Canadian climate hypocrisy?
On February 5, journalist Bill McKibben wrote an Op-Ed piece for The Guardian newspaper, “When it comes to climate hypocrisy, Canada’s leaders have reached a new low.” (bit.ly/2S2UvCN)
In it, McKibben writes, “There’s obviously something hideous about watching the Trumps and the Putins of the world gleefully shred our future. But it’s disturbing in a different way to watch leaders pretend to care – a kind of gaslighting that can reduce you to numb nihilism. Trudeau, for all his charms, doesn’t get to have it both ways: if you can’t bring yourself to stop a brand-new tar sands mine, then you’re not a climate leader.”
Trudeau’s 2019 election promises
In September 2019 during one of Trudeau’s election speeches, he said, “The major policy discussions ahead of us will be centred around mitigating climate change. This is a fact. This is our great global challenge.”
Trudeau claimed if re-elected that his Liberal government would commit Canada to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. He acknowledged it would require Canada to slash emissions, transform our economy. He pledged to embrace this “ambitious target” which he claimed was “doable.” He said, “We will hit net zero in 2050 not only because we can but because we must.” (bit.ly/2UvawDq)
Trudeau’s 2017 Texan Talk
Contrast this claim to what Trudeau said to a roomful of Texan oil CEOs in 2017: “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there. The resource will be developed; our job is to ensure that this is done responsibly, safely, and sustainably.” (bit.ly/2UvOErB)
Trudeau’s climate confusion
How can Canadians trust Trudeau and his Liberal government to be serious about climate change and the reduction of emissions?
Trudeau’s Liberals purchased the Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMP). Now, with the overturning of the First Nations’ appeal against TMP, it seems as though TMP will be constructed.
But what’s even more perplexing is the Liberal Government’s possible approval of the Teck Tar Sands Development by the end of this month.
Teck Tar Sands
The Canadian Western Oil Lobby and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney want federal approval to develop the $20-billion Teck Frontier mega-tar sands mine in Alberta, near Fort McMurray.
In a press release, Leadnow organization claims, “If approved, the Teck Frontier mine in Alberta will unleash a flood of global warming pollution equivalent to adding a million new cars on the road, and make it impossible for Canada to meet its climate targets. It infringes on the rights of Indigenous peoples. And economists say it’s not financially viable. Rejecting the mine is a no-brainer, but Jason Kenney is trying to scare the Liberals into thinking the political cost of rejecting the mine is too high to risk.”
In his Op-Ed article for The Guardian, McKibben wrote, “Trudeau, for all his charms, doesn’t get to have it both ways. If you can’t bring yourself to stop a brand-new tar sands mine then you’re not a climate leader.”
Conservative Premier Kenney is a climate denier. His only nod to “sustainability” is preserving the status quo of Canada’s (and Alberta’s) fossil-fuel economy.
Why trust Kenney and Trudeau? What possible “environmental assessment” could condone the transformation of natural landscape into another oil sands project that’s estimated to be twice the size of the city of Vancouver?
Liberal Caucus urges Teck rejection
Will Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberals reject Teck? On February 5, the Liberal Caucus urged Trudeau to reject it. (Meanwhile, and of course, Kenney wants Ottawa to fast-track it.)
Pontiac MP Will Amos said, “I think we [Liberal government] have made significant commitments to achieve net zero by 2050,” he said. “I think we’ve made significant commitments to achieve our Paris climate commitments. … We have to meet those and my constituents demand that we meet those, and our grandchildren demand that we meet those.” (bit.ly/2vfaS6j)
What will Trudeau do?
Trudeau must reject Teck. We need our Prime Minister to prove his commitment to net zero by 2050, not condone Kenney’s and the oil patch’s promotion of the polluting status quo.