At this web site you’ll find information about my background, teaching, research, and writing. The site includes some of my writings as well as a Forum where we can discuss issues of common interest. If you’d like to receive my newsletter, just enter your email address in the box at the bottom of the page. Enjoy your visit.
Uncertainty Shouldn't Mean Inaction
The climate pause in context
October 7, 2013, with Andrew Weaver in the Toronto Globe and Mail.
The argument that climate uncertainty justifies climate-policy inaction is a noxious mixture of non sequiturs and selective use of scientific facts.
Go to “Uncertainty Shouldn’t Mean Inaction.” (image IPCC AR5)
Lac-Mégantic and the Oil Sands: Toronto Globe and Mail
If President Obama adheres to the criterion that he has said will guide his decision on whether to approve Keystone XL, the Lac-Mégantic accident effectively weakens rather than strengthens the case for the pipeline.
Go to “No Trains, No Keystone XL?” (Photo from Sûreté du Québec)
Oil Sands Debate: Toronto Globe and Mail
Resolved: The oil sands industry is distorting Canada’s economy and eroding its democracy in ways that will exact an enormous cost on our society over the long term.
Thomas Homer-Dixon and Konrad Yakabuski debate the costs and benefits to Canada of the oil sands industry. Go to “Oil Sands Debate.”
April 1st, 2013 –
Many Canadians want the tar sands industry stopped, because it’s relentlessly twisting our society into something we don’t like. Canada is beginning to exhibit the economic and political characteristics of a petro-state.
Go to “The Tar Sands Disaster.”
Listen to a recent related interview on CBC Radio’s As It Happens.
May 31st, 2012 –
On May 31, 2012, at Congress 2012, I explained how we can use complexity science to better understand the increasingly surprising behavior of our world. See the speech here.
Catastrophic Dehumanization: the Psychological Dynamics of Severe Conflict
A presentation at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, April 17, 2012.
Dehumanization is arguably a defining feature of the most brutal acts of human violence, such as saturation bombardment of civilian populations, terrorist attacks on urban centers, intense battlefield combat, and genocide. I propose a psychological explanation of this phenomenon that uses a catastrophe manifold to describe a set of psychological states in an individual’s mind and the possible pathways of movement between these states. The manifold exists in a three-dimensional phase space defined by the variables identity, justice, and structural constraint. It specifies five hypotheses about the causes and dynamics of dehumanization. Taken together, these hypotheses represent an overarching theory of the nonlinear collapse of identification at the level of the individual.