Poll after poll shows the climate crisis is a top-of-mind issue as we head into the federal election. Thank goodness.
But the main contest appears to be between the out-and-out climate-denying Conservatives and the Liberals, who talk earnestly about climate, but their actions speak differently. The Liberals have failed to increase Canada’s emission reduction targets from Stephen Harper’s low targets. They bought the Trans-Mountain pipeline to increase emissions of carbon-intensive (dirty) bitumen.
The tar sands process produces more greenhouse gases than the entire American military machine. Tar sands oil is a carbon bomb.
The NDP also talks about climate change, but does not specifically call for winding down Canada’s carbon bombs, the tar sands, pipelines, or BC’s carbon bomb, LNG.
The Green Party has no chance of forming government, and the NDP’s polling is falling badly.
However, the two parties together are polling around 25 to 30 per cent, close to the same range as both the Liberals and Conservatives. But when they campaign against each other – and split the vote of climate-aware Canadians – neither of them is going to do well.
This is true in the southern B.C. ridings of South Okanagan-West Kootenay and Kootenay-Columbia, where NDP MPs Richard Cannings and Wayne Stetski face strong Conservative threats.
If the NDP and Greens across Canada could stop stop fielding candidates against each other, things would look quite different. In many ridings, a combined Green-NDP vote could win, especially if there is a massive upswing in the young climate vote, a looming possibility.
The climate emergency must mean extraordinary measures must be taken. That includes stepping out of politics-as-usual. Real climate leading politicians will seize any route to create a crisis-fighting government out of our coming election.