April 2021 This is a newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada consisting of headlines with weblinks to published news articles and political analysis. Occasional commentary by the website publisher, Roger Annis, appears in square brackets [ ]. For preceding months, 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). Articles about the politics in Canada of the global warming emergency are listed in the ‘Canada newsroll‘ page of the website. 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.
Ecology newsroll headlines on A Socialist In Canada, March 2021
China and climate change: An exchange by Monthly Review editors with the right-wing socialists who condemn China. Commentary by the editors of Monthly Review, published in MR Online, Apr 12, 2021 [This informative and timely commentary by the editors of Monthly Review unfortunately sidesteps the inaccurate and undocumentaed falsehoods by multiple Trotskyist and pseudo-Trotskyist writers arguing that China is ‘imperialist’. The same writers also attach their epithet to Russia. The issue is highly relevant because developed, imperialist economies, with their built-in expansion dynamics, are a far greater threat to the world’s ecology than the less stable economies of China and Russia. ‘Less stable’ means ‘more prone to pressure’. The Russian and Chinese economies, yes, are driven by expansion imperatives, but these operate differently and less forcefully compared to the imperialist economies. Both countries have achieved significant reductions in poverty during the past two decades, especially China. Elsewhere in this commentary, Monthly Review editors continue to move ever-so-slowly to endorsing the imperative of degrowth. They write, “China, like the rest of the world, desperately needs an ecological revolution, which must necessarily go beyond mere ecological modernization. This will mean questioning the whole role of economic growth…”].
Related: Despite pledges to cut emissions, China goes on a coal spree, Yale Environment 360, Mar 24, 2021
The environmental impacts of ‘green’ technology, by Julia Barnes, CounterPunch, Apr 9, 2021 Julia Barnes is a Toronto-based filmmaker and director of the forthcoming documentary film Bright Green Lies. The film premieres on Earth Day, April 22, as a live-streaming event and Q&A with director Julia Barnes and book authors Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith and Max Wilbert. Tickets are available at https://www.brightgreenlies.com/.
Related: Read a synopsis of Bright Green Lies, including favorable mention by writer and author Chris Hedges, here. The book is 500 pages and is published by Monkfish Book Publishing.
One third of Antarctic ice shelf area at risk of collapse as planet warms, report by University of Reading (England), published in Phys.org, Apr 8, 2021
Are huge tree planting projects more hype than solution?, Yale Environment 360, Apr 8, 2021
Critics warn that $2 trillion infrastructure plan by Biden regime ‘falls woefully short’ on climate crisis, Common Dreams, Mar 31, 2021 ‘Biden has pledged to cut carbon emissions 50% and decarbonize our electricity sector, but this proposal won’t even come close.’
Tens of thousands take to the streets of France on March 28 demanding tougher legislation to slow global warming. Two reports, by Radio France internationale, Mar 28, 2021 and by Common Dreams, Mar 29, 2021
How liberal environmentalists are organizing to push the Biden regime along the path of green capitalism as a response to ‘climate change’. Report by Kate Aronoff, staff writer, The New Republic, Mar 29, 2021
We’re hurtling toward global suicide, by Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, Mar 18, 2021 …As innocuous as it may sound, ‘growth’ should be understood to describe the frenzied ruination of nearly every ecosystem on the planet so that its richest human inhabitants can hold on to their privileges for another generation or two. Rejecting the idolatry of growth means tilting the organization of our societies toward other social goods–health, for instance, and the freedom to exist on a planet that is not on fire. This should not be unimaginable…
The stranding of the container mega-ship in the Suez Canal, blocking 12 per cent of world trade traffic, is a metaphor for the chokehold of the out-of-control, expansionist system of capitalism on the world’s future See March 28 report in The Guardian titled, ‘Stranding of Ever Given in Suez Canal was foreseen by many’: …Over the past decade, out of the sight of most consumers, the world’s container ships have been quietly ballooning in size. A class of vessels that carried a maximum of about 5,000 shipping containers in 2000 has doubled in size every few years since, with dozens of megaships now traversing the ocean laden with upwards of 20,000 boxes … More than 150 ships are waiting to pass through the 120 mile canal, according to estimates from research firm StoneX. Each day of blockage disrupts more than $9 billion worth of goods, according to The Associated Press, citing estimates from Lloyd’s List. Research firm StoneX noted that 24 of the 150 vessels held up are carrying crude oil, 15 are refined product tankers and 16 are liquified natural gas/liquified petroleum gas product carriers…
Public transit riders are abandoning buses and trains, New York Times, Mar 25, 2021 [The sub-headline of this New York Times article is ‘That’s a problem for climate change’. But ‘more transit’, or in this case a return to pre-pandemic ridership levels, will not ease the planetary global warming emergency. That has its roots in the relentless expansionism of the capitalist economic system. ‘Public transit’ serves that expansionism; it does not attenuate it. The path to reducing planet-killing greenhouse gas emissions lies in breaking the chokehold of capitalism over the world’s economic system by embarking on a path of degrowth.]
The global warming emergency is not relenting, but The Leap project founded by Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein is packing it in. Statement by The Leap Project, March 2021 [The Leap Project was founded in 2015 with the goal of bringing liberal, green capitalist environmental ideas on the global warming emergency into the mainstream of liberal and social-democratic politics in Canada. But even something as timid as that proved too much for Canada’s social-democratic party the NDP, never mind the country’s governing Liberal Party. Both parties are pillars of the fossil fuel death cult that reigns in Canada’s ruling class and halls of power.]
Proposed tax credit in Canada favouring ‘carbon capture and storage’ will drive higher emissions and could mislead investors, written and published by The Energy Mix, Mar 24, 2021
(The Energy Mix is published by Energy Mix Productions Inc., a Canadian non-profit that promotes community awareness of, engagement in, and action on climate change, energy, and carbon-free solutions.)
Stealth chemicals: A call to action on a threat to human fertility, interview with epidemiologist Shanna Swan, in Yale Environment 360, Mar 18, 2021 In an interview with Yale e360, epidemiologist Shanna Swan talks about how falling sperm counts and other fertility problems are linked to chemicals in consumer products and explains why the Biden administration needs to follow Europe’s lead in restricting these substances.
The everyday chemicals that might be leading to human extinction, book review in New York Times, Mar 5, 2021 Reviewing: Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, Threatening Sperm Counts, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race, by Shanna H. Swan with Stacey Colino, publisher Simon & Schuster, 292 pp
A forgotten Cold War experiment has revealed its icy secret about Greenland’s ice sheet. It’s bad news for the planet, Washington Post, Mar 15, 2021 …In soil taken from the bottom of the Greenland ice sheet 60 years ago, Andrew Christ, a geologist at the University of Vermont, discovered the remains of ancient plants. Only one other team of researchers had ever found greenery beneath the mile-high ice mass… The findings, published on March 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that the biggest reservoir of ice in the Northern Hemisphere can collapse due to relatively small increases in temperature over a long period of time…
On Lake Baikal, Russia’s hockey greats play ‘last game’ for threatened environment, Washington Post, Mar 11, 2021 and watch: The hockey game to save Russia’s legendary Lake Baikal, video report of ‘The Last Game’ on Lake Baikal, CNN, Mar 10, 2021 (two minute report)
[‘The Last Game’ hockey match was played on Lake Baikal on March 8, International Womens Day. That day is a national holiday in Russia.]
New research by environmental group in Norway shows humanity has degraded or destroyed a ‘frightening’ two-thirds of the world’s rainforest, Common Dreams, Mar 8, 2021 and read: report by Reuters, Mar 8, 2021
Global obsession with economic growth will increase risk of deadly pandemics in future, feature essay by Tom Pegram and Julia Kreienkamp (University College London), in The Conversation, Mar 5, 2021 ‘Human civilization is on a collision course with the laws of ecology’
[This informative analysis echoes the analysis of forthright advocates of degrowth but fails to spell out exactly what is required to reverse humanity’s worsening collision course with ecological limits. It fails to sketch a path forward for human civilization, especially for the most industrialized and most-polluting countries in North America, Europe and Australasia. Using Yale University’s highly dubious ‘Environmental Performance Index’, the analysis lists Botswana and Zambia as being first and second in the world for biodiversity and habitat protection. But these are among the least industrialized and least populated countries of the world. The same index lists the high, coal-extracting and burning countries of Poland and Germany as #3 and #4 on its list, while the acknowledged, biodiverse countries of Costa Rica and Cuba earn #61 and #117, respectively.]
How to blow up a movement: Andreas Malm’s new book dreams of sabotage but ignores consequences, book review by James Wilt, published in Canadian Dimension, Mar 3, 2021 Reviewing: How To Blow Up A Pipeline: Why Resisting Climate Change Means Combatting The Fossil Fuel Industry, by Andreas Malm, Verso Books, January 2021
Related: Andreas Malm’s new pamphlet on climate, corona, and communism fails to ignite, book review by James Wilt, published in Canadian Dimension, Nov 19, 2021 Reviewing: Corona, Climate and Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the 21st Century, by Andreas Malm, Verso Books, 2020
Background: Andreas Malm’s ‘Fossil Capital’ unearths the origin of capitalism’s attachment to fossil fuels but finishes with the shallow outlook of ecosocialism, by Roger Annis, published in A Socialist In Canada, May 12, 2018
The world is running out of sand, a crucial but under-appreciated commodity, CNBC, Mar 5, 2021
Ten years ago, 241 Texas power plants couldn’t take the cold. Dozens of them failed again this year, Washington Post, Mar 6, 2021 …The full list of plants that malfunction during a weather emergency is not routinely released until 60 days later, according to state rules, in order to protect confidential business information and prevent companies from colluding with one another. Given the international interest in last month’s freeze, state utility agency ERCOT agreed to release the list earlier… It’s still unclear which companies in the natural gas industry may have contributed to problems during the freeze. Unlike for power generators, there is no rule requiring regulators to release the names or the details of any malfunctions experienced by natural gas drillers, processors or transporters…
Mining of rare earth minerals: Greenland finds ‘green power’ can be a curse. Report by Reuters news agency, Mar 1, 2021
How fast are oceans rising? The answer may be in century-old shipping logs, National Public Radio, Mar 1, 2021