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Climate Denialism has Peaked. Now What Are We Going to Do?

We need action on the scale that’s actually necessary, rather than the scale that appears to be possible

It was never going to be easy to face the ecological crisis. Even back in the 1970s, before climate took center stage, it was clear that we the prosperous were walking far too heavily. And that “environmentalism,” as it was called, was only…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – April 8, 2013

End Times

Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth

By Sasha Lilley, David McNally, Eddie Yuen, James Davis, with a foreword by Doug Henwood PM Press, 2012, 192 pages There are four essays in this slim volume: one on left catastrophism, one on green catastrophism, one on right catastrophism, and one on zombies. I’m most interested in the left and the greens, though we do need to keep an eye on the right. As for the zombie craze, doesn’t it just…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – Spring 2013

Dream a Little Dream

America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy
By James Gustave Speth
Yale University Press, 2012, 272 pages

Gus Speth has been around the block – cofounder of the World Resources Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council, advisor to President Jimmy Carter, head of the UN Development Program, dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences at Yale. He’s been a busy man, and more importantly, he’s an honest one. While not repudiating his past efforts, he readily admits that, at least when it comes to “the…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – Winter 2013

Equity: No Longer a Peripheral Issue at Global Climate Talks

What’s needed now is courage, and a bit of real statesmanship that takes into account the evolving realities of this mad and dangerous world

Well, the annual climate talks began again today. This time they’re in Doha, the capital of Qatar, which has the highest per-capita emissions in the world. Equity is, of course on the agenda. The surprise — at least it’s a surprise for…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – November 26, 2012

“Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” — Bill McKibben’s call for a carbon divestment move

But the core problem here is that, absent real leapfrogging, the developing countries will be hard put to take any paths apart from those that have already been pioneered in the wealthy world

The new issue of Rolling Stone has a major essay by Bill McKibben, called Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math. It’s a must read, for a number of reasons. The big one is that McKibben’s call for a “carbon disinvestment” movement – aimed…
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by: Tom Athanasiou – July 27, 2012

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

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