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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Prime Minister Trudeau’s Approval of Pipelines Disappointing

In the wake of world faith leaders’ call for an addendum to the Paris Agreement to help nations meet their climate reduction goals, Prime Minister Trudeau earlier this week approved two controversial pipelines.

World faith leaders presented an addendum to the Climate Conference COP22 in Marrakech last month.  They wanted to help nations meet their Carbon pollution reduction targets and have nations mitigate greed, ignorance and hatred of the other.  The leaders indicated that a major shift in consciousness needs to occur if humans are going to learn to live within the capacity of the earth.  (You can see the Canadian statement at www.cccb.ca/site/images/stories/pdf/COP22_Marrakech_-_November_2016_-_EN.pdf.)

But Prime Minister Trudeau decided to approve two pipelines and has perpetuated the myth that jobs and economic prosperity can only come from a carbon-based economy.  Tom Rand and economists at the Centre for Policy Alternatives have suggested for years that a clean, green economy, which include good jobs and economic prosperity, are not mutually exclusive.  These and other economists have raised questions about whether we are still a resource-based economy, which is part of the myth.

Some of us were quietly optimistic after last year’s Paris Agreement and Canada’s modest targets.  And we’ve remained quietly optimistic after announcements about the elimination of coal-fired power and hydrofluorocarbons as well as a commitment to a national price on carbon and a national clean fuel standard.  But now, all of that goodwill is out the window and it seems that the Liberal government wants to perpetuate the myth that green energy is not good for the economy or job creation.

From the Canadian faith leaders’ letter:
Hopeful for a better world in spite of the greed and pride which often beset our human efforts, we are determined not to be disengaged from the care for our natural environment but to continue to underscore the troubling connections between the degradation of our physical environment, the plight of the poor and marginalized, economic systems which exclude, and the unconscionable assaults on the dignity of the human person which are evident in so many ways.

Former Canadian leaders like Lloyd Axworthy, Joe Clark, Ed Broadbent, and Pierre Trudeau have spoken and written about Canada being a power that can influence other nations through persuasion and be a middle power of peace seeking and justice.  I don’t believe that our current Prime Minister is living up to this possibility.


I believe that religious leaders have a spiritual responsibility to contribute to a more just, a safer, and a healthier world for us all.  We can end our dependence of fossil fuels, build a world community where there are enough jobs, and live in a world of fairness and equity.

(In a later post, I'll suggest some possibilities of how to get off fossil fuels and enter the brave, new world of clean energy... with the caveat that I'm not an engineer.)

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