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Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter
November 21, 2015
This week: 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. Nor does it affect
everyone equally: those with wealth and power can buy themselves what
they need to continue living comfortably for years to come – everything
from air conditioning to food to police and soldiers to protect their
secure bubbles – while those who are poor and powerless find their lives
increasingly impossible. A serious effort to address climate change
therefore means social change and economic change.
A number of resources featured in this issue address the deeper issues of climate change and social change.
also have two articles responding to recent terrorists attacks and
raising questions about causes and responses. In the Organizing section,
we have reflections effective grassroots organizing by Renny Cushing,
an organizer in the anti-nuclear movement in the U.S. in the 1970s and
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With the Paris climate conference (COP21) about to start, our
focus this issue is on Global Climate Change. Connexions features a wide
selection of articles, books, films, and other resources on climate
change and related issues, ranging from Climate Change Denial to
Ecosocialism, Tarsands to Climate Justice. As our name indicates,
Connexions exists to help people explore the connexions between issues.
The Subject Index page on Global Climate Change is a good place to start.
A call for a Fair Shares Agreement: Will justice prevail in Paris?
For most people the word justice conjures up
images of superheroes and supreme courts. It seems a grand notion with
little bearing on the practicalities of daily life. And when applied to
the climate crisis it seems even less comprehensible. But the shocking
thing about climate justice is that not only can it be calculated -- it
can be achieved. Read More
Keywords: Climate Justice - Environmental Justice
How will we get to an ecological civilization?
Capitalism's infrastructure, which is designed to
dominate nature, cannot simply be taken over and used for an ecological
transformation. Only a complete, root-and-branch change will do the job.
Keywords: Anti-Capitalism - Ecosocialism
Lest We Forget: Tar sands and war
Over the past decade, Canada has been a war profiteer and
fuel tank for the US military, who have killed well over a million
people since the turn of the new millennium. Since 2003, Canada has been
the primary pump for the US, displacing Saudi Arabia as the historic
top exporter. Currently, 97% of crude exports from Canada go directly to
the US and in 2015, tar sands exports reached over 3 million barrels
per day. The US military uses 80% of the total fuel burned by the US
government each year and bitumen is most easily converted to jet and
diesel fuel, both used heavily by the military. Read More
Keywords: Oil Exports - U.S. Military
India's indigenous peoples organise to protect forests, waters and commons
India's neoliberal government is attempting the mass
seizure of indigenous lands, commons and forests in order to hand them
over for corporate exploitation with mines, dams and plantations. But
tribal communities are rising up to resist the takeovers, which are not
only morally reprehensible but violate India's own laws and
international human rights obligations. Read More
Keywords: The Commons - Land Seizures
Writing about the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Kenan
Malik says “some have seen the terrorism as the consequence of French
foreign policy in Syria. Yet we should be wary of seeing these attacks
as a response, however perverted, to French, or Western, foreign policy.
The terrorists did not target symbols of the French state, or of French
militarism. They did not even target tourist spots. They targeted,
rather, the areas and the places where mainly young, anti-racist,
multi-ethnic Parisians hang out. What the terrorists despised, what they
tried to eliminate, were ordinary people, drinking, eating, laughing,
mixing. That is what they hated - not so much the French state as the
values of diversity and pluralism.” Read More
Why states of emergency and extreme security measures won't stop ISIS
There is little sign that the G20 leaders who recently gathered
in Turkey have understood the nature of the conflict in which they are
engaged. ISIS's military strategy is a unique combination of urban
terrorism, guerrilla tactics and conventional warfare. In the past, many
states have used terrorism against opponents, but, in the case of ISIS,
suicide squads focusing on soft civilian targets at home and abroad are
an integral part of its war-making strategy. Read More
Keywords: National Security - Terrorism
Queer Activism in the U.S. Labour Movement
A review of Miriam Frank’s book Out in the Union: A Labor History of Queer America.
By recounting this history of U.S. queer labor organizing from the
1960s to the present, Frank is uncovering a largely unknown history, in
the process helping to fill a large gap in both U.S. labour and queer
history. Read More
Keywords: Gay & Lesbian History - Labour History
Interview with Myles Horton
Myles Horton was the founder of the
Highlander School (now the Highlander Research and Education Center), a
centre for leadership training in Tennessee. The Highlander trains
organizers for unions, civil rights organizations and local citizens'
groups. In this interview, Horton talks about his philosophy of
organizing and his belief that the answers to the problems facing
society lie in the experiences of ordinary people. Read More
Keywords: Organizing - Popular Education
Website of the Week: Desmogblog
DesmogBlog exists to clear the PR
pollution that is clouding the science on climate change. It is a
source for accurate, fact based information regarding global warming
overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists agree that the
world's climate is changing - and that the indiscriminate burning of
fossil fuels is to blame.
well-funded and highly organized public relations campaign is poisoning
the climate change debate. Using tricks and stunts that unsavoury PR
firms invented for the tobacco lobby, energy-industry contrarians are
trying to confuse the public and to forestall 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. Visit Desmogblog here.
Keywords: Global Climate Change - Media Coverage/Environment
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November 25, 2015
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Worldwide
November 29, 2015
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Worldwide.
November 30 - December 11, 2015
United Nations Climate Change Summit: UNFCCC COP 21. Worldwide
December 1, 2015
World AIDS Day. Worldwide
The Connexions Calendar is an online calendar that exists to
advertise events that support social justice, democracy, human rights,
ecology, and other causes. We invite you to use it to promote your
events. Adding events to the Connexions Calendar is FREE. We'll give you
a username and password which you use to log on. Use the contact form to arrange for a username and password. Read more →
November 23, 1170 BCE
The first recorded strike (but certainly not the first
strike!) takes place in Egypt when necropolis workers who have not been
paid for their work in more than two months sit down and refuse to work
until they are paid and able to eat.
November 23, 1793
A slave insurrection breaks out in St. John, in the Danish
West Indies. The rebellion turns into one of the longest slave revolts
in the Americas. Akwamu slaves capture the fort in Coral Bay and take
control of most of the island. The revolt ends in mid-1734 when French
and Swiss troops sent from Martinique defeat the rebels.
November 23, 1837
The first major armed clash in the 1837-38 Rebellion in Lower Canada takes place.
November 24, 1859
Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection is
published. It becomes the foundation of evolutionary biology, and
revolutionizes our understanding of life on earth.
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Connexions 2015. Contents are licensed under a Creative Commons
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Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter, is available online here
This issue was edited by Ulli Diemer.
812A Bloor Street West, Suite 201
Toronto ON M6G 1L9 Canada
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