Thousands sign petition calling for CBC to host a climate debate
Numerous advocacy groups are attempting to pressure the CBC to host a debate on climate change.
According to the National Observer, a petition signed by almost 48,000 individuals organized by four advocacy groups: Leadnow.ca, North99, 350 Canada, and Our Time was presented to the CBC on Friday.
In a statement available on National Observer, LeadNow said the CBC has a responsibility as a public broadcaster to “provide a platform about this unprecedented national emergency so voters can clearly see where leaders stand on climate and what they’re prepared to do about it.”
“We look to political leaders to lead on serious issues like climate change, but there’s so much misinformation and confusion,” said Amara Possian, Canada Campaigns Manager with 350.org.
“A federal leaders’ debate focused on climate change and a made-in-Canada Green New Deal will give voters much-needed clarity on which parties have the best strategy to tackle the climate crisis head on.”
While the number of signatures is high, it is by no means surprising as the environment has rapidly become one of the hottest issues in Canada.
According to a study released by the Digital Democracy Project, climate change is on the top of the election agenda for most Canadians.
The groups pointed to wildfires in Western Canada, heatwaves in the east and north, disappearing shorelines, and severe floods. They say all these events are becoming more frequent due to the climate emergency.
CBC spokesperson Chuck Thompson said the company would make sure to cover climate change as part of its debates.
“As I’m sure you are aware, CBC News has covered climate change extensively, and we will continue to do so,” Thompson said in an emailed statement. “As to whether or not there will be a debate specifically about climate change, that question is best asked of the Leaders’ Debates Commission.”
Currently, two debates are expected ahead of the federal election, which must happen on or before October 21st.
The English debate is tentatively scheduled for October 7th, while the French alternative is set for October 10th.
While the dates have not been finalized, the location, Ottawa, has.
Randy Cochrane was taken into police custody on Sunday. On Monday, he was pronounced dead in a hospital.
According to CBC News, Winnipeg police observed the “armed” man near Flora Avenue and Parr Street. He was bleeding.
The officers chased the man on foot and arrested him.
According to Const. Rob Carver, an ambulance was immediately called.
“The individual was agitated at the time of his arrest,” Carver told reporters Monday. “The male became unresponsive. He was transported to a hospital and subsequently pronounced deceased.”
One witness, Will Couture, said he saw a man who looked like Cochrane jump over his backyard fence while shouting for help just before 4 p.m.
“At that time I didn’t know what he was asking for until I saw the cops running behind him saying more or less, ‘Why are you running? What’s wrong with you?” he said.
Couture said that Cochrane was shirtless, had scrapes on the side of his face and shouted “help me, help me” as police chased him across the street.
Cochrane, 30, was of the Fisher River Cree Nation. He was a father of three girls. He was visiting Winnipeg when police arrested him.
The news of his death has sparked immense grief in the family, and questions are being asked.
Monica Murdock, Cochrane’s cousin, said her family was told he had no obvious signs of injury. She said they were told his heart stopped.
“Why did he die in cuffs? Why were they chasing him? Why are they saying he was bloody but the doctors we went and saw at the emergency room last night said that he had no injuries.”
She further stresses that Cochrane’s parents are devastated.
“They’re taking it hard,” said Murdock. “That’s their only baby.”
Now she wants to know what happened.
The Independent Investigation Unit is probing the incident and are looking for witnesses.
I was very proud of my home city, Montreal, last March. After determined organizing efforts, 150,000 people, roughly 8.5% of the island’s population, marched through the streets to condemn dissatisfactory climate policy.
One popular sign read, “If our climate was a bank it would have already been saved.” Another poster had the illustration of a tree and money, asking “which green is more important to you?” Another placard encouraged, “Save a tree, EAT A LOBBYIST.”
Despite the energy of these mass mobilizations, in the way of substantial changes, we can quote Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the UN. Guterres concluded Tuesday that “far more ambitious plans and accelerated action is needed.” The “existential threat” of climate change requires radical efforts that governments have still not implemented.
Guterres’ damning remarks follow a common thread among climate warnings, easy enough to detect. Take, for instance, the international 2018 IPCC report, which was reviewed by thousands of experts—scientists and economists alike.
The study demanded “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all of society”—very radical demands from a heavily-reviewed document directed towards policy makers. Like Gutteres, the suggestion is one of danger that must be met with a heavy hand.
However, it is as though many political powers neglect the professional capacity in which these scientists and officials are writing, and rather prefer to see them as a sort of enfants-terrible academic class.
There is widespread fear, that in heeding scientists’ radical demands we will not respect the much more serious concern of profit and corporate free reign.
Leaked comments of US diplomats on the IPCC report, shows exactly such an official concern. The diplomats complained that the climate study “fail[ed] to communicate the scale of the global technological and economic challenge” required to meet the report’s demands.
The Pope once addressed this “mentality of profit at any price, with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature,” that would require “change, real change.”
Of course, there is no sharp divide with extreme attempts to better the environment on one side and efforts to strengthen the economy on the other. I believe it would be worthwhile given the radical demands of scientists, that we peer closer into this relationship between climate and capital.
Again, we can look at the climate science literature where we find a relevant but quiet report released earlier this month.
The study titled “Working on a warmer planet,” issued by the International Labour Organization, understands that as heat waves increase—and temperatures rise with increasing regularity above 35 C—some workers will feel too hot to work.
According to conservative estimates, the ILO concludes global economic losses will total $2,400 billion by 2030.
It is as though, the authors say, 80 million jobs were to disappear in little more than a decade.
These are the “conservative” estimates. As the writers admit, they had to assume employers would allow workers to labour in the shade, or at least at cooler hours in the day. Expectations for temperature increase are limited to 1.5 C by 2100, which is unlikely, unless countries manage to meet IPCC expectations.
Heat stress and its cost to productivity is only one of the many climate change-related factors that promises to subvert the economy. We can look at environmental dangers and then assume their economic effects.
What’s there to say about the economy when a major review calls climate change “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century?” The Lancet had recorded a massive sum of information on the potential effects of climate change-related natural disasters.
These disasters include water rises that threaten the water supplies of hundreds of millions, floods that may inundate the land of 130 million, and drought that make climate refugees out of the world’s poorest populations. Economies have trouble performing in these conditions.
It should not need noting that economies function off of and for people. Therefore, when politicians avoid radical changes—building pipelines, announcing assaults on carbon taxes—putting very illusory and fleeting profits over people…
Then we are right to hit the streets in even larger numbers, at least as a symbol of sanity against a very mislead logic.
New evacuation orders were issued at 11 pm yesterday, as northern Alberta residents were told to fuel up their vehicles and escape.
According to CBC, the conditions in the area are the “driest in 40 years,” as thousands of people have already been forced to flee their homes.
Everyone in the hamlet of La Crete and the rural area outside of the hamlet east of Steep Hill Creek was ordered to leave immediately.
The affected areas also include the Rocky Lane and High Level area north of the Peace River, west of Range Road 150, south of Highway 58, south and southeast of High Level.
With plunging humidity levels and winds buffed up to 20 kilometres per hour, the fire was expected to be particularly aggressive. The fire now covers 300,000 hectares of boreal forest, and is expected to expand rapidly.
It is expected, as a sign of relief, that the area will see some showers with a high around 22ºC. Wildfire information officer Travis Fairweather said officials are hopeful the rain will give firefighters some relief.
“It’s going to take several days of rain to make an impact on this fire, but we’ll take what we can get,” Fairweather said this morning.
Residents of Dene Tha’ First Nation’s Bushe River and Beaver First Nation’s Child Lake and Boyer River reserve have also been forced to flee.
The town of High Level said on its website Monday evening that residents aren’t required to leave at the moment, but should gather documents, get food and water ready and fuel their vehicles in case a mandatory evacuation becomes necessary.
Numerous experts believe the wildfires are linked to climate change, as the Parliament passed the declaration of a Climate Emergency yesterday.
What do you think the authorities should do? Let us know in the comments below.
Canadians are united in their fight against climate change. However, what they also seem to be united in is their refusal to pay the carbon tax.
According to polls conducted by CBC, Canadians see fighting climate change as a top priority. However, half of those surveyed would not pay more than $100 per year in taxes to prevent it, the equivalent of less than $9 a month.
There is a good explanation for this behaviour.
In the survey, 19% of Canadians listed climate change as the issue they are most worried about. Climate change ranked second only to the cost of living, which topped the list at 32%.
Canadians said that they were willing to indulge in cost-effective options to combat climate change. This includes buying local (75%), reducing the thermostat (66%), purchasing fewer things (55%), willing to drive less (47%), and using public transit or use a bicycle more often (37%).
However, when it came to the carbon tax, a third of Canadians said they were unwilling to pay it. A further 17% said that they would only pay $100 a year in tax. The carbon tax rate, without tax credits, only starts at $200.
The strong opposition to the carbon tax was further presented when asked about it directly. The survey shows 47% of respondents disapprove of the carbon tax, while 43% approve.
Currently, the only party that suggests removing the carbon tax is the Conservatives. Andrew Scheer is set to release his climate plan tomorrow, and it seems as though his focus would be to sell goods and tech to foreign countries to reduce their pollution.
While 6% of respondents of the survey didn’t even believe in climate change, 65% of Canadians agree “Canada is not doing enough to fight climate change.”
What do you think Canada can do to combat climate change? Let us know in the comments below!