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Paris and After

Will Paris be a success or a failure? It will be both. The real question is whether it opens the way to a meaningful “ambition ratcheting” mechanism.

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…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – Winter 2016

Paris Climate March Will Go On, Say Activists

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

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…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – November 17, 2015

Paris: The End of the Beginning

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

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…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – November 16, 2015

No Time to Spare

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate
By Naomi Klein
Simon & Schuster, 2014, 576 pages

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…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – Winter 2015

No Time to Spare

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…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – November 17, 2014

As Dire as It Sounds, IPCC Report Is an Understatement

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…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – April 3, 2014

Numbers Game

Countdown
Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?
By Alan Weisman
Little Brown, 2013, 513 pages

During his recent book tour, writer Alan Weisman told me that Paul Ehrlich said, “Countdown is the best book on population written in decades.” It’s a nice line, and I have no reason to dispute it. Countdown is, I agree, a good book and a fine read. It crosses dangerous ground, and while it stumbles, it does not fall. If it’s read closely and fairly – a big if these days –…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – Spring 2014

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