We now have less than 2 years to stop building any new stuff that uses fossil fuels

The original headline of the article said we had 5 years but now it’s less than 2  years to stop building any new stuff that uses fossil fuels.  Here’s lightly updated repost.

Stephen Leahy, International Environmental Journalist

Measurement of CO2 levels in atmosphere

By Stephen Leahy

[Authors note: One of the most difficult and important articles I’ve written in 20 years of environmental journalism. Originally published Sept 6 2014 @Vice Motherboard]


Here’s the frightening implication of a landmark study on CO2 emissions:

By 2018, no new cars, homes, schools, factories, or electrical power plants should be built anywhere in the world, ever again, unless they’re either replacements for old ones or carbon neutral. Otherwise greenhouse gas emissions will push global warming past 2˚C of temperature rise worldwide, threatening the survival of many people currently living on the planet.

Every climate expert will tell you we’re on a tight carbon budget as it is—that only so many tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be pumped into the atmosphere before the global climate will overheat. We’ve already warmed temperatures 0.85˚C from pre-industrial levels, and the number rises every year. While no one thinks 2˚ C is safeper…

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In Canada Being Green Brings Police Surveillance

Man wanting a safe climate for his grandchild arrested in Ottawa
Man wanting a safe climate for his grandchild arrested in Ottawa

Harper government calls environmentalists “extremists” and “radicals”

By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Feb 20 2013 (IPS)

Canada’s police and security agencies think citizens concerned about the environment are threats to national security, and some are under surveillance, documents reveal.

The RCMP, the national police force, and Canada’s spy agency CSIS are increasingly conflating terrorism and extremism with peaceful citizens exercising their democratic rights to organise petitions, protest and question government policies, said Jeffrey Monaghan, a researcher with the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Protests and opposition to Canada’s resource-based economy, especially oil and gas production, are now viewed as threats to national security, Monaghan said. This conclusion is based on official security documents obtained under freedom of information laws over the last five years.

It is governments and the fossil fuel industry who are the extremists, threatening the prosperity of future generations.
For the past two years, officials in Canada’s Stephen Harper government have been calling environmentalists “radicals” and accusing environmental organisations of money laundering.

“The Harper government has a strong interest in suppressing environmental activism,” Monaghan told IPS.

By branding activists as extremists or radicals, many people will not want to be involved. Surveillance and other security activities will have a similar “chilling effect”, he fears.

“There could be an incredibly profound impact on public participation,” Monaghan noted.

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Bungled Peace-Building in Afghanistan & Iraq Opened Door to Terrorism

US focus In Afghanistan is killing terrorists not peace-building — Canadian expert says 

By Stephen Leahy

(Originally published Jan 31, 2006)

(IPS) – Washington’s attempts to bring security to Iraq and Afghanistan are not only making life harder for local people, they are breeding more terrorists, warn international security experts.

Under its anti-terrorism agenda, the U.S. has centralised power and security in post-conflict Iraq and Afghanistan, which ironically creates perfect conditions for terrorists and criminals.

“There is a great fear that unstable states and post-war societies provide an ideal breeding ground for terrorist training and activity,” said Albrecht Schnabel, a senior fellow with the Research Programme on Human Security in Bern, Switzerland.

“Yet almost three years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iraq is characterised by chaos, violence and disintegration. The methods used to rebuild Iraq’s security sector are simply making matters worse,” he told IPS. Continue reading