Mike Hudema is a long time member of the Canadian progressive scene. He was part of a motley band of activists that took to the streets of Quebec City for the FTAA protests, slept on the steps of the legislature to protest rising tuition rates when he was President of the University of Alberta Students’ Union, and occupied Anne McLellan’s office to defeat Canada’s anti-terrorism legislation. In his spare time he used to co-host CJSR’s alternative news program Rise Up: RadioFree Edmonton and co-wrote books like the recently published “An Action a Day Keeps Global Capitalism Away.”
Mike worked in San Francisco for three years for the Peace and Human Right organization Global Exchange on a corporate campaign with the Ruckus Society and the Rainforest Action Network targeting the auto industry. He currently works for Greenpeace as the Climate and Energy Campaigner focusing on stopping the tar sands, the largest industrial project on the face of the planet, and bringing about a green job future.
He is also a climb trainer with the Ruckus Society.
We don't want to see months or years of lawsuits, protests and direct actions. We don't want that, but if it comes to that we will stand with First Nations and do whatever it takes (peacefully) to ensure this pipeline never gets built. We urge the prime minister to do the right thing.
The globe needs Prime Minister Trudeau to join that wall of resistance and be the climate leader we all so desperately need to see right now. Trudeau has the ability to show the world that not all climate leadership in North America is dead and while losses may take place south of the border, gains will be made north of it.
May is on track to be the 12th consecutive hottest month globally ever recorded. The day the fires raced into Fort McMurray, Alta., set 24 different temperature records, including a record-breaking 32.6 degrees Celsius in Fort McMurray (20 degrees above normal) and a scorching 4.8 degrees above the previous record set in 1945. These tinder-dry conditions helped lead to one of the earliest wildfire seasons in Alberta's history and fuelled the fire that raged through the city.
Raising the minimum wage, diversifying Alberta's economy and supporting working people have my full support, but I'm sorry Premier Notley, I just can't get behind you on pipelines. New pipelines aren't good for the environment, they aren't good for the climate, and I'm sorry, but they aren't good for working people or good governance, either.
Two degrees is the absolute red line that scientists say the world must not pass if we are to have any chance of stopping a growing climate crisis before it spins beyond our control. The 2-degree mark was only breached temporarily but it is a worrying sign that everyone, especially our elected leaders, need to pay attention to.
Rather then talking about increasing the damage for short-term gain, Premier Wynne and Notley should be talking about how they can create jobs by collaborating on solutions. Solutions that keep carbon in the ground, create jobs, and that could benefit everyone from coast to coast to coast for generations to come. Let's make the discussion about creating good green jobs, healthy communities, and clean, renewable solutions that allow everyone to participate and benefit. It's time for Canada to build its clean energy dream not expand its tarsands nightmare.
As the dust settles on COP21 we know that while historic steps have been taken, the demands of justice are still unfulfilled. Together we are challenging the fossil fuel system, we are ushering in the era of solutions, and we are moving the political yardsticks of what it possible. While our political leaders walk, our movements run.
All around the world people took to the streets to help give the earth a voice. From Mumbai to Australia, London to Berlin, Ottawa to Vancouver millions danced, sang, and marched to push our world's elected leaders, currently in Paris for COP21, to increase their ambition, listen to the science and the voices of those most impacted, and lead the world out of climate chaos.
As momentous an occasion as it is when an oil jurisdiction actually puts limits on growth, 100 million tonnes of carbon a year at a time when science is demanding bold reductions is still far too much. While historic, the government's cap needs to be viewed as a ceiling rather then a floor.
Keystone was a fight that no one thought we could win. When the pipeline was first proposed, every energy analyst, every journalist and every politician either had never heard of it or thought the same thing -- the pipeline was a virtual certainty and its approval was imminent.
In a world that is serious about addressing the climate crisis there is no place for high carbon assets like the tar sands. Markets need to move to low carbon futures and the more Alberta tries to flood the market with tar sands crude the more it is thwarting efforts towards progress.
Instead of talking with the country's other provincial leaders about how to speed up the transition to renewable energy, Notley met with Quebec's premier to talk about how to dig us further into the problem by green lighting the $12-billion Energy East tar sands pipeline.
Alberta can't have it both ways. You can't double down on one of the nations largest sources of carbon emissions and still be a leader on the climate. Climate leaders listen to science and reduce emissions - they don't accelerate them.
The G7 committed to eliminating the use of the fossil fuels by the end of the century. Canada and Alberta should be leading the transition, taking advantage of our tremendous solar and wind resources and supporting workers and communities in the process.
What I do know is that we all need to do our part to act on the growing climate crisis and since Alberta creates more carbon pollution than Ontario and Quebec combined, the province has a long way to go to do its fair share.
There was no Earth Day speech. No urgent call to action. No outlining of the threats we face or the way in which we were going to work together to meet them. There wasn't even an Earth Day tweet -- just silence. It was a very stark reminder of his priorities. U.S. President Barack Obama's speech noted that we are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. The fact that 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded, that droughts, storms, and wildfires are increasing all over the planet in both frequency and intensity, and how climate change is already adversely affecting the air our children breathe.