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.”


I promised last Sunday to share the New Year’s Resolutions that I would urge on the Trudeau administration.  

  1.   To meet the challenge of the climate emergency, they must resolve to reject any new fossil fuel projectsThat means that the December 2019 approval of offshore drilling by the State-owned enterprise of the Peoples Republic of China (CNOOC) 400 km east of Newfoundland and Labrador at Flemish Pass Basin will be the last fossil fuel project ever approved in Canada. CNOOC gets go ahead for exploration drilling in Flemish Pass Basin
  2.     It would mean that in February, the proposed new (and enormous) Teck Frontier oil sands mine will be rejected10 things you need to know about the massive new oilsands mine that just got a green light
  3.       It would mean that the decision to waste a further $10 billion on the TransMountain pipeline would be reversedTaking our Trans Mountain fight to the Supreme Court
  4.       It also requires banning fracking and any natural gas projects proposed with fracked gas.  This would immediately end the violation of indigenous rights on Wet’suwet’an territory over the Coastal Gaslink project. Judge grants injunction against Wet'suwet'en protesters in northern BC pipeline standoff

The above resolutions are akin to the “Stop doing bad things” promises – like “Quit Smoking!”  The best resolutions are the positive ones – the ones like “exercise more” – “spend more time with loved ones!”

So the climate equivalents of these are:

    5. Expand renewable energy!

    6.  Set aggressive targets to improve energy efficiency – and exceed them! 

    7.  Plant trees.

    8.  Create community gardens.

    9.  Set up more EV chargers.

    10. Install more solar panels.

    11. Build up community projects and social cohesion.

    12. Be much better prepared for the coming local climate emergencies.

And it is good to remind the Trudeau cabinet that social justice runs through any and all climate plans:

    13. Deliver real action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and on the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Some of these actions are clearly consistent with climate action.  The MMIW inquiry called for ending “man camps” such as the remote pipeline construction sites. And the need to provide efficient and affordable secure bus service also meets both agendas.

    14. The resolutions list also includes following through on the Liberal promise of a Just Transition Act to provide security to workers. 

    15. The big one is to “wake up and fight.” Step up into global leadership by putting Canada firmly on the side of our young climate strikers.  Commit Canada early in 2020 to a science-based target to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. The Green Party target of 60% below 2005 levels by 2030 is do-able, but it will not be easy.  If you have not already looked at the details of Mission: Possible, please do! Mission Possible (download the research analysis pdf for deep details.

In all of this, there is one resolution above all that we must all take on – every day!

Keep hoping machine running!

This is the time to resolve to work harder – or as Woodie Guthrie said it “work hard and better!”  This is when we must resolve that- despite the evidence of a history of political failure – 2020 is the year when we make the key decisions that preserve a healthy and livable biosphere.  

We can do it if we believe we will. Keep hoping machine running. These are resolutions worth keeping!

Have a great week,

Love and thanks,


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