Tag Archives: Environment

Bodies of Water, Not Bodies of Women: Canadian Media Images of the Idle No More Movement

This article is a commemoration of the late Myra Rutherdale, Associate Professor of History at York University, who presented a version of this essay at a Canadian Studies conference in Jerusalem in the spring of 2013. Her graduate student Erin Dolmage and colleague Carolyn Podruchny extended and completed the essay to honour Myra’s dedication to scholarship and social justice. Erin… Read more »

How Should We Measure Climate Change? What the Past Can Tell Us

By Dagomar Degroot Last month, world leaders met at UN Headquarters in New York City for Climate Summit 2014. As protests raged across the globe, diplomats established the framework for a major climate change agreement next year. The aim will be to limit anthropogenic warming to no more than 2 °C, a threshold established by scientists and policymakers, beyond which… Read more »

Reconstructing the Future: Understanding Toronto’s Wild Weather of 2013

By Dagomar Degroot In Toronto, 2013 was a year of storms. The media storm kindled by the mayor’s chicanery was twice interrupted by meteorological storms that threatened lives and property on an unprecedented scale. On July 8th more than 100 mm of rain inundated the city in a matter of hours, triggering flash floods that caused more than $1 billion… Read more »

Commemorating war and the environment through non-human species

By Kaitlin Wainwright In November 2012, the Canadian government unveiled three plaques and a bronze statue of a dog in Ottawa’s Confederation Park, adjacent to the South African War Memorial. These were the first commemorative efforts in Canada in 75 years that foregrounded the role of animals in war. The environment is, at best, an emerging theme in Canadian military… Read more »

Understanding the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report from the Perspective of a Climate Historian

By Dagomar Degroot (this post originally appeared on Degroot’s personal website) Established in 1988 by the UN and the World Meteorological Organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a scientific body that periodically summarizes the scholarly understanding of the world’s climate. In 2007, the panel’s fourth assessment report outlined in stark terms the likelihood of anthropogenic global warming. Since then,… Read more »

Environment and Citizenship in Canadian History

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By Sean Kheraj This is the second in a series of posts originally presented as part of a roundtable entitled “What’s the Use of History? Citizenship and History in Canada’s Past and Present,” held in Toronto on October 16th 2012.  The event was organized by the People’s Citizenship Guide Project. In 2009, many historians criticized the federal government for its… Read more »

Hurricane Sandy: A Teachable Moment

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By Dagomar Degroot As this is published, so-called “Frankenstorm” hurricane Sandy is flooding large swaths of the American east coast. The deaths of more than sixty people in the Caribbean will likely represent this historic storm’s most direct and poignant toll. However, as reports of devastation come in from across the most densely populated regions of the United States it… Read more »

The Historical Roots of Today’s Climate of Apathy

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By Dagomar Degroot In recent weeks widespread outrage over the publication of Kate Middleton’s topless photos has existed in strange parallel with a decidedly muted response to a shocking acceleration of Arctic melting. While every day brought new stories of royal indignation and litigation to the front pages of major newspapers, concern over the plight of our increasingly topless planet… Read more »

Above and Below: Manipulating the Niagara Waterscape

By Daniel Macfarlane Nik Wallenda’s impending and controversial tightrope walk across Niagara Falls, set for June 15, is just the most recent in a long line of such spectacles (e.g. actually going over the falls!) at the iconic cataract. Given the banality of the carnivalesque at the Niagara Falls – just think of circus-style attractions –  it has often interpreted… Read more »

Consuming Environmental History: Rethinking Wild Game Meat

by Mike Commito On December 21st 2011, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters tweeted a link to a National Post article, “Wild Game Meat not Welcome at Ontario Food Banks,” which reported that a Lanark, Ontario food bank had decided to reject donations of wild game meat. The post piqued my interest for several reasons. First, while the economy… Read more »