Adrianne Merlo: Only the Green party grasps urgency of environmental crisis

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      An aboriginal proverb states, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Such an obvious reminder, yet many of us are failing to comprehend the urgency of the environmental crisis. We are running out of time, but we continue to be distracted by transient issues that will have little relevancy even six months from now.

      Voters are more inclined to get upset about ferry increases than global warming. Citizens will take to the streets over the HST, not even aware that their government is heavily subsidizing the nuclear power industry. Our inability to truly grasp the catastrophe that we are rapidly heading towards is nothing short of mind boggling. As David Suzuki says, “We’re in a car heading toward a brick wall at 100 miles per hour and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.” It’s time to put on the brakes and vote Green. It is time to vote for your children.

      As candidate for the Green party, I am often pressed to speak to local issues that may be of concern to my specific riding. In my neighbourhood of North Burnaby, we have a Chevron refinery that continues to leak gas, oil, and diesel fuel into the Burrard Inlet. It has been responsible for repeated environmental “accidents” for which there are seemingly no consequences. It uses millions of litres of fresh water every day, fouls the air with toxic fumes, and is a geriatric eye-sore that presents a serious hazard if a big earthquake happens.

      I would like to see the refinery made criminally accountable for the permanent damage inflicted on the surrounding ecosystem. But that isn’t why I am running for the Green party. This election should not be focused on a myriad of disparate issues pertaining to any particular riding. The scope has to be broadened; the environmental emergency affects everyone, everywhere. What the refinery does in Burnaby affects the ecology of the entire GVRD. Radioactive elements from the nuclear meltdown in Japan are showing up on our shores.

      The Green party is the only party with a global mandate, that shares a charter with 72 other countries who are united in working toward protecting the Earth’s natural ecosystems. The Greens are not a one-issue party: Elizabeth May has outlined a comprehensive plan for Canada that includes healthcare, housing, education, and human rights. It supports income splitting for families, lower payroll and income taxes, and imposing higher taxes on polluting industries.

      The other political parties talk about the economy, but refuse to comprehend that there can be no “healthy” economy if it exists on a planet that can no longer sustain life. We have a prime minister who has failed to make any serious steps toward curbing greenhouse gases, instead awarding more than $1.4 billion every year in tax subsidies to oil, coal, and gas industries. Stephen Harper believes we can address climate change with nuclear energy, but is silent on the issue of Canada already having nearly two million bundles of nuclear waste sitting in temporary storage. Nuclear power plants around the world generate 14,000 tons of dangerous radioactive waste every year, and not a single scientist can figure out a way to safely dispose of it.

      The Green party’s economic plan is opposed to any expansion of nuclear power and aims to phase it out rapidly. It calls for a new energy conservation—using wind, solar, tidal energy—and lobbies for investment in renewable sources which comprise a one-trillion-dollar untapped market. Blue collar work can be turned into green collar jobs. In depressing contrast, Stephen Harper embraces a nuclear future for Canada! Something to celebrate, surely. And the Liberals are no better, supporting tar sands expansion projects and the existing nuclear industry.

      We need political leadership that is courageous, forward thinking, and ethical. There is nothing controversial about this. The environment is not a political issue; it is a human crisis. If you are deeply concerned for the fate of this planet you will vote for the party that is determined to make things better. Not just in your riding but everywhere—for everyone.

      Adrianne Merlo is the Green candidate for Burnaby-Douglas.

      Comments

      8 Comments

      agree

      Apr 15, 2011 at 12:48pm

      In this federal election, none of the three stooges of the three main political parties are interested enough to debate the merits of nuclear energy here: too hot a political topic and the uranium industry might not approve.

      I’m wondering, where are the psychopathic CEOs running the nuclear industry? Shouldn’t they be the ones sacrificing their lives at the Fukushima plant? After all, they are the ones with the shiny cars and three piece suits benefiting from nuclear energy. Too dangerous for the prissy nuclear energy CEOs? Thought so psychopath dirt bags ...

      Veronica M

      Apr 15, 2011 at 2:40pm

      To quote Martin Luther King Jr, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter".
      Personally, I can't think of anything else that matters more than the preservation of our planet.

      Dlish 0765

      Apr 15, 2011 at 3:36pm

      Finally a gutsy candidate focussing on longer-term issues.
      I'd get behind that!

      seth

      Apr 15, 2011 at 4:54pm

      So why if Adrienne is so concerned about climate is she working so hard in her riding to steal enough progressive votes from the Liberals and NDP to ensure Harper gets reelected.

      seth

      7 14Rating: -7

      Dmerlo

      Apr 15, 2011 at 11:41pm

      Re Seth: That's the type of voting intelligence that ensures absolutely nothing will change. "Progressive votes?" what is that? Something you just came up with? The real progressive vote would in fact be GREEN. How about it Seth and everybody else? Vote from your heart and use your concience rather than thinking it's a waste of a vote. It's a waste of your vote when you go mainstream as opposed to your moral compass. Continue to do that and nothing will change. How progressive is that?

      Bhavana

      Apr 16, 2011 at 1:30am

      The environmental crisis are caused by human actions and their impact on the planet. Documentary "Wangari Maathai on environmental crises" expresses concern for the destruction of trees.
      To watch documentary online visit:
      http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/1189

      glen p robbins

      Apr 16, 2011 at 11:40am

      Seth - your cynical point on strategic outcomes is well considered - but don't you think its more important that candidates express the truth of their passion - on issues. Its important that Ms. Melo (see: Donovan) is listened to - and that she forcefully and confidently speaks the truth of the issues in her area - BC needs to become an epicenter for Green initiatives - we have a growing progressive population culture --- Elizabeth May - BC federal Green leader should spend the rest of the election in this province and hereinafter stake her party's fortunes in this province -- alone---(A Block of Seagulls).

      Ultimately, if candidates worked tirelessly for what they believed in - and gave everything of themselves for these truths - the truths WILL cumulatively bear out - this is the faith we should have in our system - in the people - and not in the devil people in behind the people in power.

      Good trumps evil in every circumstance where Good speaks of its own Truth - because what is left over - the remainder --is for evil to speak for itself and be found out. Hardly scientific - but I am certain this is so.

      (1) If people knew what really went on in that site - that would riot tomorrow;
      (2) the Conservative candidate in that riding is Asian which helps with a base - but far less so with some Europeans who vote NDP provincially but have voted Harper federally (see: race).

      seth

      Apr 17, 2011 at 11:58am

      "? Vote from your heart and use your conscience rather than thinking it's a waste of a vote...."

      This is the low information Greenie speaking. You can't ever -repeat ever - elect a candidate in a first past the post system. All you will do is elect and reelect fascists. Your silly idea's gave us George Bush, Steven "Brimstone" Harper, and Gordon Campbell causing untold damage to Gaia. Green Party election participation will continue to elect these types well into the future. We will not survive as a species as long as we are ruled by this Green party enabled filth.

      The vast majority of Greenies understand this and confine their political activities to influencing the NDP and Liberal parties, and well as increasing green awareness in the general populace.

      It was my idea and my constant repetition of this theme that finally caught on with thousands of environmentalist voters who bought BCLiberal party memberships and stopped the Black Tar sworn enemy of Gaia - Kevin Falcon - from winning that leadership contest. With the new leader Christy Clark promising an early election and John Horgan leading the NDP to victory in that contest, those thinking greens have ensured a great victory for the environment overwhelming the enormous pain the malevolent Green Party's reelection of Gordon Campbell caused. Unfortunate it is now necessary for a small number of these motivated environmentalists to repeat the US experience, join the Green Party, outvote the tiny number of malevolent green's that rule, and end Green Party election participation.

      Those same malevolent Green Party members under the leadership of Lizzie May are now working hard to reelect Brimstone the Harp and his local chorus leader Gary "Tar Sands" Lunn.

      It's not too late to repent!!

      Green Party personage Judy Emery after succeeding in electing the notorious Kash Heed to the BC legislature obviously now regrets her role and refused to run against Ujjal Dosangh in the same riding in the current contest saying that she couldn't bear the idea of running as a candidate and spoiling his chances.
      seth