Highlights from the sold-out opening stop of The Leap’s A Green New Deal for All Tour in Toronto, featuring Maya Menezes, David Suzuki, Pam Palmater, Naomi Klein, and the Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers. (2:14)
What a whirlwind couple of weeks it’s been! From Vancouver to Halifax, The Leap traveled coast to coast for 6 SOLD OUT STOPS of our Green New Deal for All Tour.
To those of you who could join us in person, thank you for showing that thousands of people are ready to fight for a Green New Deal rooted in justice and Indigenous sovereignty.
And to everyone we heard from, who wants to be part of this growing movement but couldn’t make it out to an event in person, we have something for you!
This is the movement we’ve been waiting for, and working towards, for years. Like the Leap Manifesto, the Green New Deal is a jobs and justice program that offers solutions to the climate crisis that are actually as big and bold as we need. But this time around, the Green New Deal is being pushed by a massive, multi-generational movement.
As Naomi Klein said when she kicked off our tour in Toronto, “When the future of life is at stake, there is nothing we cannot achieve. We will win a Green New Deal. We will win it because we have to.”
The tour may have ended, but our work is far from over. Thank you again for making our last two weeks so powerful — we’re excited and determined to keep fighting for a Green New Deal for All with you.
AFP / Getty Images
What’s one of the world’s most powerful cartel’s afraid of? A bunch of meddling kids.
Climate activists and their “unscientific” claims are “perhaps the greatest threat to our industry going forward,” said Mohammed Barkindo, the secretary general of OPEC (the cartel representing 14 countries with 80 percent of the world’s oil reserves) earlier this week.
He might have been talking about protesters more broadly, but the rest of his statement suggests that young people are being particularly irksome. Barkindo said some of his colleague’s children are asking them about the future because “they see their peers on the streets campaigning against this industry.” (I guess the birds and the bees isn’t the most uncomfortable conversation parents are having with their kids in OPEC households.)
This is, of course, heartening news for climate activists. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede famous for starting a movement of youth strikes calling for climate action, thanked OPEC for the compliment.
As for climate activists’ “unscientific claims,” it’s unclear if Barkindo had a particular statement in mind, but the science pretty unequivocally supports demands for urgent change. Global emissions need to be drastically cut by 2050 to avoid more than 1.5 degrees C of warming, and to do that we need to use way less fossil fuels.
It’s not just public opinion that’s turning against the fossil fuel industry — insurance companies and investors are increasingly opting to put their money elsewhere. But that’s not the fault of some upstart kids: It’s because science and common sense are showing fossil fuels are a bad investment, especially in the long run. Recent figures estimate that climate change could cost the world economy as much as $69 trillion by 2100. MORE
File photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa by Alex Tétreault
Sandy Garossino’s recent column, “The Serious $70 Billion Climate Plan You’ve Heard Nothing About,” purports to summarize the “extraordinarily compelling case” in favour of the federal government’s recent approval of the Trans Mountain expansion project, based on the pipeline’s contribution to climate action.
I’m not buying it. Let’s take Garossino’s main arguments one at a time:
Garossino claims that in the pipeline’s absence, “the global supply chain would simply reshuffle and move ahead as if nothing happened.” There are both domestic and international aspects to this claim.
Garossino simply ignores the domestic emissions associated with production of the oil that will flow through the pipeline, The federal government’s own estimate is that the pipeline’s annual upstream emissions — i.e., emissions resulting from extraction, processing and transportation of crude within Canada — will be 13 to 15 million tonnes, equivalent to two million cars.
That’s a big deal because Canada’s current climate plan is not sufficient to get us to our 2030 Paris Agreement target. Indeed, the gap has been growing rather than shrinking. Adding another 15 million tonnes of emissions makes it a lot harder to meet our international obligation.
The tarsands have accounted for three quarters of Canada’s emissions growth since 1990. It’s also the sector that accounts for almost all projected growth going forward. Even the celebrated 100-megatonne cap on emissions from the tarsands — which was never legally binding and from which Alberta has withdrawn support — would allow a tripling of tarsands emissions from 2005 to 2030, thus demanding deeper compensatory cuts from other sectors and other provinces.
The longer-term challenge looms even larger. A pipeline is an investment in long-lasting infrastructure. Yet Canada’s 2030 target is just the first step. It will be ever-harder to make the deeper cuts needed after 2030 (if not before!) if we chain ourselves to new pipeline infrastructure and associated heavy oil production expected to operate for decades to come.
Now let’s consider the global context. Garossino’s assertion about the global supply chain recalls Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement — notably made in Alberta, not Paris — that “no country would find 173 billions barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there.”
But that is exactly what we must do.
As with fossil-fuel consumption, we face a collective-action problem in fossil-fuel production. Oil-exporting countries say they support the Paris Agreement, but hold out hope that their oil will be the last drop consumers buy. This is especially unrealistic for Canada: our oil is relatively costly to produce and carbon-intensive to refine, and thus likely to be the first to go.
Oil exporters, including Canada, may just be making a financial bet against the success of the Paris Agreement. Whether oil producers are unduly optimistic or hedging their bets, they have collectively created a growing glut of supply relative to the demand trajectory needed to mitigate climate change.
At best, Canadians will be saddled with stranded assets and economically ill-prepared when global customers shun our exports. At worst, excess supply will continue to depress global fossil-fuel prices, undermining the transition to cleaner energy, to the detriment of future generations.
Parliament recently voted to declare climate change a “real and urgent crisis.” Surely, that crisis calls for leadership, rather than the excuse that everyone else is doing it, too. MORE
I encourage you to read the entire article by John McMurtry. This is the BIG STORY never investigated by Canada’s media — one that should definitely influence how you vote.
As we know, big lies can run free across borders with few people joining the dots. For example, no media has been reporting that China’s growing dispute with Canada is based on Canada’s enforcement of the Trump administration’s unilateral embargo against Iran. This is what politicians called ‘the rule of law’. In fact, it is assisting the US takedown of China’s superior IT competition – Huawei – for not obeying the illegal US embargo.
One lie builds on another. Repetition institutionalizes it. Then that becomes the truth that sells. As explained long ago by Edward Bernayes, the founder of public relations, democracy is “the manufacture of consent.” What he did not say is that only system-supporting lies may be on offer.
So, the imprisonment of Huawei’s vice-chairwoman and CFO Meng Wanzhou, continues as justified by ‘the rule of law’ and China is at fault for not recognizing it. Official Canada again reverts to type. It attacks the designated US Enemy, in junior partnership with its global corporate command.
Yet this time there is a new twist. Canada is attacking itself on all levels without knowing it. China has imprisoned two Canadian citizens and blocked long-standing major agriculture imports to our increasing public humiliation. The US, the actual cause of the problem, has done nothing to resolve it, and all the while, a deeper self-destruction of Canada unfolds to serve US Big-Oil demands.
The usual leaders of Canada’s branch-plant culture in politics, media news and ‘expert’ commentary just continue their barking.
A US Big-Oil backed juggernaut of Conservative provincial governments and the federal Opposition have been advancing for months in a campaign to reverse longstanding parliamentary decisions, environmental laws, climate action initiatives, Supreme Court directions, and First-Nations negotiations, with the goal of bringing down the current government of Canada. Yet no-one in public or media circles has joined the dots.
Canada’s vast tar-sands deposits are world famous as surpassing Saudi Arabia oil-field capacities in total barrels of potential yield. Great Canada! Yet few notice that over two-thirds of the entire tar-sands operations are owned by foreign entities sending their profits out of Canada, and that almost all its raw product is controlled for US refining and sale from which Canada is cut out.
What is particularly kept out of the daily news is the incendiary fact that the infamous, election-interfering and oft-EPA-convicted Koch brothers – who are behind Trump’s destruction of the US Environmental Protection Agency – have a dominant stake in the Alberta tar-sands as well as the massive BC-pipeline with its toxic sludge heading to tidewater while new colossal tankers plough through and pollute the BC coast.
Koch-owned industries have already extracted countless billions of their now $100-billion fortune from the Alberta tar-sands and have deployed their well-known voter-manipulations to change the balance of power in Canada as they have done in the US.
The objective is the same in both cases – ever more tax-free, publicly subsidized and state-enforced control by US Big Oil of Alberta’s massive oil resources with no public or government regulations or interferences in the way. This is called the ‘free market’. MORE
Tankers like these carrying liquefied natural gas, a highly flammable substance, will transit Howe Sound in southern British Columbia if the Woodfibre LNG project is built. Photo: Shutterstock
Woodfibre LNG, a liquefied natural gas export facility planned for Howe Sound on the southern B.C. coast, is a big step closer to construction following receipt of a key permit from the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission on Tuesday.
The eight-page permit outlines the requirements the facility, owned by Indonesian billionaire Sukanto Tanoto, must meet for design, construction and operation — including a tsunami hazard study, a flaring notification plan and reports on emissions such as noise and black smoke.
The waters of the 44-kilometre long Howe Sound fjord, flanked by the Coast Mountains, are home to fragile glass sponge reefs, salmon, herring, porpoises and whales. Long polluted by industries on its shores, including a large copper mine, Howe Sound was returning to life after extensive rehabilitation efforts when Woodfibre and other new industrial developments were proposed.
Woodfibre LNG president David Keane called the permit “a positive step forward” for the project, which would see LNG offloaded from floating storage tanks near Squamish to LNG carriers as long as six football fields.
The LNG carriers would traverse the island-studded waterways of Howe Sound three to four times a month, accompanied by three tugboats and two pilots familiar with B.C.’s coast, according to the company.
Finn, who holds a PhD in physical chemistry, said the U.S. does not allow LNG plants or tankers within 3.5 kilometres of significant populated areas.
“That cargo is full of flammable gas with the thermal equivalent of 72 Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs aboard.”
Carriers picking up Woodfibre LNG will intersect with four ferry crossings in waterways with both freighter and recreational boat traffic, Finn pointed out.
If a collision occurs and a loaded LNG tanker develops a hole, everything within 500 metres will be frozen, Finn said. Should a tanker carrying LNG catch fire, he said people up to 3.5 kilometres away will suffer severe burns. MORE
Global investment of more than $1 trillion in planned LNG plants at risk
It’s part of our ethos that technology can and should be a force for good. Our annual list of 35 innovators under 35 is a way of putting faces on that idea. In these profiles you’ll find people employing innovative methods to treat disease, to fight online harassment, and to create the next big battery breakthrough.
You’ll find people using AI to better understand neurological disorders and to make cities more livable.
This year’s list shows that even in our hard, cynical world, there are still lots of smart people willing to dedicate their lives to the idea that technology can make a safer, fairer world. MORE