Canada’s PM Shares Words with UN about Climate Crisis That Many Wish He Would Live Up To At Home
Trudeau May Have One More Chance to Prove Himself a Leader on the Climate Front
A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted September 26th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
I can’t count the number of times I have had friends from the United States – friends who are sick to their stomachs over Trump and all the damage he continues to do – say to me; ‘Any chance we can switch leaders with you? We really like Justin Trudeau.”
I understand what my American friends are saying, and I would just love it if I could like our Canadian prime minister as much as they do too.
Problem is that Justin Trudeau says an awful lot of things that, to liberal, progressive-minded people at least, sound good, then he turns around and either does little or nothing, or he allows he allows ideas from past federal governments or he comes up with ideas of his own that betray the good words he is speaking.
Take the climate crisis that is already taking such a costly toll on Canada and other regions around the world.
Give Trudeau and his government at least a few points for moving, through passage of their 2018 Greenhouse Pollution Pricing Act, to create a disincentive for continuing to burn oil and other carbon-based fuels over greener sources of energy by placing a price on climate-ravaging carbon emissions.
Yet Trudeau and company deserve a grade of about E-minus and maybe even an F for the lousy job they have done – as opposed to several European countries that have educated their citizenry so much better – of explaining this carbon-pricing program and its long-term environmental and economic benefits to Canadians.
The Trudeau government has done such a lousy job on this that it has been relatively easy for right-wing populists and climate laggards like Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford and Alberta’s Jason Kenney to brand this climate action initiative as just another “tax” on consumers, then to waste tens-of-millions of our tax dollars campaigning against this pollution pricing legislation and trying to get it overturned in the courts.
Then there is the Trudeau government’s apparent refusal to put an end to billions of dollars of subsidies each year to tar sand operations and related producers and distributors of carbon-based fuels – subsidies that could and should be used to build green, renewable energy industries for the future, and to help retrain workers for jobs there.
Even more egregious was Trudeau’s decision a few years ago to throw more than $4.5 billion of our tax money (a price some economist now say has ballooned to more than $9 billion) on purchasing and expanding the Trans Mountain Pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the west coast. In a world where there is an overall move away from burning oil, this is about as nonsensical and dangerous as Trump conning people in West Virginia with a promise that he is going to bring back coal-mining jobs.
It is like throwing billions of dollars of our tax money at industries to make typewriters and eight-track tapes. Just think of what that money could do to build greener industries for the 21st century?
Come on Justin! What in hell are you doing pandering to blowhards, bullies and backsliders like Kenney and Ford, and to industries that have no future in the decades to come?
Show some courage and real leadership on addressing an existential threat to all of us on this planet. Do it for the sake of young people who are already playing a greater role in deciding who they want running our country than these relics from the past.
Then this September 25th, in an address Justin Trudeau zooned in to the United Nations during the 75th anniversary session of the UN’s General Assembly, he sounded like one of those world leaders on climate action that we so desperately need.
“The world is in crisis. And things are about to get much worse unless we change,” said Trudeau during his UN address.
“Right now, we have a chance – not a big chance, but a chance – to shift course. To realize that the only way through this is together.”
“We must understand our opportunities and our responsibilities to take real action, together. To protect each other, to support each other,” he continued “If we meet this moment, if we rise to this challenge, I know that, like our grandparents did 70 years ago, we will lay the foundations of a better world.”
The world, Trudeau stressed, is facing a “climate reckoning.”
Indeed this is a climate reckoning, and as much as I have been disappointed with the record of Trudeau and his government, when it comes to real action on the climate emergency to date, I would rather give them one more chance to show strength and do what they know is right.
I would rather take a chance on that than to see a federal Conservative government come in when – over the last three decades or so – Conservatives have proven, at both the federal and provincial level in Canada that they don’t have it in their DNA to give a damn about anything to do with environmental protection.
So buck up Justin and start leading like the future of Canadians and the future of this planet is in your hands.
You have one more chance, starting now, to put your words into action and perform as a global leader in a do-or-die battle to preserve a life that is tolerable on this planet.
Here is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s September 25th, 2020 address to the United Nations General Assembly that you can watch by clicking on the screen immediately below –
It was also exactly one year ago today – on September 27th, 2020 – that the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, spoke on the climate crisis before one of the largest every gatherings on this continent on that issue, in Montreal, Quebec.
An estimated half a million people – many of them 40 years old or younger – turned up at the Montreal climate rally to march with Greta Thunberg and hear her speak.
These are the growing block of citizens and voters today and for well into the future – not the aging Gen Xers, and the even older Boomers who want to go on conspicuously accumulating crap made out of plastic and guzzling gas in over-sized trucks and cars.
Are you really listening Justin?
Do you have the courage to say to hell with the vested interest of old and dying industries that are doing damage to us, and align yourself and your party with industries and jobs that make for a healthier, more prosperous future?
I hope so. And so too, I’m sure, do many other Canadians.
To watch Greta Thunberg (who I hope and pray wins the next Nobel Peace Prize, instead of Trump, who has actually been nominated by some right-wing nuts) speaking to that audience of tens of thousands, click on the screen below –
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