Andrew Weaver: I joined the Green Party because I am a scientist

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      It was a bit rich for the NDP Environment Critic Megan Leslie to claim that the NDP is greener than the Green Party -- especially as her springboard for this claim was a so-called climate motion brought forward by the NDP that forgot to include a call for reduced greenhouse gases.

      In fact, the NDP motion was so badly worded and misconceived that Elizabeth May, leader of the federal greens and Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands, could not vote for it. I couldn't have voted for it either. I guess, despite being a climate scientist whose work is recognized around the world, according to Megan Leslie, that means I am not concerned about climate action.

      The reason I joined the Green Party of BC was not because I was yearning for power, or willing to parse the truth and join in the hyper-partisan spin of the major parties. I joined the Green Party because it is the only party to consistently support climate action -- carbon pricing, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, aggressive efforts in energy efficiency and demand-side management and the steady expansion of renewable and green energy. These steps would improve our economic performance, create tens of thousands of new jobs across Canada, while preserving a sustainable world for our children.

      The only time a major party was willing to call for a tax shift, to reduce income taxes and increase pollution taxes, was in 2008 under Stephane Dion's Liberal leadership. And what party was first out the gate to slam him? The federal New Democrats. Then, when the BC Liberals announced a provincial carbon tax, one now widely supported across British Columbia, the BC NDP launched their "Axe the Tax" campaign. Now, in the 2013 provincial election, we have the NDP taking a better position, by broadening the scope of the carbon tax, with, ironically, the provincial Liberals calling for a freeze.

      What Canadian politics needs is a party that is more interested in respectful debate and dialogue, in pressing for climate action as a daily commitment, than parties that swing with the winds of political expediency.

      I never imagined I would be a candidate for any party. As a scientist, I am way outside my comfort zone. But when I look at my children and imagine what their future will be if we continue with politics as usual, I realized I could no longer sit on the sidelines.

      The decisions being made in Victoria and Ottawa are too important to be left to the politicians. Here in British Columbia, the two major parties are willing to bet our province's future on fracking and natural gas exports. Green leader Jane Sterk was able to obtain a confession from Premier Clark in the debates that the energy from the Site C dam is intended for that LNG production. Meanwhile, renewable energy opportunities for BC are being ignored and critical infrastructure improvements, for efficient mass transit, are ignored.

      Greens understand we will not be forming government any time soon. But we equally believe it is critical to have representatives in our legislatures who will support other parties when they have a good idea, criticize those who twist the truth, condemn those who block action, and work to promote cooperative, positive decisions to reduce greenhouse gases. Let's stop pointing fingers and work together to get the action we need.

      Andrew Weaver is a Lansdowne professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Victoria and is the B.C. Green candidate for Oak Bay-Gordon Head.



      gilbert marks

      May 9, 2013 at 1:59pm

      Actually Andrew your presence in this election is to maintain your parties position as the Fascist farm team with real science showing that only 13% of green voters has the BCLiberal party as their second choice.

      As you are well aware and your colleague James Hansen has pointed out, none of your party's Green energy/Green jobs strategy is even remotely doable by science and engineering standards.

      It has been and is an abject failure in Ontario and the prospects here are much worse.

      Your party's embrace of the BC Liberals IPP or wreck of the river strategy has been rejected by the environmental community, and shows your party hasn't the slightest understanding of the basic principles of economics.

      Unfortunately it has been impossible to get you to participate in forums like this to defend your point of view.


      May 9, 2013 at 4:37pm

      Here is a link to Andrew Weaver supporting Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals for their Environmental Policies.

      This is RoboCall so not some off hand out of context remark, it is a clear endorsement. Oak Bay and Gordon Head voters should be informed.

      Lee Leeman

      May 10, 2013 at 12:27am

      So you want respectful dialogue do you?

      Why not start with your own field of expertise.. climate science. It is so polluted with activist agendas and zealotry that a respectful and scientific dialogue cannot be found.


      May 10, 2013 at 10:57am

      Lets all ride the green wave ,but without money you cant afford a surf board.
      Putting billions of dollars into wind mills all over the countryside and solar panels on every plot of land is still not going to supply Vancouver let alone the rest of BC ,and the tourist industry would be gone ,as no one would like the view .We need fossil fuels whether the greens like it or not.Chicken little needs to get stuffed


      May 10, 2013 at 9:20pm

      I am a scientist ( actually in your case a mathematician, not a climatologist) and therefore what I say is beyond reproach. If thou shall question me, thou are a"denier". Give me a fucking break. The world is full of PHD gas bags flogging their thesis topics for tenure and money. Could we please see some sensible debate on the issue from qualified experts. My dentist is a scientist but she is not qualified to peak about the planet's climate.


      May 14, 2013 at 6:31am

      The only thing bigger than the earth's climate is Andrew's ego. I'm so sick of politicians (yes, Andrew, if you run for office you are a politician) who say, "I didn't want to run, but...blah, blah, blah. Who are you kidding? You run because you covet the job, not for some 'higher good'.

      Weaver's support of Campbell's IPP run of the rivers, which a both economic and environmental disasters, shows his true colors. A fat-cat academic 1%er who doesn't care about the environ, and sure the hell doesn't care about social justice.

      What a a**hole!