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A collection of articles by various authors on global topics.
Film Review: Before the Flood
November 17, 2016
A new climate documentary produced by actor and UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio lays out the problem of climate change in a way that let’s everyone understand the seriousness of the challenge and the crucial need for action.
Global agreement reached to reduce HFCs
November 3, 2016
Nearly 200 countries, including Canada, have agreed to a new deal to reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions, a synthetic gas with a warming potential that is hundreds—potentially thousands—of times greater than carbon dioxide.
Royal tours emphasizes indigenous rights
October 6, 2016
The Duke of Duchess of Cambridge toured BC this fall, and they visited multiple First Nations communities, endorsed the conservation of the Great Bear Rainforest and took part in a reconciliation ceremony. But not all First Nations are impressed.
What do refugees have to do with climate change?
August 11, 2016
Cowichan resident Peter Nix spent three months volunteering in a Greek refugee camp. He shares his stories of the camp.
1968 and My Experience of the Chicago Convention
July 28, 2016
Elizabeth May tells her story of another American political convention. She was a young teenager, daughter of a delegate, at the Chicago Democratic Convention in 1968 - where she learned the power of people, the backlash of power, and the fragility of democracy.
Moving beyond tolerance to appreciating the value of LGBTQ's contribution to society
July 14, 2016
The horrific Orlando shooting in a gay nightclub which left 49 dead has raised the profile of the rainbow community. Moving on, Salt Spring’s Robert Birch demonstrates the contribution of LGBTQ community to society and says it's time to appreciate it.
‘Break Free’ global civil disobedience
June 2, 2016
The Break Free campaign mobilized hundreds of thousands of activists around the world in one of the largest civil disobedience demonstrations in the climate movement’s history.
Youth win climate rights court case against Washington State
May 19, 2016
In a second child climate rights case, seven youth in Washington have won their environmental rights court case against the state Department of Ecology. The department now has to come up with new greenhouse gas regulations by the end of this year.
Earth Day at the United Nations
May 5, 2016
Elizabeth May views the signing of the Paris Agreement in New York and examines the challenges that face global leaders in the race to halt climate change. Trudeau has now acknowledged Harper’s targets as the baseline but they are woefully inadequate, even as a starting point, says May.
Government, industry fail to halt US children’s rights action
April 21, 2016
Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon, upheld the rights of 21 children to have the US government exercise due process to limit CO2 in and over the United States. The novel action had been challenged by the US government and the fossil-fuel industry.
What We Are Up Against — New Australian Study
April 7, 2016
In this special report, Patrick Brown reviews this new model for humankind’s future. A good model must factor population increase into the dual goals of curbing climate change and raising people out of poverty. As peoples’ lives become better they use more energy and more people use more energy. Even with business-as-usual, we will run out of fossil fuels - and destroy the planet. Will we scale up renewable energy fast enough? The study recommends at least removing all fossil fuel subsidies (amounting to $18 for every barrel produced, world-wide) and putting the funding into boost renewable energy.
Proportional representation working well in Denmark
March 24, 2016
Frants Attorp visits Denmark and asks questions about a pro-rep system which has been in place for 100 years. The answers are positive and inspiring. Time to get informed about this election system?
Canada to ratify CETA - even with investor-state provision
March 10, 2016
Elizabeth May says that recent reform of CETA’s investor state provisions is just a rebrand. These agreements are still a way of putting corporations outside domestic jurisdiction and placing a ‘chill’ on making laws.
Fighting the TPP - Elizabeth May, MP
February 11, 2016
What’s wrong with the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement? Elizabeth May tells us in plain language.
Paris: Conference of The Parties 21 - Elizabeth May, MP
December 10, 2015
An up-close-and-personal look at the beginnings of the Paris negotiations. Enjoy this insider look at the most important event so far this century.
GHG estimates for Paris conference won’t meet 2ºC target for Year 2100
November 12, 2015
According to the IPCC, as submitted by 147 countries, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions till 2050 are not strong enough to meet this century’s vital targets.
Two different worldviews, SDGs and TPP
October 29, 2015
Patrick Brown compares the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with the recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
TPP agreed; no details available to civil society
October 15, 2015
The massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal between twelve countries has been agreed upon after five years of negotiations. Few details are known about the deal however, and won't to be released before the federal election.
Dutch citizens sue for climate neglect
September 3, 2015
A group of 886 Dutch citizens brought their government to court for neglecting to take sufficient action against climate change - and won. Could this landmark case set a precedent internationally?
Changing course: Naomi Klein visits Pope Francis
July 23, 2015
Pope Francis’s recently released Encyclical, Laudato Si, is causing waves and bringing together a broad set of people discussing climate change solutions.
Climate and economy discussed in Toronto
July 23, 2015
Ralliers brought together the concepts of economy, justice and climate in Toronto in early July, marching just before the beginning of the Climate Summit of the Americas.
Laudato si – the world of a Franciscan pope
July 9, 2015
Patrick Brown delves into the 40,000 word encyclical of the Pope Francis, Laudato Si, bringing us an intriguing summary of the Pope’s ecology of ideas.
Warmer water in the Pacific is causing havoc
July 9, 2015
An enormous warm patch of water in the Pacific Ocean, dubbed ‘The Blob’, is causing extreme weather and mass die-offs across the continent.
Fast Track Slow Down
June 25, 2015
A package of three bills, including authorization for United States’ president Obama to ‘fast track’ the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty, has been voted down in the US House of Representatives.
No Time to Think
June 25, 2015
Omnibus legislation and secrecy are tools to eradicate debate, discussion and negotiation.
Looking at the TPP’s leaked investor-state dispute provisions
June 11, 2015
Patrick Brown takes a look at Chapter 2 of the Trans Pacific Partnership, leaked by Wikileaks, from the secret agreement.
Climate Negotiations: A Long Road From Lima to Paris
January 22, 2015
Elizabeth May gives the run down on the negotiations at COP20 in Lima, the lead-up to a new treaty in Paris at the end of this year.
Climate negotiations down to the wire
December 11, 2014
Elizabeth May gives us an advance look at the importance of the 20th Conference of the Parties in Lima, Peru, and talks about its importance in building climate treaties.
US-China climate agreement pressures world leaders
November 27, 2014
The recent US-China climate agreement puts pressure on the international community to join the action against climate change.
IPCC report says cutting carbon emissions is crucial
November 13, 2014
The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change's November report states that economically viable solutions to climate change are at hand. IPCC proposes immediate worldwide implementation of available actions that would work to solve the problem.
‘The whole world is marching’ - Elizabeth May
October 2, 2014
On September 21, millions of people all around the world marched together for the protection of the environment, the rejection of fossil fuels, and the survival of the human race.
A ways to go to the big ‘free trade’ deals
January 23, 2014
The European and Trans Pacific Partnership deals are far from completed. But they are much more than just 'trade agreements', and we have to rely on WikiLeaks to find out what they say.
The globalization of the workforce
January 23, 2014
Outsourcing employment to other countries is not such a great deal. Elizabeth May gives a local example and a local model for youth employment.
Will Philippines spur COP action?
November 21, 2013
A lacklustre Conference of the Parties has changed dramatically since the Philippines Typhoon. Will Yeb Sano’s impassioned plea change things?
Arctic 30 up close
October 24, 2013
Barbara Stowe, daughter of Greenpeace founders, gives a personal view of Arctic Sunrise skipper Peter Willcox and appeals for help in getting Arctic Sunrise’s crew released from a Murmansk detention centre. Who were the real pirates in Greenpeace arctic oil rig campaign—surely the Russian who commandeered Arctic Sunrise with force?
Louise Arbour at Salt Spring’s Forum
July 4, 2013 | Jane Petch
Jane Petch reports on Canadian Louise Arbour’s remarkable career in international justice, presented at Salt Spring’s ‘marketplace of ideas’, The Forum.
May 23, 2013
Elizabeth May tells us we have reached this dangerous level of carbon dioxide in the air. A spark of hope is the growing talk about the carbon economy being an over-inflated investment ‘bubble’ which may make investors ready to invest in the growing low-carbon economy.
Call for open Trans-Pacific Partnership process
September 6, 2012
The TPP process could impact the cost of medicines, local content rules, stifle hi-tech innovation, and restrict government action on public health and the environment. Should the negotiations be more open?
The malaise in historic Mali
August 9, 2012 | Pene Hollingworth
The takeover of landlocked Mali, by Islamic extremists, places in question the country’s rich culture and future development.
Durban and the road ahead
January 12, 2012 | Elizabeth May, MP
Looking back on COP17, Elizabeth May tells us it's not complicated but Big Oil and Big Coal make it so. Canadian MP May puts faces on Conference of the Parties negotiators. Whether the Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA) or the Kyoto Protocol action-track, it's hard to get legally binding agreements to progress. At least COP17 agreed that climate change should continue to be tackled through international law, not national voluntarism. Some small comfort.
November 3, 2011 | Commentary by Patrick Brown
Public dialogue about the fundamental global 'System' is the purpose of the worldwide Occupy movement. What do Canadians need to talk about?
21st Century Revolution
October 20, 2011 | Patrick Brown
The 'Occupy' movement is a new and powerful development in the world of public participation. It harks back to public activism in the second half of the 20th Century but has the add-on of modern telecommunications and social media. It is 'branded' but decentralized.
Crafting a carbon tax
July 28, 2011 | Richard Curchin
The lead-up to the introduction of a new carbon tax in the Australian legislature and what will happen next.
More than just a tax: a new carbon reduction initiative, Aussie-style
July 28, 2011 | Patrick Brown
An in-depth look at the Australian government's complex measures proposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Aftermath: Christchurch, NZ
March 10, 2011
Across the Pacific, a family keeps in touch by texting during the disaster. This first-hand account of the earthquake gives us pause to think, 'How ready are we on the coast for a similar experience?'.
A Day to Remember in the Egyptian Revolution
March 10, 2011
An extraordinary blow-by-blow, eye witness account of the February 2 violence in Tahrir Square. The story reached us via an email to a Gulf Islands' friend.
Cancun agreements—2010's dramatic finale
January 13, 2011
The inspiration of two women changed the December COP16 meeting from a Copenhagen repeat to progress. Patricia Espinoza and Christiana Figueres' strategy created agreement on climate change mitigation - the inside story from attendee Elizabeth May.
'Catching up with Haiti' & 'Cholera and water filters'
November 11, 2010
Factual information on where the money is going (or not) and an on-the-ground view from a Haiti-based Canadian NGO.
Australian Election 2010
September 16, 2010
Four independents decide the outcome of the Australian lower house election. A stable minority government?
Exxon Valdez punitive damages reduced
June 10, 2010
Will this US Supreme Court decision to cap punitive damages in maritime 'accidents' have a role to play in the Gulf of Mexico marine oil well blow-out? It is already being challenged in the US Senate.
Boreal Forest Agreement: the real deal, or a sham
June 10, 2010
Critics are divided on whether the logging companies or the ENGOs 'won'. Were the logging companies 'blackmailed' or the ENGos 'end-run'? Read an analysis and parts of the agreement to see what you think. Nevertheless this is a landmark deal - perhaps only time will tell who it benefits.
People's conference on climate change in Bolivia
May 27, 2010
Cochabamba was the antidote to Copenhagen. The people's conference, hosted by Bolivian President Evo Morales, attracted 35,000 participants from 140 countries. It reaffirmed and strengthened the Kyoo committment.
Australian Greens win cabinet seats in Tasmania
April 29, 2010
Tasmania's state House of Assembly forms Labour-Green coalition government, with two Greens in cabinet.
US Supreme Court puts the cart before the horse in allowing election period advertising
February 18, 2010
Patrick Brown examines a supreme court as politicized and divided as the rest of American government institutions. Why is it different in Canada and why we should keep it that way?
The changing game in Afghanistan
February 4, 2010
An in-a-nutshell recap of past strategies for Afghanistan and the new, and more hopeful, 'game' of building schools and backing education in the devastated country.
The Importance of Three Cups of Tea
February 4, 2010
Pené Hollingworth tells of Greg Mortensen's work building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Earthquake day in Port au Prince
January 21, 2010
Chris Rolling's first person account of what it was like.
Countdown to Copenhagen
November 5, 2009
Elizabeth May talks about the demonstration in the public gallery of Parliament on Monday, October 5 and gives a short history of climate change politics.
Australian politicans still playing politics on global warming
October 10, 2009
Misunderstanding about the concept and impact of climate change leads to political mudslinging.
Health care and national personality - Editorial
September 24, 2009
Canada's universal health care system produces a national characteristic of hope; whereas, in the United States, uncertainty about health care feeds a climate of fear which Canadian can scarcely imagine. No wonder Obama faces so much opposition.
Australian politics takes precedence over global warming
August 27, 2009
Australia's Senate is the scene of political moves. A combo carbon trading and renewable energy measures bill was defeated with insufficient debate and a refusal to amend by Kevin Rudd's government. However when the contents were split into two, the renewable energy measures was passed three days later. A second defeat of the carbon trading bill will mean that the Rudd could call for a double dissolution of parliament, giving him a good chance at gaining control of the Senate in an election. Meanwhile time is dangerously short for Australia to have a good national policy to take to Copenhagen in December.
WA Goes for Climate Change
June 4, 2009
Washington State Governor initiates sweeping climate change reforms despite his legislature's refusal to authorize a cap-&-trade system.
Blueprint for a green New Deal
April 9, 2009
Green Party co-leader Dr Russel Norman has called on New Zealand’s National Party minority government to use environmentally friendly initiatives to tackle the effect of the global recession.
Editorial: Time for a global carbon tax
March 12, 2009 | Patrick Brown & Christa Grace-Warrick
If President Obama's proposed ineffective, cumbersome cap-&-trade scheme is implemented the moment for a worldwide carbon tax will be lost.
Cap-&-trade failing the emissions test; calls for carbon tax
January 29, 2009 | Patrick Brown & Christa Grace-Warrick
Carbon cap-&-trade, a government-initiated system devised to let ‘free market economics’ take care of greenhouse gas reduction, is failing. The scheme to prevent climate change has fallen prey to the ‘market’s’ insatiable need to ‘game’ any entity put up for trade.
Friedman's last hurrah
October 30, 2008 | Patrick Brown & Christa Grace-Warrick
Is the so-called economic crisis another Friedman-esque manipulation of the world for the benefit of big corporation? There are signs that people are no longer as easily shocked.
Has the US crippled NATO?
September 4, 2008 | MurrayDobbin
With the end of the Cold War,many analysts and policymakers imagined that the developed world might actually move away from its irrational attachment to militarization and war. The most optimistic envisioned a huge, international peace dividend, shifting untold billions previously spent on conventional and nuclear weapons to tackling poverty and inequality around the world.
World Greens call for global parliamentary assembly
May 15, 2008
Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May has joined with Green Party delegates from around the world to pass a resolution calling for ‘the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly’ to reduce the ‘international democratic deficit.’ The resolution was passed by representatives of green parties and movements from over 80 countries who gathered in Sao Paulo at the beginning of May for the second Global Greens Congress.
New Zealand ends privatized railway adventure
May 15, 2008 | Patrick Brown
New Zealand has ended a fifteen-year experiment with railway privatization by buying out the railway and ferry operations of Toll Holdings Ltd for NZ$665 million (CDN$500 million). The purchase includes rail operations on both the North and South Islands, together with ferries across Cook Strait that carry railcars, vehicles, and passengers.
Gateway project; pipeline to hell
May 1, 2008 | Peter D Carter
Folks in BC have never liked the idea of oil tankers plying their coast. How about 320 per year? How about tankers all the way down the coast from Kitimat to California?
Sub-prime fraud made simple
January 24, 2008 | Commentary by Patrick Brown
House-building is a major driver of the US consumer economy. In fact, as much of the economy deteriorates, it becomes increasingly important (along with the war business, which is completely financed by government debt).
Australia ratifies Kyoto Protocol
December 13, 2007 | Richard Curchin
Kevin Rudd, the new Labor Prime Minister, has hit the ground running, having already ratified the Kyoto protocol, and is promising reform for the environment, industrial relations, education, health, and telecommunications and to withdraw troops from Iraq.
Schmeisers honoured with ‘Right Livelihood’ award’
December 13, 2007
Percy Schmeiser, who together with his wife Louise fights against Monsanto’s marketing practices, said: ‘It is our opinion that the full ramifications of allowing patents on plants and other life forms have not been fully examined. But governments from around the world have bowed to the pressure of big multinational corporations who have requested patents on life forms.’
‘Gone for Broke’ - Australian federal election 2007
November 29, 2007 | Richard Curchin
Why the governing coalition of the Liberal and National Parties used the slogan ‘Go for Broke’ in their Australian federal election campaign is open to guess—but they’ve gone.
Metaphor and Method, Shock &andAwe
October 18, 2007 | Book Review by Patrick Brown
When the review copy of Naomi Klein’s new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, arrived, the editor told me I couldn’t have it to read; she had started it and wouldn’t send it to me. ‘It’s the story of my lifetime, it all makes sense, now!’ she said.
Peace in Afghanistan — Made in Canada
October 4, 2007 | Commentary by Patrick Brown
On September 25, just as the Canadian government was sending confusing signals about its intentions in Afghanistan, the Senlis Council, an international think-tank, proposed a new vision for our Afghan future. Most important, it calls on Canada to take the lead in the international community, and to stop seeing itself as a ‘junior partner’ to the US.
Democracy Versus Television
July 26, 2007 | Book Review by Patrick Brown
Democracy, says Al Gore, has not survived television. This is the same Al Gore who has so successfully used film and television to tell the world about global climate change. But he’s chosen to write a book, The Assault on Reason, to make his case.
Editorial: Net Zero
February 22, 2007
It seems that this newspaper has been publishing articles about global climate change for as long as we can remember. We’re delighted at the way our governments have suddenly caught up to us, and our readers.
Tax Greenhouse Gas Emissions—No Caps, No Trades
February 22, 2007 | Patrick Brown
A number of Canada’s large industrial and electrical generation operations are major producers of greenhouse gases(GHG).
The Great Chinese Carbon Credit Scam
February 8, 2007 | Patrick Brown
One of the strategies that was proposed by the previous Canadian government (so Canada could appear to meet its Kyoto greenhouse gas reduction targets) was the purchase of GHG credits which are generated by ‘green’ projects in developing countries.
Editorial: Canada’s Afghanistan Responsibility
November 30, 2006
The US mid-term election has come and gone. The results confirm that a substantial majority of Americans did not agree with the direction that their all-Republican government (president, senate, and house of representatives) was taking.
Deep Integration: Beyond the Economy?
November 2, 2006 | Patrick Brown
The North American Free Trade Agreement was legislated into effect ten years ago by Parliament, the US Congress, and the Mexican legislature...It’s impacts have been massive.
Youngsters Show a Way to Peace
August 24, 2006
On August 19 and 20, ten Palestinian, ten Israeli, and nine Canadian teenagers showed the short films that they had created together)...The films are the result of a two-week program called ‘Peace It Together,’ during which the 29 youth heard each other’s stories and struggled to come to terms with the violence and stereotypes that impact their lives.
25 Years of Living with the AIDS Pandemic
August 24, 2006 | Dr Bhagirath Singh
The August 16 International AIDS Conference in Toronto marked the 25th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS. Since then, HIV has infected more than 65 million people worldwide, of whom 25 million have died.
Media Review: Which Way at the Crossroads?
November 3, 2005 | Peter Carter
So is there an answer or is the future all gloom and doom? Is there, as Scientific American says, a plan for a bright future beyond 2050? Yes, there is and that depends on us—now. There is a detailed blueprint for the future. It’s called Agenda 21.
Book Review: Déja Vu Deconstructed
October 6, 2005 | Patrick Brown
History has the remarkable optical quality of increasing clarity with distance: the further away we are, the more patently logical history appears. But it’s a brave man that attempts to put recent history into a logical framework, to interpret the apparently random events of our own lifetime as the natural symptoms of the ebb and flow of beliefs and forces, of nations and conflicts.
The Crisis in Niger
September 22, 2005 | Peter Carter
On the heels of July’s G8 meeting, at which wealthy national governments yet again procrastinated and prevaricated on debt cancellation for the poorest of the world’s poor, aid agencies and the UN at last managed to focus the attention of the world on the plight of starving people in Niger.
Statement by Stephen Lewis, UN Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa
August 11, 2005
Lewis' seven-point speech at the International AIDS Conference in Brazil.
February 24, 2005 | Patrick Brown
Canada’s approach to the ‘First Compliance Period’ (2008–2012) of the Kyoto Protocol is in the nervous process of revelation.
Book Review: Making the Global Village Our Turf
November 20, 2003 | Patrick Brown
Lloyd Axworthy's book is a prescription for Canada's activist involvement in the entire world...
Journal from Palestine
October 27, 2003 | Jean McLaren
Jean, a Raging Grannie from Salt Spring Island, served one-month in Palestine with the International Womens' Peace Service. This is her story.
The Peace Pages
February 13, 2003
On February 15, 2003, a large number of people world-wide demonstrated for peace. In honour of the demonstrations, Island Tides compiled four pages on the costs of unleashing war...