When he was sworn in as premier, David Eby was right to say, “We cannot continue to expand fossil fuel infrastructure and hit our climate goals.”
So why did his government approve Cedar LNG a few months later?
As a politician, I know governments like short-term wins because they’re looking for political points. But we need the BC NDP to stop using short-term thinking and focus on the well-being of British Columbians, the health of the planet and the economic sustainability of our province.
In fact, this government is using distraction tactics to hide its climate offences. It approved a new LNG project before quickly announcing a flimsy framework to cap oil and gas emissions. The government knows it is choosing the status quo over the environment with the Cedar LNG approval, so it counters with a framework announcement that has little substance and, until we see the details, needs to be seen for what it is — political cover.
Climate action is not a points system. Corporations and governments should be striving to be climate leaders and make the decisions that cannot be made by everyday people. You can turn off your lights and take shorter showers every day (which are good things to do) and you still won't make the impact that committed CEOs can in one board meeting.
The gaslighting from the government is exhausting. We’re growing weary of the constant cycle of disappointment that we live in as our provincial government promises climate action one minute and approves new gas pipeline projects the next. But if we’re frustrated, how do younger generations feel?
They struggle with constant news items reminding them how close we are to a catastrophic tipping point, or how far past it we've gone. Theirs is a world where species going extinct is well-documented, along with melting ice caps, and microplastics filling our oceans, our food and our bodies. They’ve grown up in a world where their own future is uncertain. How can they look forward to and plan for a perilous future?
What people are reading
With their futures at stake, many young people are becoming the loudest voices when it comes to climate change. They are finding their platform in politics years before they can legally vote, and they are garnering the attention of many.
The reality is, all of us need to come together, now more than ever. Only a few years ago, we mobilized and responded to COVID-19 with unprecedented force that united us all under one common goal. Why can’t that same energy be applied to saving the Earth?
What I’m asking of you is surprisingly simple.
Open your email account and write a message to your MLA. Open your Twitter and write a tweet to David Eby. Share your disappointment and share your frustration. But also share your hopefulness that your government can make different decisions about our future.
Premier Eby has made it abundantly clear that the only thing his party cares about is what affects its popularity. So make this your deal-breaker. Harness your individual voting power and make a real impact with it. Tell the BC NDP that if they don’t start giving a damn about the environment, you won’t vote for them. The world won’t change when we stay at home and hope for the best, so help us make sure there’s a future out there worth fighting for.
Adam Olsen (SȾHENEP) was elected member of the legislative assembly for Saanich North and the Islands in 2017. As a member of the BC Green Caucus, Adam serves as the caucus chair in addition to serving on several all-party committees.
"Harness your individual
"Harness your individual voting power and make a real impact with it. Tell the BC NDP that if they don’t start giving a damn about the environment, you won’t vote for them."
Alberta voters, likewise.
In fact, Canadians across the land can tell their federal parties that their vote depends on real climate action.
The only leverage we have is our vote (and donation dollars).
Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Isn't that the definition of insanity?
Big Oil couldn't ask for a better setup. Terrified by the Conservative bogeyman, progressive voters run into the arms of Trudeau's Liberals/provincial NDP. CAPP can set their Conservative hounds on the Liberals/provincial NDP, while the petro-progressives give the O&G industry just about everything on its wishlist. Federally, the Liberals play the fear card every election to limit the NDP and Green vote.
How to break this impasse?
Give the Liberals a richly deserved time-out.
If progressive Canadians vote their values, and the Liberals lose power, the Liberals will be forced to change their policies in alignment with progressive values in order to regain power.
If progressive Canadians vote in fear (i.e, "strategically") for the Liberals, the Liberals remain in power indefinitely — and never have to change their policies.
The only way out of this trap is to terminate the Liberals' contract. Yes, even if it means going several steps backwards under the Conservatives for a term.
How else to get the message across that climate failure, a litany of broken promises, betrayals, cynicism, and Trudeau's mockery of First Nations, etc. are unacceptable?
If you reward failure, betrayal, and broken promises, expect more of the same.
If progressives wish to encourage Liberals politicians to ignore them, by all means, keep voting Liberal.
If you want to break them of the habit, park your vote elsewhere or stay home.
The Liberals have progressive voters over a barrel. Progressives must re-assert control of nominally progressive parties, set them on the right track, and keep leaders and government accountable. There is no hope otherwise.
Short-term pain for long-term gain.
Putting up with the
Putting up with the Conservatives "for a term" isn't an option, either, because of the permanent damage they'd do.
FWIW, the boomers *AND* the three generations before them also faced existential risks. Wars, drought and nuclear proliferation amongst them.
As for "everyone pulling together" during Covid? That's a myth. A myth that led to the deaths of a whole lot of people, a disproportionate share of whom were old folks.
FN wrote: "Putting up with
FN wrote: "Putting up with the Conservatives 'for a term' isn't an option, either, because of the permanent damage they'd do."
Which overlooks the permanent damage that the Liberals and provincial petro-progressive parties are actually doing.
While progressives shudder and wail at the prospect of the Conservatives returning to power, meanwhile the Liberals are stealing your grandkids' future from under your nose. With a smile.
Which is worse? Climate sabotage on the right — or betrayal by the "progressives"?
The Liberals and AB and BC NDP have proved far more effective than the Conservatives in delivering on Big Oil's and Corporate Canada's agenda. Trudeau & Co. have persuaded many Canadians that we can both act on climate and double down on fossil fuels. Have our cake and eat it too. No surprise that Canada is not on track to meet its emissions targets. That's on Trudeau, not Kenney or Poilievre.
Conservatives did not force Trudeau to buy the Trans Mtn pipeline.
Or promise to sell more fossil fuels to fund climate action.
Or shovel billions of tax dollars into the pockets of largely foreign-funded oil companies reporting record profits.
Or approve provincial carbon pricing schemes that let major industrial emitters off the hook.
That's on Trudeau's Liberals, not on conservatives.
Petro-progressives like Trudeau, Notley, and Horgan claim to accept the climate change science, but still push pipelines, approve LNG projects, promote oilsands expansion, subsidize fossil fuels, and let Corporate Canada and the Big Banks dictate the climate agenda.
Trudeau and Notley moved the ball on the Trans Mountain pipeline down to the ten-yard line. Their signal achievement was to "push country-wide support for pipelines from 40 per cent to 70 per cent." Something Harper, Scheer, Kenney, and Poilievre could never dream of doing.
Petro-progressives acknowledge the science, but ignore its implications. Boast about climate leadership, but push fossil fuel expansion and pipelines. In BC's case, LNG development, Site C, destruction of old growth, and extirpation of caribou. Sign int'l agreements, but fail to live up to them. Putting emissions targets out of reach.
Trudeau and Notley did something else Harper and Kenney could never do: lead progressives over the climate cliff. Make fossil fuel expansion an acceptable option in face of climate change. Many of Trudeau's and Notley's supporters now embrace a form of climate change denial. Or are willing to look past their leaders' climate transgressions.
With her pipeline hysteria, Notley led progressives astray to support oilsands and pipelines, downplay the science, and ignore IPCC warnings. Something Jason Kenney cannot do.
Disastrously, Notley led a sizable contingent of progressives to support Big Oil's priorities: low royalties, new pipelines, and a "climate plan" that sabotages Canada's climate efforts. None of these notions carried any sway among progressives before 2015.
When Poilievre and Kenney says no to a shift away from fossil fuels, the progressive option is still ON the table.
When Trudeau and Notley say no, they take the progressive option OFF the table.
When Kenney denies the science, progressives reject his arguments and head in the opposite direction.
When Notley denies the science, progressives accept her arguments and enable her climate sabotage.
"Notley also offered a contrast to Smith's approach to negotiating with the federal government, pointing to her work to build public support across the country to press the federal government to purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
"'Those negotiations with Ottawa sometimes got a little hot. Words were exchanged — not all of them repeatable at a microphone,' said Notley. She claimed the NDP's strategy got more done than would have ever been accomplished by Smith's proposed sovereignty act, which as promised would allow the province to refuse to enforce federal laws or policies.
"'TMX would never have been built under the methods and ideas being put forward by the current premier,' said Notley." (Edmonton Journal, 2022)
Vote NDP or Green federally.
Vote NDP or Green federally. Provincially the only choice is green, if climate action is your issue,
I really hate the way the
I really hate the way the word "gaslighting" has shifted from being a fairly specific thing that I was horrified to find out was enough of a real thing to need a word, to being a vague, blah term roughly meaning "deception".
Just for the record, "gaslighting" originally meant trying to convince someone that their actual observations and recollections were wrong and unreliable, so that they would believe the alternative version of reality supplied by the gaslighter. It was a genuine attempt to get the victim to believe the gaslighter instead of their lying eyes, partly in order to convince them of some specific lie, but generally more to make them doubt their own perceptions and even sanity and make them more dependent on the gaslighter.
One problem with this kind of terminology shift is that now we don't have a word for what "gaslighting" was originally coined to mean. Also, when used in a broader, vaguer sense it goes from being a pretty cool word to being a mushy, redundant word. Another is that the word retains some of its old very nasty connotations for some time, allowing people to use it and gain the feeling of a very serious accusation, while being able to disclaim that if challenged on the basis that they only mean the new, less serious sense of the word, which seems to be what this article is doing. It's a cheap tactic.
Mind you, I don't much disagree with the basic thrust of the article.
Yesterday I saw a billboard
Yesterday I saw a billboard by the Freeway in Abbotsford. It read "Let's power Progress with clean natural gas". This is blatant green-washing propaganda. The billboard was actually green as well.