Green New Deal can unite Europe’s progressives

“This is a great opportunity for progressives across Europe to unite around a doable, radical but at the same time moderate agenda. It can be for progressives what immigration and racism is to the rightists.” — Yanis Varoufakis  

Former Greek finance minister says quest for transformation could help counter far right

 Yanis Varoufakis: ‘I think this a very optimistic moment.’ Photograph: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images

A radical Green New Deal has the potential to unite progressives across Europe in the same way as nationalist and right-wing movements are mobilising around immigration and xenophobia, according to the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

Varoufakis, a co-founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25), which is standing candidates in Germany and Greece in Thursday’s European elections, told the Guardian a radical green agenda could act as the “glue and cement” for an alliance of leftists, greens and liberals.

“I think this a very optimistic moment,” said Varoufakis, who is standing for DiEM25 in Germany. “The ultra right, the xenophobic right have a rallying call, they have glue and cement holding them together and that is racism, xenophobia, migration and narratives of gloom about Islamists coming to Europe and taking over.”

Progressives, however, have lacked a similar “rallying cry”, according to Varoufakis, who has become one of the leading figures on the European left in the last decade.

He argued that a Green New Deal, financed by green investment bonds issued by the European Investment Bank (EIB), could transform the economy, creating sustainable, secure jobs, and help tackle the unfolding environmental crisis while uniting young and old, socialists, Greens and liberals across the continent. MORE


Webinar for Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform Oversubscribed

Fair Vote Canada had about 560 people register for their Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform and the webinar cutoff was 100 watching. Others tried to  to log on unsuccessfully.

The  national citizens’ assembly had three main objectives:

    • To give citizens a leadership role in determining the shape of electoral reform for Canada
    • To provide a structure for meaningful and informed deliberation by a demographically-representative group of Canadians, free of partisan interest
    • To build a consensus that enhances public trust in any decision-making process

For those who missed the webinar and would like to watch, here it is:



A National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform: A Process We Can Trust
Why a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform?

Activists to hound Trudeau with jumbotron today over Trans Mountain


pipeline truckThis vehicle will be sending a message about Trans Mountain to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning. CONTRIBUTED

Anti-pipeline activists will be hounding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today. And they’ll be using a jumbotron to do it.

A news release from Protect the Inlet says the truck pictured will be broadcasting a message this morning in Vancouver in relation to the group’s opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project that, if approved, will terminate in Burnaby.

“British Columbians demanding real climate action are gathering outside the Opus Hotel in Downtown Vancouver where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is holding a fundraiser,” said a news release. “They will be accompanied by a Jumbotron that will follow Trudeau to his evening media event. Crowdfunded by Leadnow and SumOfUs members, the Jumbotron will display a message reading: ‘Trudeau, No Pipelines in a Climate Emergency’.”

May 22 protest in Vancouver

The Canadian government has purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and related assets for $4.5 billion. The expansion would triple the capacity of the line that runs from the Edmonton area to Metro Vancouver and increase tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet seven-fold. SOURCE


Zealous protest in B.C. gives Trudeau glimpse of election battle ahead

Yeyatalunyuhe (Lela George) protests with dozens of other anti-pipeline activists outside a fundraiser hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Vancouver on Wednesday.
Dozens of pipeline protesters carried orca-shaped signs and chanted “protect the planet, protect our people.

Protests overshadow billion dollar plus gift to B.C. voters

4 Ways to Cut Plastic’s Growing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

 “Unless waste management practices improve, the amount of plastic entering oceans could be 10 times greater in 2025 than they were in 2015 according to a 2015 study in the journal Science.”

Every stage of plastic’s life cycle, from fossil fuel extraction to disposal, produces greenhouse gases. A new study looked at ways to lower the toll.

Plastic waste. Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
The greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastics are projected to be nearly four times greater by mid-century. Increasing the use of renewable energy, plant-based feedstocks and aggressive recycling and reducing demand can help lower the impact. Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

As concern over plastic waste grows, researchers are raising red flags about another problem: plastic’s rapidly growing carbon footprint. Left unchecked, greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastics will be nearly four times greater by mid-century, when they are projected to account for nearly one-sixth of global emissions.

Not all plastics have the same carbon footprint, though. What they are made from, the source of the energy that powers their production, and how they are disposed of at the end of their life cycle all make a difference.

In a study published Monday in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, researchers calculated the life cycle emissions of different types of plastics, made from fossil fuels and from plants, and looked for ways to lower their total greenhouse gas emissions.

They found that there is no silver bullet. Every combination of plastics production and end-of-life disposal generates greenhouse gas emissions. But by combining four different approaches, they found they could lower emissions up to 93 percent compared to business as usual by 2050 if each measure was taken to the extreme.

Chart: Plastic's Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The most effective combination the researchers found was to use a plant-based feedstock (sugarcane in this case), with 100 percent renewable energy for production, recycling of all plastics rather than incinerating or dumping them in landfills, and reducing the annual growth in demand for plastics by half.

That combination could theoretically reach a 93 percent reduction compared to business as usual in 2050, or about a 74 percent reduction from 2015 levels, the researchers found. MORE

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

Below is an excerpt from the original Canadian Press article where each takeaway is accompanied by an analysis.

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain marine terminal, in Burnaby, B.C. Photograph By JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled Friday that the province did not have the authority to restrict shipments of diluted bitumen through its borders. Here are five takeaways from the decision and its impacts:

1. Provinces cannot bring in legislation that interferes with the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines.

2. The court found B.C.’s legislation was aimed directly at the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

3. B.C. still wants to take its chances before the Supreme Court of Canada.

4. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and former premier, Rachel Notley, are celebrating the decision as a win for the province.

5. It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project.

[B.C. Attorney General David] Eby did not directly answer a question about what else his government would do to oppose the pipeline, as he maintained B.C.’s legislation was about protecting its environment and that the Supreme Court of Canada would have the final say. But Peter McCartney, a climate campaigner with the Wilderness Committee, said there was plenty B.C. could do to halt or delay the project, including adding conditions to its provincial environmental certificate or ordering a public health and safety review of the project. SOURCE