To the editor,
After four years of Trump’s climate denial, the world can breathe a long sigh of relief. U.S. President Biden is signalling a new era of American climate leadership. Within his first six hours in office, he moved to return the United States to the Paris climate accord, suspend all new oil and gas drilling permits on federal land, and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.
There is no doubt that Biden’s climate leadership is a direct product of the pressures he’s faced from Indigenous land defenders and a growing people-powered movement demanding climate action.
Instead of celebrating this new era of climate leadership from the United States government, Trudeau is choosing to mourn the Keystone XL pipeline. How about instead of wasting his tears on the fossil fuel industry, he actually delivered on his 2019 election promise to Canadian workers. Trudeau promised a Just Transition Act that would ensure “workers have access to the training and support they need to succeed in the new clean economy.” The cancellation of Keystone XL would be a good moment to deliver on that promise.
Janice Hyatt, Gabriola Island
To the editor,
It seems there are three kinds of politicians in the world right now.
The first is a Jason Kenney or Donald Trump type. They openly ignore the hard science of climate change and position themselves as advocates for the fossil fuel industry.
The second, like Justin Trudeau, see the science, accept it, but decide that physics is somehow subject to the same kind of negotiation and horse trading as politics.
The third, which Joe Biden is trying to be, accepts science and acts in accordance with what it says. Last month’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline was the kind of action climate scientists and social movements have long been calling for.
Canada needs more of this kind of politician, one who understands that the fossil fuel era is ending and acts accordingly. Trudeau could be this kind of politician. But he would need to move past simply sounding like a climate leader and start acting like one. That means, he would need to stop pushing pipelines and start moving forward with things like the Just Transition Act he promised in 2019.
This would have to be a transition that does not leave the oil and gas workers behind, but ensures that they are able to transition to good jobs in renewable energy or other forms of green technology.
Don Alexander, Nanaimo
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