Industrial agriculture has made it possible to produce large amounts of food efficiently, but comes with problems, including pollution, reduced biodiversity, pesticide resistance and consequent increased chemical use, destruction of forests and wetlands, and human health issues such as antibiotic resistance.
The Manifesto consists of a list of "15 Demands" that range from the somewhat reasonable; to the ridiculous; to the sublime. It would take numerous blog posts to address them individually. Happily, I have been writing blogs for a while and the Manifesto addresses a number of topics I have previously covered.
Politicians convinced themselves and the compliant mainstream media that the accord all 195 countries signed was an amazing breakthrough document. The agreement is jam-packed with lofty language and idealistic goals. However, it is totally lacking in legally binding mechanisms that will hold governments to emission limits.
It would appear that Naomi Klein and her co-authors are oblivious to what's actually going on in rural Ontario. We are the backyard where all the wind turbines and solar farms are supposed to be built, providing "clean" renewable energy to clueless city dwellers. But guess what? We don't want these installations in our back yard either!
I have come to think of that night as the climate movement's coming of age: it was the moment when the realization truly sank in that no one was coming to save us. The British psychoanalyst and climate specialist Sally Weintrobe describes this as the summit's "fundamental legacy"--the acute and painful realization that our "leaders are not looking after us . . . we are not cared for at the level of our very survival." No matter how many times we have been disappointed by the failings of our politicians, this realization still comes as a blow. It really is the case that we are on our own and any credible source of hope in this crisis will have to come from below.
Some might describe it as the genius of capitalism; the ability to adapt on the fly according to the circumstances. Hence the drive to technological fixes in alternative energy generation, storage, and distribution. While the existential threat to the species is a clear and present danger, capitalism's ability to adjust is subject only to the limitations of the human mind.
There's something about a new Naomi Klein book that always seems to attract a lot of attention. And not just from middle-of-the-road Western Canadians like myself who work hard for a living and enjoy the beautiful, natural settings where we live, work and raise our families. No, Klein even seems to attract the ire of -- you guessed it -- "big environmentalism." It's a credit to her proven ability to lay out the controversial argument. People love that.
Highly-regarded former Toronto Mayor David Miller says he is "very excited" about becoming the new President and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund-Canada in September. There are questions about whether the WWF is effective in its work and, moreover, why the WWF and other members of the global environmental movement have made such little progress combating the most serious threat to earth -- climate change. The magnitude of the crisis facing humankind cannot be overstated.
For me, the final days of 2012 were a sneak peak at an exciting new professional beginning: taking the helm as managing editor for blogs at HuffPost Canada. There's a frenetic and lively conversation going on here, and I look forward to both helping steward it and diving headlong into it myself. This is what has impressed me most so far: HuffPost bloggers do not all sing from the same song sheet. While one calls out the NRA, another insists that guns aren't the root of our violence problem. That diversity of opinion is a large part of what drew me here, and I suspect it's part of what draws you too.
I woke up just past midnight with a bolt. My six-month-old son was crying. He has a cold -- the second of his short life -- and his blocked nose frightens him. I was about to get up when he started snoring again. I, on the other hand, was wide awake. A single thought entered my head: Chief Theresa Spence is hungry. Her hunger is not just speaking to Stephen Harper. It is also speaking to all of us, telling us that the time for bitching and moaning is over. Now is the time to act, to stand strong and unbending for the people, places and principles that we love.