This is a newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, commencing September 2017. It consists of headlines and weblinks, with occasional news summary and brief analysis by A Socialist In Canada [in square brackets]. For months preceding May 2019, go to ‘News pages archives’ on the home page of A Socialist In Canada and use the drop-down menu. See also the feature articles on ecology and global warming that are listed in the website category ‘Environment‘ (listed on the main website page). To find past stories on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser. Headlines in red denote items published on the main news page of A Socialist In Canada.
Articles about the politics in Canada of the global warming emergency are listed in the ‘Canada newsroll‘ page of the website.
Ecology newsroll headlines, May 2019
The two greens, by Joshua Clove, two-part essay published in Popula, February, 2019 * Part one, Feb 14, 2019 * Part two, Feb 20, 2019 ‘To achieve a transformation adequate to the scale of planetary catastrophe, we will need to stop having firms that are ruled by profit.’
Air pollution may be damaging ‘every organ in the body’, by Darien Carrington, environment editor, The Guardian, May 17, 2019 Comprehensive analysis finds harm from head to toe, including dementia, heart and lung disease, fertility problems and reduced intelligence
The plastics crisis isn’t just ugly, it’s fueling global warming, report by Charli Shield, Deutsche Welle, May 15, 2019 and read: Plastics industry on track to burn through 14 per cent of world’s remaining carbon budget, by Sharon Kelly, Desmog Blog, May 15, 2019
CO2 levels hit historic high at 415.26 parts per million, by Patrick Galey, Phys.org, May 13, 2019
Related: CO2 levels hit 415 PPM for the first time in three million years of human existence, by Jon Queally, Common Dreams, May 14, 2019 [Of note in this article in Common Dreams is the favorable citation of political commentator Juan Cole arguing the anti-science proposition that a rapid switch by the world from fossil fuel-powered vehicles and electricity production to electric vehicles and wind and solar electricity production will slow global warming and mitigate the societal disruptions and disasters that warming will cause.]
UK sets new record by going whole week without coal power [but it did so by burning natural gas], Sky News, May 8, 2019 and read: Climate activists have failed to make clear the problem with natural gas, by Bill McKibben, Yale Environment 360, Mar 13, 2018 The climate movement’s biggest failure has been its inability to successfully make the case that natural gas is not a clean replacement for other fossil fuels. As natural gas has boomed, U.S. emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, have increased dramatically.
[The New Democratic Party governments in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta along with their followers have long touted the myth of natural gas as a less-polluting fossil fuel. Both governments are fostering and financing the expansion of the natural gas fracking industries in their respective provinces, giving new life to the conservative and green capitalist Green Party.]
The reason renewables can’t power modern civilization is because they were never meant to, by Michael Shellenberger, Forbes Magazine, May 6, 2019 [This analysis written by Michael Shellenberger could serve as a a powerful argument in favour of retraction (‘degrowth’) from all the waste and excess endemic to expansionist capitalism. But the writer stops short of drawing any conclusions from his persuasive case that ‘renewable energies’ can never replace the juggernaut of energy production under capitalism (using fossil fuels, hydroelectricity and nuclear). Instead, the reader is left with a big, fat zero by way of what can be done.]
Grass lawns are the number one irrigated ‘crop’ in America. They need to die, by Eric Holthaus, Grist Magazine, May 2, 2019
Latest figures show fossil fuel subsidies worldwide were a staggering $5.2 trillion in 2017, 6.5 per cent of global GDP, report by Public Finance International, May 10, 2019 [The IMF ‘working paper’ was published on May 2, 2019. It is 39 pages, on sale here.]
Related: U.S. fossil fuel subsidies exceed Pentagon spending, by Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, May 8, 2019
A Green New Deal must prioritize regenerative agriculture, by Curt Ries, Truthout.org, May 9, 2019
[The text of the ‘Green New Deal’ resolution proposed to the U.S. Congress by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other sponsors is here. The section on agriculture reads as follows:
…It is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal by…(G) working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible, including—
(i) by supporting family farming;
(ii) by investing in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health; and
(iii) by building a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food;]
Restoration of damaged wetlands in Delaware may also provide lessons on restoring the 85 per cent of the world’s wetlands lost since 1700, by Jim Morrison, published in Yale Environment 360, May 9, 2019
Drought conditions are killing Canada’s forests and now they emit more carebon than they sequester, by Sarah Lawrynuik, The Narwhal, May 7, 2019
Selling extinction: The capitalist notion of a ‘green new deal’, video presentation by Prolekult Films, broadcast on its YouTube channel, Apr 26, 2019 (24-minute video) [The video provides very informed analysis of the limits of an environmental strategy consisting of ‘protest’ against the world’s descent into the global warming emergency in the hope that ‘someone’ in power is listening. But it falls short by not sketching why an anti-capitalist, ‘degrowth’ political strategy is needed and how this may come about.]
Shocking new report on loss of nature paints a terrifying picture for the future of humanity, by John Vidal, Huff Post, May 6, 2019
* ‘Ominous’ UN report warns human activity has pushed one million plant and animal species to brink of extinction, by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, May 6, 2019
* First global biodiversity assessment since 2005: Introduction to forthcoming report by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), April 2019
* The rapid decline of the natural world is a crisis even bigger than climate change, by John Vidal, Huffington Post, Mar 16, 2019A three-year UN-backed study from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform On Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has grim implications for the future of humanity.
U.S. is hotbed of climate change denial, major global survey finds, report in The Guardian, May 7, 2019
U.S. sinks Arctic Council accord due to differences on global warming, Canada and Russia team up to soften final declaration, Reuters, May 7, 2019
* Greenhouse gases causing Canadian Arctic seas to acidify quicker and threatening survival of marine life, CBC News, May 8, 2019
* Inuit leaders condemn Arctic Council’s lack of consensus on climate change, by Jane George, Nunatsiaq News (northern Quebec), May 8, 2019
* The day one million species are announced to be on brink of extinction, U.S. says melting Arctic ice creates ‘new opportunities for trade’, by Rik Noack, The Washington Post, May 8, 2019
The Green New Deal isn’t big enough, by Ben Adler, Washington Post, May 2, 2019 It caps American emissions, but it won’t persuade developing nations to do the same
Weekly ‘Fridays For Future’ student strikes demanding action on global warming are gaining momentum, by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, May 3, 2019
Related: Millions of students will walk out of class today to protest climate change, interview with student strike activist in Canada, CBC News, May 3, 2019
Scientists see fingerprint of warming climate on droughts going back to 1900, report published in Phys.org, May 1, 2019 (Reporting on a study by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, published in Nature Journal of International Science.) and read: Human impact on climate is 100 years old, new study on tree rings shows, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, May 2, 2019
Rate of ice loss from Greenland has grown by a factor of six since the 1980s, scientists find, by Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis, Washington Post, Apr 22, 2019
Is ‘green growth’ possible?, by Jason Hickel and Giorgos Kallis, published in the journal New Political Economy, April 17, 2019 (19 pages). Read the essay as a pdf, available here on Academia.edu.
Degrowth is utopian. That’s a good thing… and it’s scientific, too: A response to Socialist Forum on degrowth, by Giorgos Kallis, published in Uneven Earth, April 26, 2019
Ecology newsroll headlines, April 2019
New document by Environmental Protection Agency tells communities to brace for climate change impacts, by Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, Washington Post, Apr 27, 2019
* From apples to popcorn, climate change is altering the foods America grows, by Kim Severson, New York Times, Apr 29, 2019 In every region, farmers and scientists are trying to adapt an array of crops to warmer temperatures, invasive pests, erratic weather and earlier growing seasons.
* Trump-appointed head of Environmental Protection Agency says climate change threat is ’50-75 years out’, by Zack Budryk, The Hill, Mar 20, 2019
Go to the news archives category on the website home page for the ‘Ecology newsroll’ items prior to May 2019.