WITH THE 3E SUMMERTIME 2015 FORUM A WRAP
WE ARE NOW INSPIRED TO TAKE ACTION!
Following an award-winning run at the Vancouver International Film Festival - claiming Best BC Film and the VIFF Impact Canadian Audience Award - "FRACTURED LAND" is coming to West Vancouver!
This feature documentary film tells the coming-of-age story of young Aboriginal lawyer Caleb Behn and his struggle to reconcile the fractures within himself and the world around him.
As 350.org founder Bill McKibben says, "Anyone who can throw a hatchet and sue you is a force to be reckoned with".
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion, presented by My Sea to Sky, on the locally proposed Woodfibre LNG project - featuring award-winning author Wade Davis, retired KPMG partner Eoin Finn and filmmakers Damien Gillis and Fiona Rayher.
The French government has just announced that with security still a major concern in Paris, we’ll have to cancel our massive climate march there on November 29th.
The people of Paris may not be able to march to save everything we love, but we can.
Let's show ISIS that silencing some of us will only make the rest of us step up, stand up, and speak even louder, because we are one people, one planet, engaged in a fight to save everything we love.
On November 29th, we march like never before.
Sign, at your earliest convenience,
We start from the premise that Canada is facing the deepest crisis in recent memory.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has acknowledged shocking details about the violence of Canada’s near past. Deepening poverty and inequality are a scar on the country’s present. And Canada’s record on climate change is a crime against humanity’s future.
These facts are all the more jarring because they depart so dramatically from our stated values: respect for Indigenous rights, internationalism, human rights, diversity, and environmental stewardship.
Canada is not this place today— but it could be.
We could live in a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the jobs and opportunities of this transition are designed to systematically eliminate racial and gender inequality. Caring for one another and caring for the planet could be the economy’s fastest growing sectors. Many more people could have higher wage jobs with fewer work hours, leaving us ample time to enjoy our loved ones and flourish in our communities.
We know that the time for this great transition is short. Climate scientists have told us that this is the decade to take decisive action to prevent catastrophic global warming. That means small steps will no longer get us where we need to go.
This leap must begin by respecting the inherent rights and title of the original caretakers of this land. Indigenous communities have been at the forefront of protecting rivers, coasts, forests and lands from out-of-control industrial activity. We can bolster this role, and reset our relationship, by fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“Small steps will no longer get us to where we need to go. So we need to leap”. Moved by the treaties that form the legal basis of this country and bind us to share the land “for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow,” we want energy sources that will last for time immemorial and never run out or poison the land. Technological breakthroughs have brought this dream within reach. The latest research shows it is feasible for Canada to get 100% of its electricity from renewable resources within two decades; by 2050 we could have a 100% clean economy.
We demand that this shift begin now.
There is no longer an excuse for building new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future. The new iron law of energy development must be: if you wouldn’t want it in your backyard, then it doesn’t belong in anyone’s backyard. That applies equally to oil and gas pipelines; fracking in New Brunswick, Quebec and British Columbia; increased tanker traffic off our coasts; and to Canadian-owned mining projects the world over.
The time for energy democracy has come: we believe not just in changes to our energy sources, but that wherever possible communities should collectively control these new energy systems.
As an alternative to the profit-gouging of private companies and the remote bureaucracy of some centralized state ones, we can create innovative ownership structures: democratically run, paying living wages and keeping much-needed revenue in communities. And Indigenous Peoples should be first to receive public support for their own clean energy projects. So should communities currently dealing with heavy health impacts of polluting industrial activity.
Power generated this way will not merely light our homes but redistribute wealth, deepen our democracy, strengthen our economy and start to heal the wounds that date back to this country’s founding.
A leap to a non-polluting economy creates countless openings for similar multiple “wins.” We want a universal program to build energy efficient homes, and retrofit existing housing, ensuring that the lowest income communities and neighbourhoods will benefit first and receive job training and opportunities that reduce poverty over the long term. We want training and other resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, ensuring they are fully able to take part in the clean energy economy. This transition should involve the democratic participation of workers themselves. High-speed rail powered by just renewables and affordable public transit can unite every community in this country – in place of more cars, pipelines and exploding trains that endanger and divide us.
And since we know this leap is beginning late, we need to invest in our decaying public infrastructure so that it can withstand increasingly frequent extreme weather events.
Moving to a far more localized and ecologically-based agricultural system would reduce reliance on fossil fuels, capture carbon in the soil, and absorb sudden shocks in the global supply – as well as produce healthier and more affordable food for everyone.
We call for an end to all trade deals that interfere with our attempts to rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects. Rebalancing the scales of justice, we should ensure immigration status and full protection for all workers. Recognizing Canada’s contributions to military conflicts and climate change — primary drivers of the global refugee crisis — we must welcome refugees and migrants seeking safety and a better life.
Shifting to an economy in balance with the earth’s limits also means expanding the sectors of our economy that are already low carbon: caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public-interest media. Following on Quebec’s lead, a national childcare program is long past due. All this work, much of it performed by women, is the glue that builds humane, resilient communities – and we will need our communities to be as strong as possible in the face of the rocky future we have already locked in.
Since so much of the labour of caretaking – whether of people or the planet – is currently unpaid, we call for a vigorous debate about the introduction of a universal basic annual income. Pioneered in Manitoba in the 1970’s, this sturdy safety net could help ensure that no one is forced to take work that threatens their children’s tomorrow, just to feed those children today.
We declare that “austerity” – which has systematically attacked low-carbon sectors like education and healthcare, while starving public transit and forcing reckless energy privatizations – is a fossilized form of thinking that has become a threat to life on earth.
How we can pay for all of this? Read “We Can Afford The Leap” by Bruce Campbell, Seth Klein, and Marc Lee
The money we need to pay for this great transformation is available — we just need the right policies to release it. Like an end to fossil fuel subsidies. Financial transaction taxes. Increased resource royalties. Higher income taxes on corporations and wealthy people. A progressive carbon tax. Cuts to military spending. All of these are based on a simple “polluter pays” principle and hold enormous promise.
One thing is clear: public scarcity in times of unprecedented private wealth is a manufactured crisis, designed to extinguish our dreams before they have a chance to be born.
Those dreams go well beyond this document. “We call on all those seeking political office to seize this opportunity and embrace the urgent need for transformation”. We call for town hall meetings across the country where residents can gather to democratically define what a genuine leap to the next economy means in their communities.
Inevitably, this bottom-up revival will lead to a renewal of democracy at every level of government, working swiftly towards a system in which every vote counts and corporate money is removed from political campaigns.
This is a great deal to take on all at once, but such are the times in which we live.
The drop in oil prices has temporarily relieved the pressure to dig up fossil fuels as rapidly as high-risk technologies will allow. This pause in frenetic expansion should not be viewed as a crisis, but as a gift.
It has given us a rare moment to look at what we have become – and decide to change.
And so we call on all those seeking political office to seize this opportunity and embrace the urgent need for transformation. This is our sacred duty to those who this country harmed in the past, to those suffering needlessly in the present, and to all who have a right to a bright and safe future.
Now is the time for boldness.
now is the time to leap.
REALITY CHECK: CLIMATE CHANGE, THE RESOURCE ECONOMY AND THE ROAD TO PARIS
An Evening with Professor Tim Flannery
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 @ 7pm Vancouver Playhouse
600 Hamilton Street at Dunsmuir - downtown Vancouver
Hosted by Simon Fraser University's Centre for Dialogue in partnership with the City of Vancouver and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS).
At this special lecture, Professor Tim Flannery, recipient of SFU’s 2015/16 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue, will engage with local thought leaders to tackle the thorny topic of how to reconcile climate action with economic growth and resource development, in the lead-up to the international climate change negotiations in Paris (COP21) this December. This event is the Canadian launch of Professor Flannery’s latest book, 'Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis', which follows his past international best seller, 'The Weather Makers'.
Promotional partners are: Carbon Talks, Renewable Cities, Clean Energy Canada, the Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT) and SFU Faculty of Environment.
General Admission $20
Concession $15 (Youth, Students, Seniors)
Ticket prices include all service charges
About Professor Tim Flannery
Tim Flannery has published over 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has named 25 living and 50 fossil mammal species. His 32 books include the award winning 'The Future Eaters' and 'The Weather Makers', which has been translated into over 20 languages. He has made numerous documentaries and regularly reviews for the New York Review of Books.
He received a Centenary of Federation Medal and in 2002 delivered the Australia Day address. In 2005 he was named Australian Humanist of the Year, and in 2007 Australian of the Year. In 2011 he was made a Chevalier of the Order of St Charles.
In 1998-1999 he was a visiting professor at Harvard and is a founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, a director of Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and has served on the International Board of WWF.
In 2007 Flannery co-founded and was appointed Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council. In 2011 he became Australia’s Chief Climate Commissioner, and in 2013 he founded, and heads the Australian Climate Council. He serves on the Sustainability Advisory Board of Tata Power (India). His most recent book ‘Atmosphere of Hope: Searching For Solutions to the Climate Crisis,’ will be published by Harper Collins in October 2016.
About the Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue
The Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue is presented by SFU every second year to an individual who has demonstrated, internationally, excellence in the use of dialogue to further the understanding of complex and profound public issues. Past recipients of the Blaney Award include Reconciliation Canada Ambassador Chief Robert Joseph, Charter for Compassion founder Karen Armstrong, dance choreographer Liz Lerman, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, and leading international environmentalist Maurice Strong.
Even if you did not meet the deadline of September 14 (2015) to contribute your voice to our Canadian federal government, in relation to shaping meaningful energy policy, you can still learn more at the 2 websites below: