Open Letter to all public officials
Subject: The Leap Manifesto
To Whom it Urgently Concerns: By now, you have all heard of the Leap Manifesto. It's being discussed within the federal NDP and is currently in the news cycle. Alberta's Rachel Notley & BC's John Horgan have reject it outright. Although Prime Minister Trudeau has made no clear statement as to where he stands, all indications are that he will be pushing forward with at least two major pipeline projects, which puts him at odds with LEAP.
Now, I realize that the name is unfortunate. It sounds like an amalgamation of “The Great Leap Forward” & “The Communist Manifesto”, giving the Ezra Levant's of the world all the fear mongering ammo they could possibly want without even having to read the content. The content itself is surprisingly simple, based in peer reviewed science, and is a reasonable response to several devastating issues facing the human race planet wide. Many have called the “transition away from fossil fuels ” agenda it recommends “extreme”. But, let's face it, it's not like it's suggesting we abandon cities, move to the country, build eco-cabins, communally raise chickens on organic farms and re-institute the worship of the Sun God RA. That would be extreme.
Basically, the high points of the document can be summarized as “We'd like to stop destroying ecosystems, figure out a better way to generate necessary power and have everybody be nice to one another for a change”. The document points out that we are at a crisis point in terms of human generated climate change. This is fact. It's not up for debate, it's real and it is urgent.
The jobs vs. the environment argument holds no water; it does not matter how many good paying LNG jobs are created if clean food and water are not available at any price. To be cliche, you can't eat money. The truth is, we have been dithering over climate change action for 30 years. We talk about having meetings to talk about talking about maybe setting up a framework to talk about possibly doing something about it sometime down the road-ish. We are out of time. Action must be taken now, or we risk making this planet hostile to human life.
So now we come to you, the publicly elected and appointed officials to whom this letter is directed. I understand that the facts regarding climate change and fossil fuel use can be overwhelming, unpleasant and disturbing. You have every right to not like these facts. That, however, does not change the facts; they remain facts. Your job, as public officials, is to do the most responsible thing you can for your region/Province/Country, based on the facts you have been presented with. The fact is, reasonable and sane action is required NOW. The actions called for in the Leap Manifesto are reasonable and sane, EVEN if you you would rather not grapple with facts that some of your electorate has yet to wrap their heads around. It is not your job to set policy based on what keeps you electable. It is your job to govern, and in doing so, secure our future. So, I suggest the following: create reasonable and sane policies in a timely manner. If you find yourself unable to do this based upon your personal opinions, feelings or simple cognitive dissonance, then the responsible action to take is to resign your public position immediately. Securing Canada's future requires no less. Thank-you for considering and addressing these urgent matters.