The Takeover of our Democracy

Good Sunday Morning,

The Earth seen from Apollo 17Fifty years ago, in 1968, a study found that global increases in temperature could collapse the West Antarctic Ice Sheet resulting in a catastrophic sea level rise of 11 feet. A year later we landed on the moon and saw the "blue marble" in space for the first time. And although this iconic photograph was not taken until 1972, we celebrated our first "Earth Day" in 1970.

A decade later, in 1979 a US National Academy of Sciences report found that doubling our CO2 levels could increase average global temperatures by 4.5 degrees. It was the year that President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House. And in 1985, studies concluded that global warming may come twice as fast as expected because of a rise of methane and other trace greenhouse gases.

In 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro with the objective to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system". Since then, we've had COP after COP and successive governments of all stripes promise that they would act on climate change.

So why do we now have an Alberta NDP government spending millions of taxpayer dollars to falsely advertise on billboards in BC that the "Trans Mountain Pipeline means more money for roads, schools and hospitals"? Why do we have a federal Liberal government signing a contract to pay $4.5 billion for a stranded asset in the form of the 65 year old Trans Mountain pipeline, that is a full decade past it's life expectancy? Why do we have a provincial NDP government here in BC who is subsidizing the fracked LNG industry to the hilt, so it can supply the diluent to be mixed with bitumen in Alberta? And why do we have a newly elected Conservative government in Ontario recklessly tearing the guts out of any form of environmentally responsible climate plan? 

takeovergsm.jpgIn other words, after 50 years of mounting evidence that we are facing a global calamity, why do we sill have to protest this shit? Why do successive governments campaign on climate action and govern with complete contempt for the social, economic and natural devastation of their negligence? Because there has been a comprehensive, persistent, and well-funded effort to undermine any action on climate change.

In his best selling book, 'Oil's Deep State', Kevin Taft offers a first -hand account to answer the question; Who's really in charge? The former Leader of the Official Opposition in the Alberta legislature has ripped open the lid on the extent to which big oil undermines democracy and stops action on climate change.

Here is what David Suzuki had to say about this book: “Kevin Taft’s powerful book, Oil’s Deep State, is compelling because it is drawn from his personal experience as a politician… Read this book, get mad, then take action to restore democracy.”

Mother's_Love.jpgGreen Party volunteers from 10 EDAs have been planning it for weeks and now we are finally ready to announce the Kevin Taft Tour! Kevin will be speaking in West Vancouver, SFU Downtown Vancouver, Salt Spring Island, Victoria and Courtenay about the deep tentacles that Big Oil has woven into the tapestry of government decision making.

5 cities, one question: "Who is really in charge?" To find out more and get your tickets, please visit our website at (But hurry, seats are limited) Then spread the word. Because it matters, to all of us.

Ainslie Cruickshank writes in the Star: The Union of BC Indian Chiefs says it’s “frustrated” and “outraged” that the estimated cost to build the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is going up, while the effects of climate change are being witnessed around the world. “The Arctic Circle is burning in Sweden, intense wildfires are ripping through California, heat waves are breaking records across the world, 400 fires are raging in British Columbia,” said UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip in a release Thursday morning, “and the Canadian government wants to buy an overpriced 60-year-old leaky pipeline and build another one that will guarantee an expansion of greenhouse-gas pollution produced by the tarsands at a time when we should be hitting the emergency shutdown button to prevent catastrophic climate chaos.”

Public_Circle.jpgIt matters to Elizabeth May and Adam Olsen who shared the microphone on this week's "The Public Circle LIVE!" Facebook event. Among other interesting topics they talked about, was their heartbreak over the drama that is playing out on the Salish Sea. As we reported last week, the Orca calf died on July 24th and the images of the mother, also known as Tahlequah or J35, have struck the hearts of people worldwide. For 17 days she carried her calf with the desperate hope that it will start breathing again. Or perhaps her persistence is a deep personal message to us all, that words are not enough.

(note: as of 10pm last night it's reported that she finally let go)

Greenpeace is asking people to send an email to Justin Trudeau. The Green Party of Canada is asking you to sign a petition to stop the buyout. Many of you have probably already signed the paper petition initiated by a local constituent and sponsored by Elizabeth but you can still share this link with friends and family across the country.  And, last but not least, check out how Elizabeth will be crisscrossing the riding all summer to connect with her constituents!

PEI.jpgOur engagement matters. Our future is at stake. And we can make the difference. In PEI, a rising number of voters are expressing their dissatisfaction with the old style, bait and switch, power politics. And here in BC, we have an opportunity to end the misrepresentation of government by false majority. Sign up, get engaged, and help put an end to the deep state that Kevin Taft warns us about.

Thank you all for reading! I will be taking the next couple of Sunday's off, so won't be back in your inbox until September 2nd. If you live on the Saanich Peninsula and you plan to go to the Saanich Fair, please do stop by our tent, get some popcorn, and say Hello! And if you would like to volunteer to help cover a shift or two to listen to what's on people's mind, please drop me a line.

Until then, take good care of each other.





"It is our job to work tirelessly for justice, for peace, and for a planet that can survive with a human civilization that thrives. This is the challenge that we take on as Greens." Elizabeth May, October 19th, 2015

This weekly missive is authored by Thomas Teuwen, our SGI EDA coordinator. Opinions expressed are his own. We welcome your comments and feedback. If you were sent here by a friend and would like to subscribe to our weekly email simply click here. You can also go to the archives section of our SGI website to read back issues. And if you are on twitter please join in on this hashtag.

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