Environment

  • A Christian Face on Climate Change

    Rebecca Darwent hears from the leader of environmental group A Rocha Canada on how forthright hope can overcome eco-anxiety and anger.

    A petition by young people vowing to remain childless in the name of climate change floated across online platforms and garnered Canadian media attention this past fall. But it isn’t just unmarried university students who have considered climate change a wo...

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  • A Skeptical Eye on the Science Guy

    If Donald Trump alleged he ate a million ice cream cones, fact-checkers everywhere would have a field day investigating the statement. But when it comes to claims of environmental issues of global proportions, no one seems to bat an eye, writes Peter Stockland. 

    Spotting the headlines from last week’s UN report prophesying imminent global extinction of a million species, I immediately wondered at the media response should Donald Trump ever claim to have eaten a million ice cream cones. 

    Instinct tells me swa...

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  • When The Flood Hits Home

    Convivium writer Rebecca Darwent missed the last once-in-a-hundred-year inundation of her Ottawa neighbourhood. Two years later, even worse flooding has taught her the meaning of community.

    There’s something about the anniversary of any notable happening that brings us to reflect and ask Where was I when that happened? This crossed my mind as my city, Ottawa, went through the second once-in-one-hundred-years flood happen in, well, muc...

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  • Alberta's Show of Hands

    Premier Jason Kenney’s no-frills swearing in gives Father Raymond de Souza time to turn from politics to art and find beauty in the work of human hands.

    EDMONTON – The swearing-in of Alberta’s 18th premier, Jason Thomas Kenney, and his cabinet was a rather workmanlike affair, in contrast to the swearing-in of Rachel Notley four years ago. Then, the ceremony was held outdoors, on the expansive groun...

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  • Changing Politics for a Changed Country

    Saying “government should not” is as simplistic as saying “government should” if there is nothing else that follows. Yes, conservatives believe in limited government. But this requires more than arithmetic requiring the size of government. What government should do, it should do well and enough resources need to be dedicated to those tasks.

    Co-authored by Michael Van Pelt (President), and Ray Pennings (Executive Vice-President) of Cardus, a Canadian think ta...

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  • Global Warming and Group Think

    For whatever truths science might settle about whether or not the globe will warm in future, their political extension will require resort to pathetic fallacy: the waters must rise because David Suzuki sighs. The reduction shows itself in the very shorthand used to frame the discussion. What was once carefully defined research into the specific effects of human activity on the atmosphere has now elided into a three-word mission: stop climate change.

    Something to watch during the Paris climate summit is the way in which wind and rain become a mix of fact, faith, moralism and imagination.

    For whatever truths science might settle about whether or not the globe will warm in future, their political e...

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  • Medics in No-Man’s Land

    But it’s a bit disingenuous to say the culture wars were just hyperbolic posturing of an entire generation held hostage by their metaphors. And I often wonder about how important it is to remember the “culture wars” within the larger context of the real wars out of which they’ve grown. If anything, the past hundred years have been one bloody reminder after another that ideas really do have legs, the worst of which can—and have—run roughshod over millions.

    In a century scarred by two world wars and continuously haunted with the threat of a third, it’s little wonder we often opt for martial metaphors. We kill time, pick our battles, work in the trenches, and raise the white flag in resignation. And it’s no dif...

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  • On Camping and Pipelines, Wilderness and Culture

    In its nominal renunciation of culture, camping puts a lot of undue pressure upon many would-be-Thoreaus who want to participate in world-preserving by getting back to this wild "state of nature." Such glamping comes with an interesting shame-factor: the more of civilization you take with you the more guilty you are meant to feel.

    Why shirk off millennia of cultural progress to run around in the woods and sleep in something that separates us from a prowling black bear by only the thinnest layer of nylon? It's ridiculous. 

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  • Social Licence and Democratic Institutions

    My point here is not to argue the merits or demerits of the pipeline, nor to suggest that the process has been without its flaws. But a two-year review process by the National Energy Board, a federal agency that has subject matter expertise, which heard 1450 submissions in 21 affected communities over a two-year period cannot be dismissed as an undemocratic process.

    By June 17th, Canada's federal cabinet is required to decide whether the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline can proceed. From an institutional perspective, this marks the conclusion of a lengthy process. There was a day when all sides engaged in arguin...

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  • Justin Case

    Federal Liberals spent the past weekend at their biennial convention in Montreal. Cardus's Peter Stockland sat down with Scarborough-Guildwood Liberal MP John McKay to get his assessment of the last big party gathering before the 2015 federal election....

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  • Cardus Daily's Greatest Hits of 2013 - Part 2

    5. In August, Cardus senior fellow John Seel took a look at beauty and the arts. Opportunity … requires the foundation of a home and family that provide security, support, and an education in virtue, which in turn enable children to achieve success in school. - Families, Flourishing, and Upward Mobility

    We've put together a list of the blog posts we published this year that we wouldn't want anyone to miss. For part one, click here.

    ...

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  • Wendell Berry: Seeing the Earth as Sacrament

    Yet it would be years that I was first introduced to a writer who undertook the task of clearly articulating how a love of the creation could inform and be informed by a love of the creation and its Creator. This Kentucky farmer and man of letters, Wendell Berry, made real for me the complex interplay of religion, literature, and agriculture in informing a holistic way of life—in other words, towards shalom.

    In the Christian community in which I grew up, the common approach to the environmental movement was to see everyone involved in it as a left-wing, tree-hugging, pot-smoking, nature-worshipping, hippie wannabe...

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  • Dispensing in "Unsuperfluous Even Proportion"

    Yes, the 17th century Renaissance polymath: John Milton. While this was not followed by the corollary that we English folk should also go and read Adam Smith, I assume he was arguing for that balanced perspective for which the liberal arts education is designed. [/caption]

    I recently attended a seminar on land use where the speaker, an English professor, suggested that the best thing that one who wanted to work with natural resources could do would be to read Milton.

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  • Tread Lightly and Carry a Big Dream

    I wholeheartedly agree that this is not an either/or scenario. However, acting locally—that is, in a particular place and time—should not be misconstrued as dreaming small.

    Last week on the Cardus blog, Jamie Smith's look at the rising generation whose local acts of kindness may, in some instances, signal a retreat from the more "macro" tasks of civi...

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  • The Back End of the Golden Goose

    But our general support for the development of our resource extraction sector—and our recognition of the huge benefit such work brings to Canada—shouldn't be equated with uncritical support.

    Cardus is on record—in a number of different places—as seeing Canada's natural resources as a tremendous opportunity for our country and its citizens. We've called Canada "a land flowing with milk and ho...

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  • Sacred Space Smackdown

    In his response, Jacobs challenges Renn on a number of points of inadequately defined terms and formal logic, rather like a professor spanking a student for sloppy thinking in a paper. But I find Jacobs' critique less compelling than Renn's original question, which is a good one, even if his answer is a little uneven.

    Alan Jacobs takes on Aaron M. Renn on the subject of sacred space in a blog post on The American Conservative.  Re...

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  • Garden-Variety Work

    I raked the lawn out, fertilized it, cleared the remnant leaves from the flower beds, put up new netting for my beloved vines, fixed the fence next to the roses and made arrangements with the arborist to clean up the ash tree. One of the fences has to be replaced this summer and I need to speak with the neighbour about that. Before I head off to Montreal next weekend, I hope to mow the lawn. So it begins.

    Last weekend, finally, I began this summer's work in the garden. Winter has been long this year in Alberta—it began the third week in October and the most recent heavy snowfall of 20 cm or so was only two weeks ago.

    I raked the lawn out, fertilized i...

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  • Cultivating Civic Virtue

    Political parties, as always, have noticed this, and exploit these tendencies by routine use of a wedge to carve these various self-selecting groups into potentially winnable constituencies. As a result, while the conversations in our living rooms and across our fences are amiable and comfortable, our politics exude a special type of nastiness; extreme politics, if you will.

    When North Americans aren't bowling alone, we're drinking, reading, and laughing together with people who are like us. The media with which we engage, our friends, our neighbourhoods, and, increasingly (sadly) even our churches are filled with people like u...

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  • Wiebo's War

    Wiebo Ludwig, a Christian Reformed minister from Ontario, may not have shared MacIntyre's nascent Aristotelian-Thomism, but he more than shared his feelings of unease. Unlike MacIntyre, more in fact like Wendell Berry, Wiebo retreated with his family and others to the remote tundra of northern Alberta. There they forestalled the powers of a modern age, clinging to their blue Psalters, and to a more rural, agrarian way of life. "Our true religion" writes Wendell Berry, "is a sort of autistic industrialism." Wiebo's work was the recovery of another, true religion.

    At the end of After Virtue, after a long argument about the cultural state of modern society, Alisdair MacIntyre says we are waiting for a new—albeit very different—kind of St. Benedict. Modernity and its institutions have ushered in a new dark age f...

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  • There's No Place Like This

    In addition to all of those events, there is the annual flurry of ads from provincial governments urging Canadians to visit their province. Ontario's got the "There's no place like this" moniker, New Brunswick goes straight for the snowbird jugular by advertising the "Warmest Saltwater Beaches in Canada," while British Columbia opts for the spiritual, suggesting that BC is Super, Natural.

    It's summer time. Yes, that's right; in a week or so, summer will officially be here, and Canadians will perform a few of their annual rituals: the annual shift in complaints about the weather from it being too cold to too hot; barbeques fired up in earnest...

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  • Green with Envy

    Reading the party platforms, I could conclude that the renewable energy sector is a primary economic driver for the country. It isn't. The genuflecting on Elizabeth May's "historic victory" (on winning one seat) masks the fact that the Greens went from over 1,000,000 votes in 2008 to just over 570,000 in this election.

    There remain a few illusions through which our collective bunk detector has not managed to sort. The most flagrant is how we do environmental politics.

    Reading the party platf...

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