In the midst of this early election storm, people across Canada started crashing campaign events of all the major political party leaders. Over the past seven weeks, the sight of community groups interrupting party leaders to demand answers on climate has become commonplace. People, and not just activists, across Canada and around the world understand that action on climate change means leaving fossil fuels in the ground. What we need now is for politicians to demonstrate that they understand this, and as we enter the second half of this election campaign we need people power to push them to make it happen.
The risks and costs associated with climate change are already mounting--ice storms, severe flooding, crop losses, damage to critical infrastructure, $3.2 billion in extreme weather related Canadian insurance costs in 2013 alone. Yet, the climate crisis is rarely talked about at Queen's Park. The lone exception is Ontario's Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller, who has stirred up controversy with reports pointing out that Ontario has no plan to meet its 2020 or 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.
The climate deal between the US and China is a historic moment. It's not enough to match the scale of the climate crisis, but it's implications for extreme energy projects like Canada's tar sands are major. Here are five reasons why. In announcing their climate deal, the US and China committed to "the longer range effort to transition to low-carbon economies, mindful of the global temperature goal of 2℃," referencing the ceiling for warming agreed upon at the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009.
I want the government to send me my carbon cheque. And I think most people want theirs too. You don't need to be a climate scientist to know that extreme weather events are threatening your quality of life and costing you money. Dragging our feet on putting a price on carbon pollution is no longer an option.
Anyone claiming this pipeline is a done deal is ignoring the fact that Enbridge faces a major uphill battle. The federal government's approval of the pipeline was likely the easiest hurdle that Enbridge had to jump. The Harper government and Big Oil are looking East because they think it is an easier road to tar sands expansion than the road to the West. We can turn this project that Stephen Harper calls a "nation builder" into a movement builder. Energy East, its review and Harper's pipeline plans need a People's Intervention. Now it's our chance to give it to them. It is easy to approve a pipeline, but a whole lot harder to build one.