A useful framework for deepening our critique and highlighting the importance of the new methodologies implicit in many of the social movements of recent years is provided by critical realism. This is a philosophical school that was itself a product of the political and cultural struggles of the 1960s and 1970s and provides a necessary alternative to both the limitations of structuralism and the dead ends of postmodernism.
The need for radical social change is pressing and the desire for it widespread. Traditionally, political parties have been the means of giving shape, leadership and coherence to such desires. But in present circumstances they are simply not up to the task. There's never been a golden age for parties of the left but there have been periods âe" the 1920s until the late 1960s âe" when the majority of people desiring change in a broadly socialist direction would be members or supporters of mass socialist or communist parties.
While governments and industry focus on the economic costs of dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they act as though there are no economic costs associated with hurricanes and tornadoes, massive flooding, or entire populations rendered unproductive by heat waves that leave them gasping to survive.
In a 2006 survey by the Dominion Institute, 72% of Canadians said they believe that, by 2020, global warming will have become the greatest crisis facing humankind. While the cause of global warming is still being debated in a few dusty corners, the scientific mainstream believes that global warming is caused by our continued and expanding use of fossil fuels. This crisis seems exacerbated by the apparent lack of political will, in Canada and the US to address the cause of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), the combustion of fossil fuels to produce energy.
Like John Ibbitson in The Globe and Mail, Andrew Coyne in the National Postand countless other gushers of purple prose in the media punditry, I am sogoddamn proud that when it comes to choosing a local stand-in for ourdynastic monarch, we only go for the best.
You are such an inspiration to all us colonial plebs, Your Excellency. Justlooking at you, it's so obvious why you were chosen.
TO: The President of the United States
FROM: Steven Laffoley
Here they are: