Against the specialist, the expert and the technocrat

technology is a given

In these days of ecological overshoot, about the only experts I can abide are climate scientists. Without the facts we get from scientists, what would we say to climate science deniers? So I'm glad to see more climate scientists step out of the ivory tower in the world's hour of need. But sometimes I wish even climate brainiacs would stick to their labs and leave public policy … [Read more...]

Burning Tar Sands = ‘Unsolvable’ Climate Crisis: Hansen

protesters with anti-tar sands banner

We have a 'tremendously chaotic' climate on the way, climate expert warns Fresh off his resignation from NASA, leading climate scientist James Hansen is making the rounds this week, warning media and lawmakers that not only are we heading for a "tremendously chaotic" climate, but if we dig up and burn Canadian tar sands, the climate crisis will be rendered "unsolvable." Hansen told a a … [Read more...]

Citing mystical vision, Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline

Barack Obama speaking

Cutting short a permit review process expected to conclude this summer at earliest, President Obama today announced that he has decided to block the Keystone XL pipeline planned to carry more than 700,000 barrels a day of Canadian tar-sands crude into the country. "After a careful process of deliberation, and a prophetic vision after Easter service on Sunday, I have determined that permitting … [Read more...]

A fork in the road on dirty energy

Photo: tarsandsaction/Flickr.

This article is taken from a response by James Hansen to an op-ed piece published by Joe Nocera in the New York Times on February 18, 2013, "How Not to Fix Climate Change."  There, Nocera writes "I believe the Obama administration should approve the Keystone pipeline, which would transport oil mined and processed from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Like … [Read more...]

#25: Thoughtful repurposing

25th Reason

As we mentioned in Reason #27, the vast majority of the content on Transition Voice is original. We do it with the fresh on! But occasionally we do repurpose articles, especially when it comes to some of the greats, like climate activist Bill McKibben, climatologist James Hansen, economist Jeff Rubin, or democracy advocate Ralph Nader. Let's face it, the Internet is, in the words of the … [Read more...]

Time to step up

350 Candles

Next on the climate change agenda: Durban, South Africa, the location of the next round of global climate talks. The first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires next year, by which time a new agreement needs to have been reached. Climate agreements are important because the signatory nations commit to reaching certain goals by a certain time. This being the case, it's always a source of great … [Read more...]

Calloused but not broken: Walking Away From Empire


Guy McPherson’s latest gift, Walking Away From Empire: A Personal Journey, is a necessary tonic, or more aptly perhaps, a high colonic, for those who have ears but refuse to hear the story of climate change and its pervasive affect on the life of man and the world. This collection of essays proclaims loudly, and occasionally with raw emotion, that it's time we took off our cultural blinders and … [Read more...]

Oil price differentials, not emissions, the key to Keystone

Keystone XL Pipeline

James Hansen, NASA’s lead climate scientist, says if TransCanada Pipeline’s Keystone XL mega-project connecting Alberta tar sand producers to Gulf Coast refineries is approved, it is game over for the planet. It certainly won’t be game over for Alberta’s oil patch or the thousands of North American steel workers who will build the massive pipeline. And I rather doubt it will be game over for … [Read more...]

The White House and tar sands

Photo of tar sands protesters

Let us return for a moment to election night 2008. As I sat in our farm house in Pennsylvania, watching Barack Obama's victory speech, I turned my head aside so my wife would not see the tears in my eyes. I suspect that millions cried. It was a great day for America. We had great hopes for Barack Obama - perhaps our dreams were unrealistic - he is only human. But it is appropriate, it is right, … [Read more...]

How I learned to start worrying and hate the tar sands pipeline

Bill McKibben arrested at White House

I'm their target audience. I already care about climate change. And I don't like Big Oil. Yet, it took Bill McKibben and more than 150 other activists getting arrested at the White House for me to finally care about the tar sands pipeline. Before that, I had five reasons to leave this particular issue to somebody else: Pipelines are boring. With the Environmental Protection Agency reporting … [Read more...]