Taking the Leap: Climate Policy and the Canadian Election

Global Research News Hour episode 114

“For human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins”. For “to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God” -Pope Francis, ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME



Length (59:01)

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The warning signs of abrupt climate disruption are evident to anyone willing to look.

Business Day Online reported last August that climate change is threatening food production in Nigeria.

A giant toxic algae bloom possibly linked to climate change now spans the West Coast of North America from Southern California to the Aleutian Islands.

A study has linked California’s drought to climate change.

Satellites registered in August that Greenland’s Jakobshavn Isbrae Glacier lost 12.5 square kilometres of sea ice in a two day period.

Given the gravity of the situation, and the stakes for humanity, Canada’s policy on addressing the climate catastrophe warrants serious attention in the country’s federal election.

Sadly, none of the major political parties appear to do much more than offer lip service in the face of a global dilemma that threatens the future of humanity.

But in the midst of the campaign, an ambitious call to arms has gone out from prominent Canadian authors, artists, national leaders, and activists. The Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another, demands respect for Indigenous rights, transition off of fossil fuels to renewables within a couple of decades, and the introduction of a basic annual income, a progressive carbon tax, higher income taxes on the wealthy and corporations, a program of new energy efficient home construction and retrofits, high speed rail, and affordable transit, as well as cuts to military spending among other initiatives. It also calls for “an end to all trade deals that interfere with our attempts to rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects.”

The manifesto has largely been dismissed by politicians and pundits in Canada. Even Canada’s NDP, a left-leaning, social democratic party, has apparently distanced itself from the document.

Given the research of individuals like Guy McPherson, it is conceivable that even this supposedly “pie in the sky” proposal does not go far enough to stop our world from careening off the climate cliff.

 The Leap Manifesto was announced about the same time one of its authors, Avi Lewis, was debuting his film This Changes Everything, based on the book of the same name. The film shifts the frame of normal discourse around climate change, and profiles communities making the necessary changes.

Mr. Lewis joins us in the first half hour to talk about his film and the manifesto in the context of the current election.

In the second half hour, a past guest, Dahr Jamail returns. Jamail writes a monthly dispatch on climate change based on the most recent scientific discoveries. In this interview he comments on the severity of the climate threat, evaluates the aforementioned Leap Manifesto, and candidly discusses the form real solutions will have to take.



Length (59:01)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

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Articles by: Michael Welch and Dahr Jamail

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