Just one day after declaring a ‘climate emergency’, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government in Canada has approved a massive pipeline project. And the decision has provoked major uproar worldwide.
Trans Mountain expansion project
The Trans Mountain expansion project is designed to carry three times more oil from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia. It’s worth C$7.4bn.
The Canadian government argues that the project will allow Canada to reduce dependence on US oil and export to markets via the Pacific Coast. The project, however, has been met with fierce opposition from both First Nations indigenous groups and environmental campaigns.
In August 2018, First Nations groups in Canada won a historic victory in the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal by temporarily quashing the project. They argued that they were not properly consulted about the future impact of the project and that it would “push Canada’s climate change goals out of reach”. The court found that “there was no meaningful two-way dialogue” between First Nations communities and the government, as required by the Canadian constitution.
The court put the project for review, and on 18 June Canada once again gave it the go-ahead. Trudeau claims revenues from the project will fund a “transition to a green economy”.
“I want you to act as if our house is on fire”
Swedish school strike activist Greta Thunberg famously told world leaders:
I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.
Global leaders paid lip service to Thunberg’s concerns, with many recently declaring a ‘climate emergency’ in response to the global climate breakdown.
Unsurprisingly, then, Trudeau’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain expansion project just one day after declaring a ‘climate emergency’ in Canada caused global outrage. Thunberg herself called the move “shameful”:
Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein said it was “perfectly Trudeau”:
Indeed, not long after shedding tears for Canada’s historic mistreatment of First Nations groups, Trudeau sent state forces onto their land to defend a gas pipeline in January 2019.
Today, though, we’re not only talking about genocide, but omnicide: the mass extinction of every living organism. And for this crime, there may soon be no organised life remaining to judge or be judged.
Featured image via William Chen/WikiCommons