Tag Archives: bill rees

Canada’s stance on climate change and our economic development plan

Do Canada’s stance on climate change and our current economic development plan constitute moral negligence? (A brief to the CBC and select Members of Parliament by William E. Rees)

Media reports and commentary on the havoc caused by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines have finally begun to acknowledge the possible connection to anthropogenic climate change. While no single storm can be positively attributed to human disruption of the global climate system, climate models predict that extreme weather events will increase in frequency and violence. Unprecedented natural maelstroms like Haiyan provide empirical evidence that the models are likely correct.

What continues to be almost entirely missing from media analysis is Canada’s role in all this, particularly the moral dimensions of the nation’s current economic development policies and those of several provinces (e.g., BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland).

Continue reading Canada’s stance on climate change and our economic development plan

On the Use and Misuse of the Concept of Sustainability

The concepts of ‘sustainable development’ and ‘sustainability’ continue to be subverted, distorted and otherwise misused in the ongoing political debates concerning global change and economic development. Society continues to be in deep denial of fundamental facts pertaining to contemporary biophysical reality and the increasingly global socio-cultural context within which the human universe is unfolding.

To address some of the commoner deceits and misconceptions, Ed Barry (The Population Institute, Washington D.C) and I teamed up in a presentation to the 8th International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability held in Vancouver, BC in January. Here are some of the major points we argued in our presentations: Continue reading On the Use and Misuse of the Concept of Sustainability