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Why Oil Change International’s Report On Fossil Fuels is Even Better Than You Thought – October 19, 2016

It sets aside worries about “stranded assets” and recommends “managed decline” of fossil fuel use

The new report from Oil Change International, called The Sky’s Limit: Why the Paris Climate Goals Require a Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Production, has garnered quite a bit of praise from the greenie press. (See for example, hereherehere and here.) It deserves the praise, and it also deserves a closer reading.

woman protestor standing on the edge of a coal minePhoto by Kristian BuusIn May this young people from Reclaim Power in Wales stopped a open cast coal mine from operating for the day. Oil Change International's report is able to harness the vast power of what some wag somewhere, once… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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Paris Climate March Will Go On, Say Activists – November 17, 2015

Civil society rejects French government’s restrictions on public demonstrations during COP21

graphic depicting a leaf with the silhouette of the Eiffel tower

It is often said that the twentieth century began, not in 1900, but in 1914 when the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand IV threw us into World War I.  Before the Friday attacks in Paris, I was saying — perhaps a bit glibly — that the climate conference in Paris would mark the real beginning of the twenty-first century. At this point, I'm not even sure I want to be right. For if this indeed our fate, it will not likely be an easy one. 

Exhibit A is France’s decision to suspend many of the… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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Paris: The End of the Beginning – November 16, 2015

Will Paris be a success or a failure? It will be both. The real question is whether it opens the way to a new future of justice and ambition

graphic depicting a leaf with the silhouette of the Eiffel tower

As I write this, the United Nations climate conference is only weeks away. And now, of course, it will take place in an atmosphere of mourning, and crisis, and war. Beyond this change of tone, what difference will the 11/13 attacks make on the outcome of the negotiations? It is impossible to say, though it’s not too much to hope for heightened clarity, and seriousness, and resolve. This is a time to attend to the future. On this, at least, we should be able to agree.

The essay below was finished before the attacks.… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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No Time to Spare – November 17, 2014

In Review: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

The first thing to say about Naomi’s Klein’s latest book is that its title makes a grand promise, This Changes Everything – and that’s before you even get to the subtitle, which sets up a face-off between capitalism on one side and the climate on the other. The second thing to say is that no single book could ever meet such a promise. Klein, with careful aplomb, does not attempt to do so. Rather, she offers a tour of the horizon upon which we will meet our fates. Or, rather, the horizon upon which we will attempt to change them.

book cover thumbnailmore

by: Tom Athanasiou

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As Dire as It Sounds, IPCC Report Is an Understatement – April 3, 2014

The consensus text does not track the bleeding edge of anxiety

There are two things to keep in mind if you would know the climate future. The first is that, as scientific statesman John Holdren likes to say, it will come to us as a mixture of mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. The second is that the suffering will be disproportionally visited upon the poor and the innocent.

Storm CloudsPhoto by Tal AtlasWhere once there was constant recourse to “this storm/drought/surge is consistent with global warming,” we’re now increasingly likely to hear “this storm/ drought/surge would not have happened without global warming.”

Hold these thoughts when considering the massive tome just issued by the IPCC’s… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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