Another thing to feel guilty about.

Via Treehugger: Say! Did you know that laundering your synthetic clothing may be contributing to ocean pollution? Apparently studies have found that washing releases up to 1900 microfibres from each piece of synthetic clothing per wash. These bits of plastic are too small to be removed by conventional filtres and water treatment, so the plasticContinue reading “Another thing to feel guilty about.”

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”

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”

Lappe’s Eco-Mind & Jensen et al’s Deep Green Resistance: the matter & anti-matter of environmentalism

Reading Deep Green Resistance followed by Eco-Mind over the course of a few days is a great way to get vertigo. They’re both written by well-respected, well-known environmentalists and authors. They rely on many of the same facts: 90% of fish gone, global warming inevitable, hundreds of millions of human deaths to follow, screwy notionsContinue reading “Lappe’s Eco-Mind & Jensen et al’s Deep Green Resistance: the matter & anti-matter of environmentalism”

New Year’s Resolution

Hey, I have an idea: this year, let’s save the world. Oh I know, we’ve promised to before, but this time, let’s really do it. Let’s get off our comfortable asses and decide to put real money and effort into climate change. Let’s get that using  a tonne of metal and litres of gasoline toContinue reading “New Year’s Resolution”

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”

If Not Greed, Then What? or: what Darwinism never taught you

Of course, people will often tell you that selling people on environmental change by appealing to their values is romantic, i.e. unrealistic, i.e. sentimental and doomed to failure. That human beings are innately and inherently greedy, i.e. selfish, i.e. competitive, and that any proposal that does not rest itself solidly on the human incapacity toContinue reading “If Not Greed, Then What? or: what Darwinism never taught you”

Greed Stinks: why using self-interest to motivate environmental change backfires

If you go to enough environmental activist group meetings, you are bound to hear, at some point, “What we need is more education”; the assumption being that the general public is too ill-informed to know that their behaviours are causing Issue X (biodiversity loss, climate change, smog, ozone depletion, mountain-top removal, whatever), and that ifContinue reading “Greed Stinks: why using self-interest to motivate environmental change backfires”

The Rebound Effect

Aren’t sales great? I wait all year for the hardcover sale at Chapters, book geek that I am. For one glorious week after Christmas, I can get hardcovers for less than the price of a trade paperback. So I do. I buy several. It takes me months to get through them all, but then theyContinue reading “The Rebound Effect”