Never EVER give up (Feb. 9, 2020)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning!

Did you know that today - February 9th – is the deadline for the Canadian government to table its new climate target with the United Nations? That’s okay, Justin Trudeau and his environment minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, don’t know it either.

It is a little complicated. The Paris meeting, COP21, resulted in two agreements.

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The new NAFTA (Feb. 2, 2020)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning!

Happy Groundhog Day -- which for me now conjures the Bill Murray movie of that name. I half expected to wake up to Sonny and Cher “I’ve got you babe.” (Apologies if any of you have never seen the movie….and the movie’s premise of a day that repeats itself endlessly until it comes out right.)

The Groundhog Day theme may actually fit with what I wanted to share in this letter. We certainly have taken NAFTA and done it again. It is not perfect, but it is certainly a vast improvement. And all three Green MPs voted in support this week.

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Wet'suwet'en and "Rule of Law" (Jan. 26, 2020)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning!

Last night was my last community meeting for January.  Today I head back to Ottawa for the resumption of Parliament.  Despite a round of significant winter storms, we only had to cancel one of the nine planned gatherings. We will be holding Saturna Island’s meeting in February and we have added another meeting for Sidney as well as so few people were able to make it as the snow kept falling.

I love that in Saanich-Gulf Islands my constituents, at least those coming out for community meetings, are so concerned about the on-going conflict in Wet’suwet’en territory. Overwhelmingly, those who spoke about the situation stand in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

It is a source of outrage to many that Premier Horgan has refused to meet the hereditary leadership of the Wet’suwet’en, stating that he respects the “rule of law,” as though the hereditary chiefs do not.

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Court challenges to stop TMX (Jan. 19, 2020)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning!

Depending on where you are in Canada, you are likely dealing with one form of unpredictable extreme weather or another.  For those of us on southern Vancouver Island, folks in Winnipeg and St. John’s are entitled to think we are a bunch of wimps who cannot handle winter. But, honestly, as a Cape Breton girl used to fierce winds and howling blizzards, what we had here this week was just as cold and stormy as a bad snow day anywhere I have lived.  Here’s hoping you are reading this somewhere warm and cozy.

This morning, I am going to try to give you a decoder ring to the court cases swirling around the Trans Mountain (formerly Kinder Morgan) pipeline. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously on Thursday, dismissing the latest BC government case.  This was reported, in error, as though this was the last possible legal route to stop the pipeline. Link 

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Tragedy in Iran (Jan. 12, 2020)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

A Hard Morning!

It is not possible to write a cheery “Good Sunday Morning” after the multiple tragedies of this week. As a country, we are in mourning with deep pockets of grief in ever widening circles around each victim. We grieve with increasing intensity as we learn more of the individual lives cut short by the missile strike against a civilian airliner.

We know who was innocent. Every life lost on the ill-fated Ukrainian Airlines flight was innocent, from the Ukrainian flight attendants to the Canadian-Iranian newlyweds, to the brilliant graduate students heading back to Canada, to the babies.

It is harder to know who was individually guilty, but many decisions led to this tragedy.

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New Year's Resolutions (Jan. 5, 2020)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning!

Happy first Sunday of the New Year! 

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? And if you do, do you keep them?

I came across this wonderful set of resolutions from legendary folksinger Woodie Guthrie. On January 1, 1943, he put pen to paper and made 33 promises to himself.

Woody Guthrie’s Doodle-Filled List of 33 New Year’s Resolutions From 1943

He started with “Work more and better” and ended with “Wake up and fight.” In between are real gems: “Dont get lonesome, (sic) Stay glad and Wash teeth if any.” While “Help win war — beat fascism” is hard to beat, my favourite Woodie Guthrie 1943 resolution has to be “Keep hoping machine running.”

 

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The coming Turnaround Decade (Dec. 29, 2019)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning!

December 29, 2019

Happy Hanukkah - one last candle!  And Fourth Day of Christmas!

It seems incredible, but this is the last Sunday of 2019.  I do not need to ask “where did the year go?”  My 2019 was busy - national tour of every province and one territory – 37 communities, a summer of coast to coast Pride Parades, and then the national election – plus, one major personal event – getting married!

Today finds John and me on the train rattling across the prairies – our fifth BC-Ontario (or east to west) train trip of 2019.  That sets a new record for me.

So here we are, at the beginning of not only a new year, but a new decade. Back in 1990, we dubbed the ‘90’s as the “Turnaround Decade.”  We were wrong.  Had we done what we pledged to do at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, we would have averted the current climate emergency.

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Good news for winter solstice (Dec. 22, 2019)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning!

December 22, 2019

Happy Solstice! And Good Sunday Morning from Bergen, Norway.  We arrived by train from Oslo yesterday evening to visit my two newly attached grandsons – John’s son and family live here.  So three more sleeps until Christmas! God Jul!

Being the festive season, time for some good news for a change.

First up, the wonderful news yesterday from the Nova Scotia government. There will be no extension of the deadline for a system to deal with the toxic effluent from the mill in Pictou. The Boat Harbour Act, passed in the NS legislature to create a deadline for clean-up, will be honoured, closing down the current polluting abomination by end of January 2020.  That essentially means the mill will close.

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From COP 25 in Madrid (Dec, 15, 2019)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

Good Sunday Morning!

My Sunday morning started many hours ago.  As the clock ticked past midnight in Madrid (3 pm at home in BC), negotiations were still underway, as they continued throughout the night and early morning hours. It is now afternoon Sunday in Madrid.

It is quite typical for climate negotiations to over-run their allotted time. Conferences of the Parties are always supposed to end by Friday evening of week 2. They almost never do. Up until this COP, the longest and latest COP had been in Durban, when negotiations wrapped at 6:30 AM on the Sunday morning.

We smashed the record.  Not something we wanted to do! 

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Opening of parliament (Dec. 8, 2019)

[Written by Elizabeth May]

As you read this, I am likely to be lugging a suitcase off the carousel at the Madrid airport. COP25 is about to enter its second week – known as the high-level segment.  

Every COP has the same rhythm, while some are more intense than others.  The Conference of the Parties (hence COP) meets annually to advance – at an excruciatingly slow pace – progress under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  A “party” is any nation that has signed and ratified the 1992 climate treaty. All nations on earth have done so. 

The first week is when the bureaucrats work to refine text and find as much agreement as possible. The high level segment is when heads of government (a few) and ministers (many) arrive to finalize text through political negotiation.

The Paris Agreement is the latest effort to bring precision to the more general UNFCCC goals.  I would say that the pace of the negotiations is glacial, except as humanity procrastinates in eliminating fossil fuels, glaciers are now moving faster than politicians.   

Speaking of procrastination… 

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