Trudeau on Forest Fire Tragedy

The Prime Minister spoke about forest fires’ connection to climate change at a community affected by a massive evacuation due in part to climate change.

“The reality of climate change is that we’re going to see more and more extreme weather events and we need to make sure that as a country we’re properly equipped to deal with these challenges.”

Trudeau said he expects a better collaboration between all levels of government on resources, training and funding when it comes to fires.

Fast forward a few months to this week.

Responding to comments made earlier, Trudeau said May’s suggestion that the disaster was “very related to the global climate crisis” was neither helpful, nor accurate. […]

“It’s well known that one of the consequences of climate change will be a greater prevalence of extreme weather events around the planet,” Trudeau told reporters at a news conference.

“However, any time we try to make a political argument on one particular disaster, I think it’s a bit of shortcut that can sometimes not have the desired outcome. There have always been fires.

Yeesh.

The Trudeau government was also advised when it was sworn in last November that wildfires were getting worse. The bureaucrats at Natural Resources Canada told their new minister, Jim Carr, that governments across the country hadn’t provided enough funding to help communities prepare for the worst.

The provincial, territorial and federal governments developed a Canadian Wildlands Fire Strategy in 2005, calling for “more resilient communities, improving fire management approaches to balance ecological integrity with protection of life and property, and implementing modern business practices.”

But Carr was told that governments didn’t invest enough money to support that strategy in the last decade.

“Governments remain supportive of the Strategy, but progress towards implementation over the past decade has been limited, primarily due to fiscal constraints,” said briefing notes, prepared for Carr.

“The frequency and severity of wild land fires have been trending upwards in the past few decades and summer 2015 was particularly severe. As a result, there have been calls from the public, communities and provinces for increased federal involvement in wildfire management.”

David Schindler, a University of Alberta scientist who studies the ecology of inland bodies of water, said there have been increasingly favourable conditions for forest fires in recent years. He noted that climate scientists have been predicting the increase in forest fires for at least a decade.

Despite the obvious drought conditions (we got almost no snow last Winter), the federal government wasn’t warning people of the extreme danger.

Wildfires briefing by mikedesouza
https://www.scribd.com/book/311550761/Wildfires-briefing

Hat tip to Daniel.

Aww, Poor Police

“That continuous accountability, continuously being in the public eye, and that having to be infallible … it puts a lot of pressure on our police officers, and contributes to their mental health.”

Did he mean “poor mental health”?

Imagine being watched all of the time. What kind of stress would that cause?

Continue reading

Look At Who They Leap

“Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries” – NYT

What are we going to do about it? Let’s pillory the people with the only plan capable of decarbonizing the economy in time, says Canadian MainStream[Corporate]Media.

“Naomi Klein and the usual cadre of left-wing reliables want the NDP to ..” – National Post

Looking at the issue with a longer view, you’ll come to realize Engler’s opinion must win over the ad hominem attacks on Leap supporters.

Across Canada for the past three days the right wing media has been attacking the NDP for passing a resolution agreeing to “discuss” over the next two years the Leap Manifesto, a common sense document that calls for taking global warming seriously, actually doing what is necessary to prevent our planet from being cooked and trying to create a better world while we attempt to ensure our collective survival.

“These ideas will never form any part of our policy,” Notley said Monday. “They are naive, they are ill-informed, and they are tone-deaf.” – Notley in CBC

“Her Environment Minister, Shannon Phillips, called the document “ungenerous” and “short-sighted.” – Glib and Male

Short-sighted? Seriously!? What sort of environment minister thinks planning for a quick end to fossil fuel use is “short-sighted”? (One that is tone deaf, and forced to speak in short quips to minimize partisan twisting, I suppose.) Anyone with a long view realizes if we don’t build carbon-free systems right now, this decade, we’ve little chance of maintaining a climate responsible for supporting our civilization and countless species.

Lewis said jobs in the green economy can be created faster and in greater numbers than those in oil and gas.

“I think we as a Canadian family, we’re slipping into these deeply divisive ways of talking about these eternal tensions instead of focusing on what we can build together,” he said.

“And I think we could build new jobs in new industries for 10 years, put hundreds of thousands of people back to work across the country, before we need to have this … divisive debate about pipelines.”

Trusty Sun:

[…] many members of the federal NDP would like to adopt Naomi Klein’s Leap Manifesto at their convention.

This raises the question of whether many of them have read it. The Leap Manifesto, Klein’s eleventh-hour plunge into the climate change debate says, among other things,…

Macleans:

Avi Lewis on the ‘ideological battle’ over the Leap Manifesto
Avi Lewis on the climate crisis, Naomi Klein, and how he didn’t mean to ‘blow up the NDP convention’

The media is clearly making this about the people leading the ideas in Leap, not whether they are sound ideas or likely to be effective at creating the quick changes required to save our civilization. It’s all about Notley, Klein and Lewis, instead of carbon pollution, pipelines, economics, and our climate’s chances.

Wouldn’t you rather the media talk about the issue?

Things Trudeau Must Do

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has to do several things this year:

  • legalize pot
  • reform elections
  • MMIW inquiry
  • get renewable energy products into the hands of people you know

If he fails to complete, or make meaningful progress on this list by Christmas time of 2016, I think he’ll de-inspire many of the fresh new Liberal Party supporters, and put people back to sleep. We’ll start focusing on American politics, and it’ll be almost as if Stephen Harper never left.

The jury is still out on his Environment and Climate Change Minister McKenna too. While I’m impressed by her open communication style (Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), and her cycle advocacy, her recent talk about national unity over reducing pollution is concerning.

Metrics I think you can use to tell if Trudeau is making real change happen:
-If you can (legally) buy someone something made from marijuana this Christmas.
-If you know someone you’d regard as Conservative, who is speaking with more compassion about the plight of Indigenous women in our violent society.
-If you hear someone you thought was disengaged politically explaining the benefits of electoral reform and proportional representation.
-If you know someone who’s used an electric car, bus, or bike, or bought a solar panel system, or cut their home water use by 30% or more.

A Fine Bigger Than Most Crimes – #PanamaPapers

Canada’s rich and powerful do not fear the media, and they do not have their names in the newspapers (some owned by foreign investment funds) when fined more than a million dollars for a crime much larger than that.

Picture yourself as a criminal. Imagine you’ve robbed a store of over $10,000 in cash during a nighttime heist. You get caught. Does your name appear in the newspaper? The bank’s crime’s fine was 110 times bigger than the imagined theft, yet they have their identity protected. Why?

== Continue reading

Wealthy Implicated in #PanamaPapers will not #FeelTheBern

‪What is #‎PanamaPapers? Over 2TB of leaked bank communications exposing shell companies and tax avoidance and money laundering by HSBC, UBS, and others. CBC and Toronto Star have the names of the Canadians, but will not be releasing them since they’d face libel suits for doing so without other supporting evidence (and probably even then still).

“When asked why Canada doesn’t have the political will to put an end to the abuse of offshore tax havens, Francis replied: “Because the offshore and taxation lobby is the most powerful in this country.””

Iceland’s Prime Minister may fall over involvement with the crooked Panamanian bank.