Failing Better is Still Failing

Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner released the annual update report on provincial progress on greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is, we are not failing as badly as we were. Our greenhouse gas emissions are falling provincially, largely due to decommissioning coal electricity plants. The bad news is, we are still failing. We are still above ourContinue reading “Failing Better is Still Failing”

Raising Purgatory

As I suspected, Kotter’s book about raising urgency in order to support transformational change has a lot of overlap with climate change activism. And he clearly saw this himself as well, though all of his anecdotes and research are business-based: “It can be helpful to think in terms of the biggest issues of all, becauseContinue reading “Raising Purgatory”

Public Participation, Petro-State Style

I am sitting here this afternoon with a copy of the National Energy Board’s Application Form to Participate, for the upcoming Enbridge pipeline reversal to carry tar sands oil through Ontario, and specifically through my community. The Government of Canada, in order to streamline environmental approvals for tar sands projects, now requires people to fillContinue reading “Public Participation, Petro-State Style”

Leading Against Change

One of the advantages of reading from every section of the bookstore is seeing the connections between seemingly disparate genres and viewpoints. Case in point: While reading Kotter’s classic Leading Change for its business content, what struck me and stuck with me is its relevance for mitigating against climate change. Kotter’s book, originally published inContinue reading “Leading Against Change”

Global Psychologists for Sane Policy

Hello, and welcome to my new think tank. On Monday, 117 people were arrested for standing on the wrong patch of a paved, public area in Ottawa, Ontario, after trying to access their democratically-elected government. Meanwhile in Alberta, an undisclosed number of tar-sands executives furthered environmentally-destructive projects that will ultimately kill Canadians via smog andContinue reading “Global Psychologists for Sane Policy”

Planet Moving for beginners

2011 is the year for climate activism (knock wood–so far): the Keystone Pipeline protests at the White House, Climate Reality last week, Moving Planet this weekend, a Keystone Pipeline action in Ottawa on Monday, all in September. Chances are you missed the White House bit and won’t be making it down to NYC for OccupyContinue reading “Planet Moving for beginners”

Is it 2011 already?

It is. If the calendar tells the truth, it is about 2.5% of the way through 2011, no less, and I’m just getting around to saying hello. (Hello, 2011!) 2010 was a great year for me and my family, and an interesting year for the environment in Ontario. My daughter and I moved to aContinue reading “Is it 2011 already?”

Good Stories, Damned Good Stories, and Statistics

I dated three Michaels in highschool. The first, a really sweet boy, moved to Las Vegas on three days’ notice when his parents illegally backed out of a real estate contract. The second, whom I barely remember, went to Hong Kong for the summer and never came back. And the third, another sweet boy whoContinue reading “Good Stories, Damned Good Stories, and Statistics”

Political Interlude: Wherein I Get Angry

    You would have thought, given the way some people speak and write about climate change, that this is a moderately important issue, perhaps even a very important issue. Say, on par with the Iraq or Afghanistan War, women’s rights, health care, child poverty. (All very important issues.) Instead of, you know, the endContinue reading “Political Interlude: Wherein I Get Angry”