March ’21: Climate
In a western province, a premier wastes $20B to generate power for fracking at a cost ~10x that of building solar. It’s a dam, one that will flood Treaty 8 territory of the West Moberly First Nations. In typical colonial-extractionist fashion, this doesn’t matter, and they are being ignored to steamroll the fossilgarchy’s will forward. Nor does it matter that the 93km lake will flood a unique Northern agricultural oasis, 10,000 acres of prime farmland; or that it means the slashing and burning of >10,000 acres of carbon-sequestering forests.
But wait, it gets better. The dam is being built on a shale formation that cannot truly bear its weight in the event of an earthquake, and conveniently, fracking causes earthquakes. So this premier is building a dam to nowhere, one that could very well collapse and destroy the rest of the Peace River valley with a nightmare wave of earth and water. And it was used to funnel $10M to a nearly bankrupt fossil fuel company a week before it went under!
That dam, if you couldn’t guess, is Site C. Eastern readers may have expected Alberta to be the home to this quagmire, but no, it’s the pet project of the one NDP majority government in the country. It is an almost-unbelievable project. It would be a major scandal in any other province, but in BC, it’s a background thing many people have never heard of. Mad King Horgan has made it so an egregious waste of money and violation of the social contract is normalized, that no NDP politicians speak out to oppose him. That is inexcusable.
We had intended to focus on Site C as a microcosm of everything that is wrong with this country’s approach to climate. And we have developed a five-point climate action plan with nightmares like Site C, Coastal GasLink, and TMX in mind. John Horgan made the dumbest mistake in BC history on February 26, saddling future generations with a bad project that gives billions away to cronies and fossilgarchs. We could be building a whole green society with that money, renewable powered and finally equal. But instead we’re building the stupidest dam ever.
Not for long, if we have anything to say about it. #WeHaveHadEnough
So, listen up, John: We have had ENOUGH.
Here’s our five-point climate action plan:
- End the madness. In BC and across the country, NDP governments and oppositions abet the extractionist fossilgarchy in their destruction of our environment, our health, and our future. Site C is the craziest example, but there are many more: the orphan well insanity, Coastal GasLink defiling Wet’suwet’en territory, TMX fouling MST territory. We need to end these projects. Now. Stop building for the fossilgarchy so we can afford to build for a truly green future.
- Subsidize a just transition. It is time to prioritize spending to fix the climate, not to line the pockets of billionaire fossil fuel industrialists. In BC since Horgan’s election in 2017, fossil fuel subsidies have risen 79% and the NDP have rolled back fracking royalties. Site C is a $20B gift to frackers and fossilgarchs, only being built to power their fracking (in a place where their fracking will cause earthquakes and destroy the dam). It is time to end all of these giveaways and spend the money saved on fully decarbonizing our society.
- Upgrade everything. There is massive opportunity to make people’s lives better as we decarbonize. Insulation, efficient heating, clean water, electric transportation. Our governments are willing to spend $20B building a dam to nowhere, but not $20B to rebuild our homes, businesses, and lifestyles for a just, climate-stable future. Eco-operatives can create just worker-owner conditions while saving buyers money, and investing to electrify our world through cooperation gives us a path away from a tech dystopia led by the rich and giant corporations.
- Energy abundance. BC’s Clean Energy Act is set up to hinder any non-hydro/fracked gas power sources, but we and the rest of the country have enormous potential to generate carbon-free energy everywhere. Solar, wind (on- and off-shore), tidal, geothermal; despite the fossilgarchy disinformation campaign, our country can move off of fossil fuels and generate our own power. If we abandon a scarcity mindset and start building cheap electric generation, we can attract future industries, produce green hydrogen, desalinize water, and run our whole society on local clean electricity.
- Justice through restoration. The destructive nature of our current environmental approach has disproportionately harmed Indigenous people and communities of colour. It is essential to embed #LandBack and environmental justice in all policy, and restorative justice must be a focus. Instead of steamrolling civil rights and the environment, Horgan and the NDP should be investing to restore and return land, rewild our communities and backcountry, daylight streams in our urban areas, clean up mines and toxic waste across the lands, and banning pesticide use in our forests (yes, they spray in BC’s forests!).
If you are angry about Site C and the rest of what the fossilgarchy gets away with, we stand with you. In the coming weeks we will share our mass action vision. Also, please consider contributing to the
RAVEN Trust legal funds to help West Moberly FNs fight BC in court.