November 20, 2014)
If we continue with capitalist business as usual, there will be disastrous consequences for humanity. Capitalism is in unavoidable conflict with environmental sustainability because of three key features that are inherent to the system.
- Climate Crisis, the Deindustrialization Imperative and the Jobs vs. Environment Dilemma (November 12, 2014)
So long as we live under capitalism, today, tomorrow, next year and every year thereafter, economic growth will always be the overriding priority till we barrel right off the cliff to collapse.
- Overlooking the Obvious With Naomi Klein (October 17, 2014)
The lesson that Naomi Klein overlooks seems clear. Climate chaos is just one DEVASTATING symptom of our dysfunctional society. To survive catabolic capitalism and germinate an alternative, movement activists will have to anticipate and help people respond to multiple crises while organizing them to recognize and root out their source.
- Drawing a line in the tar sands (October 2, 2014)
The fight over the tar sands is among the epic environmental and social justice battles of our time. The very active tar sands struggle is no less than a life-and-death battle for the future of the planet. It is a battle that pits these peoples' movement against the largest and most destructive industrial project -- a project driven by the big the most profitable and powerful transnational energy corporations.
- New generation: Growing up reading Rachel Carson, scientists unravel risks of new pesticides (September 25, 2014)
Like biologist Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book Silent Spring warned about the devastating effects of DDT, a new generation of scientists is trying to figure out if new pesticides -- which are being used in ever-increasing numbers, quantities, and combinations -- are harming living things theyre not intended to kill, including birds.
- Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change (September 25, 2014)
Is our inability to tackle climate change the fault of politicians? Corporations? Governments? Or is it because that's the way our brains have evolved, able to hold six contradictory ideas at once, and believe them all?
- The Carbon Underground: reversing global warming (September 21, 2014)
As millions join in climate marches and other actions around the world, the mainstream focus on energy is missing the 55% of emissions that come from mismanaged land and destroyed forests. The key is to replace industrial agriculture worldwide with productive, regenerative organic farming that puts carbon back in the soil.
- Canada more at risk from environmentalists than religiously inspired terrorists: RCMP (September 16, 2014)
Recent RCMP report warns that Canada's energy sector is more at risk from domestic environmental extremists than from religiously inspired terrorist organizations like Al Qaida and ISIS.
- The liberal climate agenda is doomed to failure (August 29, 2014)
Liberal environmentalism represents a dangerous delusion, writes Scott Parkin - that 'playing nice' with Earth-destroying corporations and politicians can yield results worth having. Radical change on climate will only result from bold, confrontational direct actions against the fossil fuel industries and their apologists.
- Rio Tinto's 'sustainable mining' claims exposed (July 30, 2014)
Global mining giant Rio Tinto markets itself as a 'sustainable company'. But serious failures in its reporting, and its attempt to hold an Australian indigenous group to ransom, reveal a very different truth: the company is driven by a reckless pursuit of profit at any cost.
- It's not just the bees! 'Neonic' pesticides linked to bird declines (July 17, 2014)
A study published today in Nature shows a strong correlation between concentrations of a popular neonicotinoid pesticide in water, and bird declines. Regulators are under pressure to tighten up, but the industry still claims there's 'no substantiated evidence'.
- Selling the Silver (July 7, 2014)
Fishing quotas were meant to conserve stocks and support fishing communities. But they have achieved the reverse - rewarding the most rapacious fishing enterprises and leaving small scale fisherfolk with nothing.
- India - Now Nuclear and Environmental Dissent is a Crime (July 4, 2014)
In modern India any form of dissent from the neoliberal corporate model of development is being criminalised. Opponents of nuclear power, coal mines, GMOs, giant dams, are all under attack as enemies of the state and a threat to economic growth.
- Why Green Capitalism Will Fail (May 30, 2014)
Green capitalism is destined to fail: You cant keep doing the same thing and expect different results. We cant shop our way out of global warming nor are there technological magic wands that will save us. There is no alternative to a dramatic change in the organization of the global economy and consumption patterns. Such a change will not come without costs but the costs of doing nothing, of allowing global warming to precede is far greater.
- We Are The Soil (May 27, 2014)
We are made up of the same five elements earth, water, fire, air and space that constitute the Universe. We are the soil. We are the earth. What we do to the soil, we do to ourselves. And it is no accident that the words humus and humans have the same roots. This ecological truth is forgotten in the dominant paradigm because it is based on eco-apartheid, the false idea that we are separate and independent of the earth and also because it defines soil as dead matter. If soil is dead to begin with, human action cannot destroy its life. It can only improve the soil with chemical fertilisers. And if we are the masters and conquerors of the soil, we determine the fate of the soil. Soil cannot determine our fate.
- Call Climate Change What It Is: Violence (April 7, 2014)
Social unrest and famine, superstorms and droughts. Places, species and human beings none will be spared. Welcome to Occupy Earth.
- Alberta - tar sands emissions linked to health damage (April 5, 2014)
A report by Alberta's energy regulator links emissions from tar sands oil production with serious health impacts that have forced families to flee their homes in the Peace River region.
- The Myths of Green Capitalism (March 17, 2014)
Environmental politics in the U.S. appears hopelessly polarized. Liberals and progressives try to sustain and occasionally strengthen environmental legislation, while those on the right are unalterably opposed, even seeking to defund core institutions such as the EPA.
- Agriculture: Steps to sustainable livestock (March 5, 2014)
With improved breeding and cultivation, ruminant animals can yield food that is better for people and the planet.
- Fracking is the death spasm of a defunct economic order (March 5, 2014)
Political support for fracking is not just about energy, writes Paul Mobbs. It reflects the greater ecological and resource crisis at the root of our current economic woes - and only postpones the essential shift to a new kind of economy.
- God's plan for climate change (March 5, 2014)
How, and why, does the US Right and its evangelical 'Christian' wing campaign for mal-education, ignorance, corporate dominance, and the profligate consumption of fossil fuels?
- Romania - a Peasants' Revolt against Fracking (February 18, 2014)
Earthquakes and poisoned wells are setting off a revolt against fracking in Romania, revealing deep fault lines between the rural heartlands and the urban political elite.
- Bias Towards Power *Is* Corporate Media 'Objectivity' (February 13, 2014)
Journalistic bias in favour of the orthodox Western-centric socio-economic perspective is often framed as "objectivity", and departures from the orthodox Western-centric socio-economic perspective are often dismissed as "ideological'. A review of the incidence and framing of climate change reporting illustrates this.
- Lack of regulation behind West Virginia water disaster (January 14, 2014)
A chemical spill at the Etowah River Terminal, near Charleston, West Virginia, resulted in nearly 300,000 people in the state losing access to drinkable water. Since then, several reports have been released detailing the decades-long lack of regulation by state or federal agencies of the site responsible.
- How Greens and Labor can Win ... Together (January 9, 2014)
A review of Green Bans, Red Union: Environmental Activists and the New South Wales Labourers Federation by Meredith and Verity Burgmann (UNSW Press, 1998).
- Why environmentalists must support workers' struggles (December 18, 2013)
This is to specifically address class struggle as it relates to the ecological crisis. It will not address all the other (many!) reasons that working class struggle must be waged and supported.
- The Mekong must run free! (December 14, 2013)
The Mekong is among Southeast Asia's greatest rivers, sustaining tens of millions from its abundant fisheries and its floodwaters which both irrigate and fertilise. But Nature's bounty, and beauty, are at risk from a series of 11 dams.
- The Ecoterrorist and me (December 10, 2013)
Marie Mason is five years into a 22-year sentence for participating in non-violent - but highly destructive - actions with the Earth Liberation Front. David Rovics met with her at the Carswell Federal Women's Prison in Fort Worth, Texas.
- Climate politics must be as radical as the climate crisis (December 8, 2013)
If the climate action movement allows its goals to be shaped by what is permissible in a capitalist economy then it has already failed. To respond to the climate emergency, our politics must be as radical as our reality. Revolutionary changes needed for humankind to survive and thrive.
- Lobbying Elites: The Fast Track To Extinction (December 4, 2013)
As we evaluate the outcomes of the recent UN climate negotiations in Warsaw, one lesson that we are invited to learn, again, relates to our strategy for getting effective action taken on the ongoing climate catastrophe and other critical environmental.
- Roadblocks to Climate Activism (November 22, 2013)
The consequences of global warming. The evidence for the evolving dire effects of building CO2 and other greenhouse gases is getting increasingly conclusive. We are a species influenced by natural localism, and therefore the majority of Americans, and others in the West as well, are not going to abandon a present full of profit and relative comfort as long as the sky is clear in their own local place and time. As to the future beyond their grandchildren, it simply does not seem real.
- Greenhouse Gas Concentrations in Atmosphere Reach New Record (November 6, 2013)
The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2012, continuing an upward and accelerating trend which is driving climate change and will shape the future of our planet for hundreds and thousands of years.
- Unregulated oil fracking boom does permanent damage (August 8, 2013)
We know about the dangers of pollution from fracking. But its lethal, long-term byproducts and the ease with which they leak or are dumped may be causing worse problems in a state that cant even question them.
- Keystone XL Activists Labeled Possible Eco-Terrorists (June 14, 2013)
TransCanada has colluded with an FBI/DHS Fusion Center in Nebraska, labeling non-violent activists as possible candidates for terrorism charges and other serious criminal charges.
- 'The Planet Can't Keep Doing Us A Favour' (May 29, 2013)
With humanity's huge impact on the planet's climate becoming ever clearer, the claim of 'history in the making' is truly deserved.
- Just the Beginning of Canada's Filthy Tar Sands (May 7, 2013)
The technology used in Canada's tar sands will be used to open up other potential oil deposits that could more than double all know oil reserves. The disaster threatens to keep expanding.
- Marxism as if the planet mattered (April 10, 2013)
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels held that capitalism inevitably tears apart the natural conditions that sustain life. They argued capitalism's exploitation of working people, and the unsustainable exploitation of nature, were linked and part of the same process.
- The Environmental Movement at the Crossroads (March 7, 2013)
There is a growing culture of resistance in the environment movement
- What If America's Leaders Actually Want Catastrophic Climate Change? (November 28, 2012)
Our leaders, political and corporate, may be puerile, egocentric greed-heads, but they are not stupid. They surely for the most part recognize that the Earth is heating up and heading at full speed towards ecological, social and political disaster. How else to explain, then, their astonishing unwillingness to take action?
- A Marxist Ecological Vision (November 1, 2012)
The questions facing environmental activists, and socialists in particular, range from the sheer scale of the environmental disasters already underway to the problems of beginning a transition from a system organized around massive consumption of fossil fuels, vast megacities and global agribusiness.
- One of the Greatest Environmentalists of the 20th Century (October 10, 2012)
Dr. Barry Commoner, equipped with a Harvard PhD in cellular biology, used his knowledge of biology, ecosystems, nuclear radiation, public communication, networking scientists, political campaigning, and community organizing to become the greatest environmentalist in the 20th century.
- Barry Commoner 1917-2012 (October 2, 2012)
Barry Commoner, biologist, environmental, socialist, humanist, and one of the central leaders of the anti-nuclear-testing movement, dies at 95. He is particularly remembered for the Four Laws of Ecology he laid out in his book The Closing Circle: (1) Everything is connected to everything else. (2) Everything must go somewhere. (3) Nature knows best. (4) There is no such thing as a free lunch.
- The Ice Melts Into Water (October 2, 2012)
Last month, climate scientists announced that Arctic sea ice had shrunk to its smallest surface area since satellite observations began in 1979. An ice-free summer in the Arctic, once projected to be more than a century away, now looks possible just a few decades from now. Some scientists say it may happen within the next few years.
- The Dark Side Of The "Green Economy" (August 23, 2012)
Just a few years ago, the term "green economy" referred to economies that are locally based, climate friendly, and low-impact. But since the global economic meltdown began in 2007, the green economy has come to mean something more akin to the wholesale privatization of nature.
- At the crossroads between 'Green Economy' and rights of nature (June 28, 2012)
Under the rhetoric of "green economy", capitalists are actually attempting to use nature as capital, proposing unconvincingly that the only way to preserve natural elements such as water and forests is through private investment.
- The false solutions of Rio+20 (June 28, 2012)
Food production and people's sovereignty in Africa could be seriously compromised by carbon capture projects and the so-called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) mechanism.
- Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured Big Conservation? (February 7, 2012)
The global organic food industry agrees to support international agribusiness in clearing as much tropical rainforest as they want for farming. In return, agribusiness agrees to farm the now-deforested land using organic methods, and the organic industry encourages its supporters to buy the resulting timber and food under the newly devised Rainforest Plus label.
- The Four Laws Of Ecology And The Four Anti-Ecological Laws Of Capitalism (2012)
An exponential growth dynamic is inherent in capitalism, a system whereby money is exchanged for commodities, which are then exchanged for more money on an ever increasing scale.
- A Death Sentence For Africa (December 15, 2011)
Carbon emissions, already at their peak, will continue to increase for at least the next eight years, pushing humanity closer to the brink of climate collapse. Rather than address the madness of a global system of corporate-led capitalism that is bulldozing us to this disaster, the corporate media mouthed deceptive platitudes.
- Climate Crisis - The Collapse In Corporate Media Coverage (December 1, 2011)
We find that Britain and the US - the two countries responding most aggressively to alleged 'threats' to human security in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya - are also the two countries least interested in responding to the very real threat of climate change.
- Fred Magdoff and John Bellamy Foster: A `realistic answer to the ecological crisis (September 25, 2011)
Resolving the ecological crisis is incompatible with capitalism. We must build a movement that works against capitalist logic with the aim to overcoming it in favour of a properly sustainable and egalitarian form of society.
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- Mountaintop Removal: Environmental And Human Destruction For Profit (June 13, 2011)
Coal River Mountain Watch (CRMW) is an initiative "to stop the destruction of our communities and environment by mountaintop removal, to improve the quality of life in our area, and to help rebuild sustainable communities."
- The well-intentioned dolts putting a price on nature are delivering it into the hands of business (June 7, 2011)
Its the definitive neoliberal triumph: the monetisation and marketisation of nature, its reduction to a tradeable asset. Once you have surrendered it to the realm of Pareto optimisation and Kaldor-Hicks compensation, everything is up for grabs. The well-intentioned dolts who produced the governments assessment, have crushed the natural world into a column of figures. Now it can be swapped for money.
- Legal Lessons From the Green Scare (November 23, 2010)
Green Scare prosecutors and their coordinators in Washington are willing to destroy individual lives to score political points, and to trample their own rules in the process.
- Not Another Disaster Movie (October 26, 2010)
Whose will is it that keeps us going the way we are? The will of capital, albeit a capital thats been refurbished for our modern times. That will cloaks itself in the garb of progress, science and technology. At the same time, it justifies itself by the invocation, in the developed countries and those (like China) on the fast track to development, of an apparently all but incontrovertible need to maintain our way of life. That way of life threatens to fairly quickly become a threat to the possibility of life in any form that we would want to be part of.
- Five Reasons To Plant Trees Now (September 21, 2010)
To some people, planting a tree is the epitome of the environmental cliche. Planting a tree seems so simple, so easy, so... low-technology. In the midst of the economic upheaval we are experiencing now, in the face of massive challenges such as peak oil and climate change, why should we plant trees?
- Strong Meat (September 7, 2010)
The meat-producing system Simon Fairlie advocates differs sharply from the one now practised in the rich world: low energy, low waste, just, diverse, small-scale. But if we were to adopt it, we could eat meat, milk and eggs (albeit much less) with a clean conscience.
- What Bhopal Started (June 15, 2010)
Bhopal marked the horrific beginning of a new era. One that signalled the collapse of restraint on corporate power. The ongoing BP spill in the Mexican Gulf -- with estimates ranging from 30,000 to 80,000 barrels per day -- tops off a quarter of a century where corporations could (and have) done anything in the pursuit of profit, at any human cost.
- The Unpersuadables (March 8, 2010)
In fighting for science, we subscribe to a comforting illusion: that people can be swayed by the facts.
- Gates of Delusion: Media Distortions and REAL Climate Scandals (February 22, 2010)
Climate-related storms in a teacup have been appearing in the corporate media almost on a daily basis. This nonsense is distracting attention from a mountain of evidence that human-induced climate change is accelerating and poses a deadly threat to civilisation.
- Hard Core Green (January 14, 2010)
Two uncompromised green activists and writers completely focused on winning, and utterly void of bullshit.
- The Dead End of Climate Justice (January 8, 2010)
The notion of climate debt, highlighted as the principle avenue of struggle for the climate justice movement, poses some large problems. Contemporary demands for reparations justified by the notion of climate debt open a dangerous door to increased green capitalist investment in the Global South. Everything from energy to agriculture, from cleaning products to electronics, and especially everything within the biosphere, is being incorporated into this regime of climate markets. One can only imagine the immense possibilities for speculation and financialization in these markets as the green bubble continues to grow.
- Coal's Ruptured Landscape (January 5, 2010)
It is more apparent now than ever before that coal mining, especially mountain top removal, is unethical and inhumane. It displays stark irresponsibility in land stewardship as well as depraved practices within a diverse region. It's time to shake off the flawed belief that we are reliant upon coal and other fossil fuels.
- Doom and Gloom (December 21, 2009)
Jermey Brecher says that the social roots of doom are part of a common pattern that we can observe repeatedly in history. People live their lives and pursue their goals by means of strategies that have been developed over time. But sometimes they discover their established strategies aren't working. No matter how hard they try, their problems remain intractable. The natural result is despair. But the awareness that other people are experiencing the same despair changes the context in which it is experienced. It opens up new possibilities. Perhaps the problems that we despair of solving as individuals can be addressed through some kind of collective action. When people begin to explore that possibility, the result may be a social movement.
- Indian Waste-pickers Demand 'Climate Justice' at Global Warming Summit (December 14, 2009)
As governments struggle to develop an international plan for combating climate change, a new report from a leading Indian environment group has found that informal recycling makes a huge but unappreciated contribution towards the reduction of greenhouse gases.
- Targeting Earth First! (December 11, 2009)
The war on environmentalism.
- Climate change: the eco-socialist solution (December 9, 2009)
Climate change reminds us, in a phrase attributed to Lao Tzu, that "if you don't change direction you may end up where you are heading." The road of capitalism is now lined with horrors and we must find a new direction home. After a long absence, sustainability must be restored to the relationship between society and nature.
- The Climate Denial Industry Is Out To Dupe The Public. And It's Working (December 8, 2009)
The climate denial industry consists of people who are paid to say that man-made global warming isn't happening.
- The Manufactured Doubt Industry And The Hacked Email Controversy (December 8, 2009)
The fossil fuel industry has been working for years to create a smokescreen of doubt to obscure the facts of global warming.
- Rampaging Climate Deniers' Losing Battle (December 8, 2009)
Because of the flimsy comprehension of science and evolution of most writers in the mass media, those who venture to write about evolution feel constrained to present "alternative" views. But "alternative" views are not necessarily credible or true. The cliimate change deniers' arguments are no less articles of faith than those of the creationists. In the case of the former, the faith is not in a god but in the free market and capitalism. Almost without exception, those who are in staunch denial are those connected to, involved in or supportive of the traditional capitalist model of economic growth, and by implication opposed to anything that might constrain this model.
- What's at stake in Copenhagen (December 7, 2009)
Tere is no chance of achieving binding greenhouse gas reductions within the current framework for an agreement. Instead the problem is being redefined to fit the business-as-usual assumptions of neoliberal economics.
- Why We Left Our Farms to Come to Copenhagen (December 7, 2009)
Climate change is already seriously impacting us. It brings floods, droughts and the outbreak of pests that are all causing harvest failures. I must point out that these harvest failures are something that the farmers did not create. Instead, it is the polluters who caused the emissions who destroy the natural cycles. So, we small scale farmers came here to say that we will not pay for their mistakes. And we are asking the emitters to face up to their responsibilities.
- A Direct Tax On Fossil Fuel Is What The World Needs Urgently (December 6, 2009)
A direct tax on fossil fuels is the only realistic way to achieve the necessary cuts.
- Canada Is Now To Climate What Japan Is To Whaling (December 3, 2009)
Here I am, watching the astonishing spectacle of a beautiful, cultured nation turning itself into a corrupt petro-state. Canada is slipping down the development ladder, retreating from a complex, diverse economy towards dependence on a single primary resource, which happens to be the dirtiest commodity known to man. The price of this transition is the brutalisation of the country, and a government campaign against multilateralism as savage as any waged by George Bush. Until now I believed that the nation that has done most to sabotage a new climate change agreement was the United States. I was wrong. The real villain is Canada.
- Seven Answers To Climate Contrarian Nonsense (November 30, 2009)
Within the community of scientists and others concerned about anthropogenic climate change, those deny climate change are commonly referred to as contrarians, naysayers and denialists. Not everyone who questions climate change science fits that description, of course - some people are genuinely unaware of the facts or honestly disagree about their interpretation. What distinguishes the true naysayers is an unwavering dedication to denying the need for action on the problem, often with weak and long-disproved arguments about supposed weaknesses in the science behind global warming.
- Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
- Global Climate Change Lobby (November 5, 2009)
Inside the battle to influence the most important environmental treaty of our time.
- Bloody Oil (November 1, 2009)
The extraction of oil from tar sands is perhaps the most ecologically insane idea on the planet. Four First Nations representatives from Canada travelled to Britain to participate in the London climate camp and the country's biggest annual gathering of climate activists. Organized by the Indigenous Environmental Network and supported by the New Internationalist, the group's aim was to internationalize the campaign for a complete tar sands moratorium.
- Capitalism and the Ecological Footprint (November 1, 2009)
The capture of ecological discourse by the political culture of the consensus (a necessary expression of the conception of capitalism as the end of history) is well advanced. In contrast, the expression of the demands of the socialist counterculture is fraught with difficultybecause socialist culture is not there in front of our eyes. It is part of a future to be invented, a project of civilization, open to the creativity of the imagination.
- The Paradox of Wealth: Capitalism and Ecological Destruction (November 1, 2009)
A growing army of self-styled sustainable developers argues that there is no contradiction between the unlimited accumulation of capital and the preservation of the earth. The system can continue to expand by creating a new sustainable capitalism, bringing the efficiency of the market to bear on nature and its reproduction. In reality, these visions amount to little more than a renewed strategy for profiting on planetary destruction.
- Facing Down the Machine (October 30, 2009)
Federal and state governments have long targeted the civil rights of environmentalists. In the mid-1980s swaths of new laws were passed that targeted the acts of direct action oriented environmental protests.
- Impossibleism (October 29, 2009)
Impossibleists want unrestrained sustainable growth in the face of its inevitable impossibility. It is a mystery how they think this way, knowing as they surely do that eventually the bill will come due, and the engine will run out of gas - literally. Think about it - growth that never stops, ever. Even with limitless resources, it is simple intuition that eventually, somewhere, sometime....
- Earth's Life Support Systems Failing (October 13, 2009)
The world has failed to slow the accelerating extinction crisis despite 17 years of national and international efforts since the great hopes raised at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
- Uranium Corporation of India Limited: Wasting Away Tribal Lands (October 7, 2009)
Radiation and health experts across the world charge that toxic materials and radioactivity released by the mining and processing operations are causing widespread infertility, birth defects and cancers.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with environmental issues Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
global climate change,
environment and agriculture,
and urban environment.
- ACT for the Earth
Volunteer led activist group working for peace, the environment and human rights. ACT also publishes The ACTivist magazine.
- Alternatives Journal
A quarterly magazine of news and analysis on environmental thought, policy and action.
- Bat Conservation International
Site devoted to bats.
- Bees for Development
An information service working at the centre of an international network of people and organisations involved with apiculture in developing countries. Beekeeping is an effective way for poor people to strengthen their livelihoods, and Bees for Development works to provide information to assist them.
- Canadian Environmental Law Association
Information on legal and policy aspects of environmental issues.
- Canadian Environmental Network
The Canadian Environmental Network (CEN) facilitates networking between environmental organizations and others who share its mandate - To Protect The Earth And Promote Ecologically Sound Ways Of Life.
- Connexions Library: Health Focus
Selected articles, books, websites and other resources on health.
- Connexions Library: Rural Issues Focus
Selected articles, books, websites and other resources on rural issues.
- Edge: Evolutionarily Distinct & Globally Endangered
The EDGE of Existence programme aims to conserve the world's most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species by implementing the research and conservation actions needed to secure their future.
- Great Lakes United
An international coalition dedicated to preserving and restoring the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River ecosystem. Useful background documents on water issues.
- International Dark Sky Association
Concerned with stopping the adverse environmental impact of light pollution and space debris.
- Noisewatch Online
NoiseWatch (formerly Citizens' Coalition Against Noise) is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the negative effects of noise, founded in November 1994. In order to ensure maximum effectiveness, we operate in a neutral manner.
German institute dealing with environmental issues including transportation and climate change.
PollutionWatch is an environmental information service provided by the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Canadian Environmental Defence Fund and Environmental Defense
- System Change Not Climate Change
A website with multimedia resources intended to educate and inspire people to take collective action for climate justice.
An international campaign to build a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis.
- World Rainforest Movement
An international organization involved in efforts to defend the world's rainforests. Works to secure the lands and livliehoods of forest peoples and fights commercial logging, dams, mining, plantations and other interferences that threaten the survival of these people and their habitat.
Other Links & Resources
- Agriculture & Farming Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to agriculture and farming in the Sources directory for the media.
- Animals Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to animals in the Sources directory for the media.
- Biotechnology Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to biotechnology in the Sources directory for the media.
- The Canada Centre for Inland Waters
Information on water research and the Great Lakes.
- Coalition Eau Secours quebecoise pour une gestion responsable de l'eau
- Commercial Pressures on Land
A portal created by the International Land Coalition informing evidence based debate on large scale land-based investments and their alternatives.
- The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)
The authority for assessing the conservation status of species that may be at risk of extinction in Canada.
- Connexions Annual Overview: Environmental, Land Use, Rural
As we witness an apparently unending succession of environmental hazards and catastrophes, awareness is spreading that we are in the midst of a profound ecological crisis. There is still hope for reversing the trend toward environmental collapse, but only if we are able to work together worldwide to achieve profound changes.
- Connexions Library: Agriculture and Farming Focus
Selected articles, books, websites and other resources on farming and agriculture.
- Connexions Library: Nature Focus
Selected articles, books, websites and other resources on nature.
- Connexions Library: Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, Water Focus
Selected articles, books, websites and other resources on water, rivers, streams, wetlands, lakes, rivers, oceans, marine life.
- Connexions Selected Links & Resources: Walkerton Links
Links related to Walkerton water contamination disaster.
Clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science. A source for accurate, fact based information regarding Global Warming misinformation campaigns.
An overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists agree that the globe is warming - the world's climate is changing - and that the indiscriminate burning of fossil fuels is to blame. We know that the risks are incalculable and, increasingly, we understand that the solutions are affordable.
Unfortunately, a well-funded and highly organized public relations campaign is poisoning the climate change debate. Using tricks and stunts that unsavory PR firms invented for the tobacco lobby, energy-industry contrarians are trying to confuse the public, to forestall individual and political actions that might cut into exorbitant coal, oil and gas industry profits. DeSmogBlog is here to cry foul - to shine the light on techniques and tactics that reflect badly on the PR industry and are, ultimately, bad for the planet.
- Ecosocialist Groups & Websites
A list of ecosocialist websites and groups.
- Environment Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to environment in the Sources directory for the media.
- Environmental Journalism Home Page
Good collection of annotated links to Internet environmental resources, mostly American.
- Environmental News Network
Our mission is to inform, educate, enable and create a platform for global environmental action.
- Environmental Organization Web Directory
Directory and search engine for environmental organizations.
- FLAP Fatal Light Awareness Project
Working to safeguard migratory birds in the urban environment through education, research, rescue and rehabilitation.
- Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre
Helping turtles in trouble.
- Mining & Petroleum Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to mining and petroleum in the Sources directory for the media.
- Nature Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to nature in the Sources directory for the media.
- Rainforest Action Network
RAN seeks to protect the Earth's rainforests through education, grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action. They do so using campaigns to expose the wrongdoings of governments and corporations and mobilize the international environmental and human rights community to join in the action.
- Sources Select Environment Experts
Envioronment experts available to take media calls about their area of expertise.
- Transport Action Canada
Promoting environmentally-sound transportation options.
- Worldchanging: A User's Guide to the 21st Century
A User's Guide to the 21st Century is a compendium of everything a generation of environmental activists has to offer.
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to environmental issues in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
global climate change,
environment and agriculture,
and urban environment.
The plunder of nature and knowledge
Author: Shiva, Vandana
Internationally renowned Third World environmentalist Vandana Shiva exposes the latest frontier of the North's ongoing assault against the South's biological and other resources.
- Blue Gold
The battle against corporate theft of the world's water
Author: Barlow, Maude; Clarke, Tony
International tensions around water are rising in many of the world's most volatile regions.This book exposes the enormity of the problem, the dangers of the proposed solution and the alternative, which is to recognize access to water as a fundamental human right, not dependent on ability to pay.
- Blue Gold: World Water Wars
Author: Bozzo, Sam (director); Barlow, Maude; Clarke, Tony (writers)
A documentary, based on the book Blue Gold, by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, which examines environmental and political implications of the planet's dwindling water supply, and posits that wars in the future will be fought over water. The film also highlights some success stories of water activists around the world and makes a strong case for community action.
- Boreal Forests in Crisis
Author: Hamel, Peter
Canada's assault on the Boreal forest rivals Brazil's exploitation of the Amazon. In both countries governments and multinational corporations are scheming to clear-cut forests for short-term profit. They treat rivers as sewers, poison the fish and drive aboriginal peoples from their ancestral lands.
- Climate Cover-Up
The Crusade to Deny Global Warming
Author: Hoggan, James; Littlemore, Richard
Tracking the global warming denial movement from its inception, public relations advisor James Hoggan (working with journalist Richard Littlemore), reveals the details of those early plans and then tracks their execution, naming names and exposing tactics in what has become a full-blown attack on the integrity of the public conversation.
- The Closing Circle
Man, Technology & the Environment
Author: Commoner, Barry
Commoner argues that economic life must be structured to conform to the principles of ecology, as opposed to the goal of unlimited growth that underpins capitalist economies.
- Conned, Carbon offsets stripped bare
New Internationalist July 2006
Discussion of the myths about carbon offsets, and details of more positive climate change steps to take. Carbon offsetting is exposed as a scam, one that's been sold to the guilt-ridden general public as an easy answer to a complex problem.
- Coughing up coal
Author: Stirk, Sarah
India is rivaling China -- in its plans to consume coal. India is aggressively expanding construction of coal fired power plants to meet growing energy needs. Emissions from coal power plants were linked to 80,000 - 150,000 premature deaths in India between 2011 and 2012 alone and to a wide range of diseases from cancers, to respiratory and cardiovascular disorders. Singrauli -- an industrial hub in north central India -- embodies the tragic human toll that a largely unregulated coal industry can extract.
- Defending the Earth
A Dialog Between Murray Bookchin and Dave Foreman
A renowned political theorist faces off against a direct-action activist to discuss: What is the connection between theory and activism? What is the role of sabotage in creating social change? How can human beings fit into a stable ecosystem?
- The Earthscan Action Handbook
Author: Litvinoff, Miles
A compendium of the world's major ills with suggestions for remedial action.
- Ecological Imperialism
The Biological Expansion in Europe, 900-1900
Author: Crosby, Alfred W
- Ecology as Politics
Author: Gorz, Andre
Socialism is no better than capitalism if it makes use of the same tools. The total domination of nature inevitably entails a domination of people by the techniques of domination.
- The Ecology of Freedom
The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy
Author: Bookchin, Murray
Bookchin's synthesis of ecology, anthropology and political theory traces conflicting legacies of hierarchy and freedom from the first emergence of human culture to today's globalized capitalism, constantly pointing the way to a sane, sustainable ecological future.
- Ecosocialism: Why greens must be red and reds must be green
Ian Angus argues for a movement based on socialist and ecological principles, to save humanity and the rest of nature from capitalist ecocide.
- The Enemy of Nature
The End of Capitalism or the End of the World?
Author: Kovel, Joel
We live in and from nature, but the way we have evolved of doing this is about to destroy you. Capitalism and its by-products -- imperialism, war, neoliberal globalization, racism, poverty, and the destruction of community -- are all playing a part in the destruction of our ecosystem.
- Fracking Hell
The environmental costs of the new US gas drilling boom
Author: EFU Film
The gas stored in the Marcellus Shale formation is the subject of desperate drilling to secure US domestic energy supplies. But the process involved - hydraulic fracturing - is the focus of a bitter dispute over environmental damage and community rights.
- The Global Fight for Climate Justice
Anticapitalist Responses to Global Warming and Environmental Destruction
Author: Angus, Ian (ed.)
A guide to the debate on climate change, a sourcebook that makes the case for anti-capitalist action as the only effective way to stop global warming.
- Green Business: Hope or Hoax?
Toward an Authentic Strategy for Restoring the Earth
Author: Plant, Christopher, Plant, Judith
Is green business a viable strategy or a contradiction in terms?
- Green Cities
Ecologically Sound Approaches to Urban Space
Author: Gordon, David (ed.)
Visions from around the world for an ecological urban model. Argues that putting wilderness in cities is good for conservation of wildlife.
- A Green History of the World
The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations
Author: Ponting, Clive
Ponting tracks the "green" history of the world showing how throughout history civilizations have collapsed when they exhausted the earth's natural resources.
- Green Production
Toward an Environmental Rationality
Author: Leff, Enrique
Explores the environment and sustainability development with a Marxist approach and provides an alternative vision for ecotechnology.
How to Stop the Planet From Burning
Author: Monbiot, George
Concerns about the effects of global warming on the Human species - especially those unfortunate enough to live in poorer countries - require drastic action, far outstripping the recommendations of the Kyoto protocol.
- The Heat Is On
The Climate Crisis, The Cover-up, The Prescription
Author: Gelbspan, Ross
A book discussing the ever-worsening threat of global climate change.
A Bioregional Reader
Author: Andruss, Van, Plant, Christopher, Plant, Judith, Wright, Eleanor
A guide to the vision and strategy of bioregionalism.
- Meat: A Benign Extravagance
Author: Fairlie, Simon
An exploration of the difficult environmental and ethical issues that surround the human consumption of animal flesh.
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Climate Change
Author: Godrej, Dinyar
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Politics
Author: Wall, Derek
In the near future there will be no politics but green politics
- The Poverty of Power
Energy and the Economic Crisis
Author: Commoner, Barry
Commoner argues that the environmental, energy, and economic crises are interconnected. The industries that use the most energy have the highest negative impact on the environment; the focus on non-renewable resources as sources of energy means those resources are growing scarce, thus pushing up the price of energy and hurting the economy. These problems can ultimately be addressed only by replacing capitalism with socialism.
- Red and Green
The New Politics of the Environment
Author: Weston, Joe (ed.)
In order for green politics to work, we need to develop a total policy for the environment, a social policy which views capitalist industry as the destroyer of the world we live in.
- Red and Green Eco-socialism comes of age
New Internationalist November 1998
Why socialists and environmentalists need to work together to bring about lasting change. Discussion of how inequality and environmental destruction are directly linked. Articles on development in India, predictions for the future, working hours and global consumption.
- Sustainability Searching for solutions
New Internationalist November 2000
A look at the issues and facts regarding sustainability around the world.
- This Changes Everything
Author: Lewis, Avi (director); Klein, Naomi (narrator)
Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Kleins book This Changes Everything, the film presents portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montanas Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Kleins narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Klein suggests that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.
- Tree Spiker
From Earth First! to Lowbagging: My Struggles in Radical Environmental Action
Author: Roselle, Mike; Mahan, Josh
Roselle - cofounder of the Rainforest Action Network and Earth First! - offers a memoir of his career in radical activism: from teenage Yippie to career environmentalist.
- What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know about Capitalism
A Citizen's Guide to Capitalism and the Environment
Author: Magdoff, Fred; Foster, John Bellamy
A manifesto for those environmentalists who reject schemes of green capitalism or piecemeal reform. Magdoff and Foster argue that efforts to reform capitalism along environmental lines or rely solely on new technology to avert catastrophe misses the point. The main cause of the looming environmental disaster is the driving logic of the system itself, and those in power no matter how green are incapable of making the changes that are necessary.
- What's Left? Environmentalists and Radical Politics
Author: Williams, Rick
Environmentalist activism as radical practice.
- The World Without Us
Author: Weisman, Alan
A thought experiment to see what would happen to the planet if human beings simply disappeared.
Learning from our History
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada's print and broadcast media. (CX5857).
Sources - A directory that enables journalists to find spokespersons of organizations. Organizations that list themselves in Sources signficantly increase their odds of getting called by reporters when they are doing a story of their issues..
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