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The Limits of Limits

The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources
By Michael T. Klare
Metropolitan Books, 2012 306 page

When I mentioned to a friend that I was reviewing Michael Klare’s new book, his response, which I found surprising, was: “What’s Klare got to say that Richard Heinberg didn’t say a long time ago?” Heinberg popularized the idea of “peak oil” with his 2003 book, The Party’s Over, and he has since built a name for himself, at least within greenie circles, by promoting a larger and more metaphorical notion of…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – Summer 2012

An Arithmetic Proof Against the Keystone XL Pipeline

Do the Math: Burning the Tar Sands = Climate Catastrophe

Photo by Steve Meirowsky A truck hauls 36-inch pipe for Keystone XL Pipeline south east of Peabody, Kansas. The first wave of Keystone XL Pipeline protests — the arrests at the White House back in August — was one for the history…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – September 28, 2011

Look on the Bright Side

The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World
by Paul Gilding
Bloomsbury Press, 2011, 304 pages

“The great disruption” is an odd notion. It suggests that big trouble is on the horizon, but also that it’s not really going to be that bad. A “great disruption” is not anything like, say, a “long emergency” (James Howard Kunstler), or a “collapse” (Jared Diamond), and it’s certainly nothing like “the revenge of Gaia” (James Lovelock). All three are acknowledged here, but Paul Gilding’s opinion is that, after a rough transition,…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – Autumn 2011

Cancun Success or Failure – Compared to What?

Cancun was not a surprise. Nor was it a failure. This much is easy to say. But was it a success? This is a more difficult question. I used to have an irritating friend. Every time you made a strong, implausibly simple…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – December 14, 2010

In Cancun, Begin with the Science

Just before COP16 began, the United Nations Environment Program released The Emissions Gap Report: Are the Copenhagen Accord pledges sufficient to limit global warming to 2° C or 1.5° C? It’s gotten a great deal of attention, and this is a very…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – December 2, 2010

Ecoequity

Who’s to Blame for the Impasse in Global Climate Talks?

The first thing to say about the climate negotiations this December is that they’re teetering at the edge of what, back in the day, we used to call a “legitimacy crisis.” On every side, people are eager to suggest that the negotiations have become a waste of time. It’s gotten to the point that folks are apologizing for going to Cancun, as if it were bad for their image to be seen…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – Winter 2011

Who’s to Blame for the Impasse in Global Climate Talks?

From the upcoming Winter 2011 edition of the Earth Island Journal

The first thing to say about the climate negotiations this December is that they’re teetering at the edge of what, back in the day, we used to call a “legitimacy crisis.” On every side, people are eager to suggest that the negotiations…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – November 5, 2010

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