Don’t leap to conclusions or let the manifesto part scare you. The leap idea, is a sensible and exciting concept. Leapers say that incremental environmental steps are no longer sufficient interventions and that taking the “leap” toward non- carbon producing energy is the only way to save the planet.
Leaping proposals include:
- Shifting swiftly away from fossil fuels so that Canada gets 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable resources within 20 years and is completely off fossil fuels by 2050.
- No new infrastructure projects aimed at increasing extraction of non-renewable resources, including pipelines.
- “Energy democracy,” in which energy sources are controlled by communities not private companies.
- An end to trade deals “that interfere with our attempts to rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects.”
- Expand low-carbon sectors of the economy, such as caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public-interest media.
- Declaring that “austerity – which has systematically attacked low-carbon sectors like education and health care while starving public transit and forcing energy privatizations – is a form of thinking that has become a threat to life on earth.”
- Paying for it all by ending fossil fuel subsidies, financial transaction taxes, increasing resource royalties, raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, introducing a progressive carbon tax, and by cutting military spending.
Given the climate change catastrophes we’re witnessing and the environmental imperative most of us feel, the “leap” to be off carbon producing power within 20 years seems an almost conservative goal. One can tell “leaping” is an idea whose time is fast approaching by the fact that one feels like saying,”do we have that long to wait”?
Let’s not dismiss the idea of “leaping” toward an environmental solution just because we don’t like the connotation of the word “manifesto” or because it is written by lefties who delight in using incendiary, anti- corporate language, just to upset us.
The oil industry will scream bloody murder – they’re the most powerful lobby there is – but they know the time left for them to jack up gas prices before long weekends is growing short.
Early in U.S. President Obama’s mandate, the automobile industry supported his proposal that all cars must achieve a minimum 35 MPG within five years, because they preferred its predictability – they knew it was coming and planned for it .
Similarly, if the oil industry knew up front that 2050 was the drop dead date for fossil fuels, their transition to other endeavours would be equally as predictable and more palatable.
The technology is there. Denmark is approaching country wide zero carbon electricity and other countries are getting close surprisingly painlessly.
Considering Denmark’s success and the commonplace floods and droughts and climate anomalies we see every day, the Leap Manifesto is becoming less and less scary.