Videos from the indigenous people’s perspective

See what is happening to the Canadian indigenous people from their perspective.

Likht’samisyu Chief Dsta’hyl Confronts Coastal GasLink (Sep 30, 2019)

On Thursday September 26, Chief Dsta’hyl of the Likht’samisyu Clan was blocked by Coastal Gaslink’s private security as he attempted to enter a community meeting at the Witset First Nation band office.

When Dsta’hyl gained entry to the meeting, he told David Pfeiffer, the president of CGL, that no pipelines will be allowed to cross sovereign Likht’samisyu territory – only the Likht’samisyu clan and the Likht’samisyu hereditary chiefs can make decisions affecting Likht’samisyu territory.

The Likht’samisyu stand in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en and the Gidumt’en people, and continue to reoccupy and protect their traditional territories.


Rita David interviewed at Wet’suwet’en Access Point (Jun 8, 2019)

Interview with Rita David, a Gidumt’en Clan Elder, taken as RCMP occupied Gidumt’en territory with a police detachment.


Brian Grandbois – Papa G’s Truth Bomb (Feb 19, 2019)

The Wolverine and Brian Grandbois (Feb 18, 2019)

Elder Warriors Wolverine and Brian Grandbois talk about what it means to them to be a warrior.

From an interview by Crystal Greene, Michael Toledano, Shannon Hecker, at Unist’ot’en Camp in 2014.


Brian Grandbois Speaks at Unist’ot’en Action Camp (Feb 18,2019)

Brian Grandbois, Dene from Cold Lake, talks about the multiple front lines in Dene territory and cumulative impacts from industry.


Gidumt’en Checkpoint Dismantled by CGL (Jan 30, 2019)

RCMP stood by as CGL destroyed buildings set up by the Gidumt’en Clan.

Press release from Gidumt’en: https://www.facebook.com/wetsuwetenst…


See more videos from Michael T showing how we are still abusing our indigenous partners …

CKMS Community Connections for 13 January 2020 with Caterina Lindman

This CKMS Community Connections episode is a production of Radio Waterloo

view starts at 3:55. Watch at YouTube…

Transcript

Transcribed by Alan edited by Cari

[Music: The Power of Rock ‘N’ Roll by the Respectables]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCcty_OEC0k

BOB:
I have in the studio Caterina Lindman. Good morning.

CATERINA:
Good morning.

BOB:
I asked you to come in because everywhere that I go I see you. You’ve been at the various climate rallies that we’ve had. The strikes for school…

CATERINA:
Yes, the Fridays For Future strikes.

BOB:
Yes, that’s what I was thinking of. Thank you. I’ve seen you at Divest Waterloo, I’ve seen you at various consultations at City Hall. What brings you to doing all this?

CATERINA:
Well I’m really concerned about climate change. I think it is one of the big issues. If you take a look at the big picture it appears that the world has really failed to act in many ways. We’ve been talking about this problem for three decades now and … well … we are seeing some signs of hope. But it doesn’t really seem to be coming fast enough and we are now at the point where we really need to galvanize action and come together. So it’s a great opportunity for us to change the way we do things.

A lot of people would say some of the ways we do things aren’t that great … so there is an opportunity to weave more justice, less income inequality into solutions for climate change.

BOB:
What sort of things need to change?

CATERINA:
Well it might be a cliché to say … everything. But in a way we do. Our economy is based on fossil fuels so we need to think about that long and hard. How do we change that so that we still meet our needs without trashing the planet at the same time. One of the areas that I’m quite interested in is the potential for improving our health by whole food plant-based lifestyles. I don’t want to call it a diet … it’s not like something you do for a few months and then stop.

BOB:
How does that relate to the other issue of Climate Change?

CATERINA:
So it’s really big because our animal-based agriculture is one of the ways that we feed ourselves and yet it’s very wasteful. It uses up a lot of land.

So the Oxford food study for example found that animal agriculture uses up 83% of the land but only provides 18% of our calories. So if we were all to go plant-based we could actually free up 79% of our agricultural land and pasture land. If that reverted back to nature, we wouldn’t have a biodiversity crisis. We could store a lot more carbon by growing trees on that land, or whatever the natural vegetation would support.

BOB:
And there would be enough so that there wouldn’t be food shortages in the rest of the world.

CATERINA:
Exactly. So we aren’t feeding ourselves in an efficient way when we use industrialized animal agriculture. There’s a lot of pollution problems with it too. We don’t handle the manure waste very well.

BOB:
Specifically for climate it’s a fossil fuel-based system of agriculture, isn’t it?

CATERINA:
Yes because the chemical fertilizers come from fossil fuels.

So we also have to go to organic agriculture … and there’s a movement to do agro-ecology so … a way that stores carbon in the soil. Maybe towards more permanent crops for example or using practices that avoid chemical fertilizers or minimize their use. Those are just obvious things we should be doing.

BOB:
And then I got my lettuce from California my oranges from Spain my cucumbers from China…

CATERINA:
Yes so there’s the global emissions associated with a non-local food system. So ideally we’d have a local food system, an organic food system and a plant-based food system. And we can take steps towards that and the more we do that the better.

BOB:
If we each take individual steps then that would pretty much solve the problem wouldn’t it?

CATERINA:
Yes and no. I mean people don’t take individual steps unless there is a culture around that is moving with them. So there is that tension between … is it all on the individual or is it on our political system? Is it a combination of both? We have to, I think, push the levers on all those.

BOB:
I would say it’s on the political system. A friend of mine, Vince Fiorito, who was a candidate in Burlington said that the climate emergency, the climate crisis, is a political problem. If you’re not part of the political solution you’re part of the climate problem.

CATERINA:
Interesting, yeah. I think we can’t ignore the politics because government does a lot to set up the system the way it is. So for example right now Canada subsidizes fossil fuels. So that is kind of saying okay this is important to us and we want to spend government money on it. But why don’t we stop subsidizing fossil fuels? Because we know that, depending on the estimate, about 80% of those fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground if we’re going to meet that 2 degrees Celsius mark and we want to be aiming for 1.5 degrees so that we don’t send those small island states to their death. Because the death of the small island states …

BOB:
And yet economic forecasts indicate that fossil fuel production continues to increase … it’s a rosy future for investing in that industry.

CATERINA:
Right. And you don’t know how much of that is wishful thinking on the part of oil companies who have had a successful profitable model and just want to keep going on that … and you know … will it really happen?

So they’re there is push back. For example, native communities are on the front lines fighting those pipelines. For example, the Wet’suwet’en right now, or recently, have a blockade in British Columbia to stop the gas link pipeline on their unceded territory.

BOB:
And that’s not been recognized because the Federal government is stepping in there?

CATERINA:
Yes. So again there’s a political dimension to it.

BOB:
You said we have to change the culture and I think that maybe what Rise For Climate, and Rise For Climate Waterloo Region, are doing making it acceptable to talk about the climate crisis … they’re making it acceptable to take action in that regard?

CATERINA:
Yes. That’s our aim. So we have had events where we invite the public in. For example, we’ve done mural painting in Waterloo square. Let’s get together paint this big mural … we’ve done that. We’ve worked with groups that are hosting climate parties. Where a group of people come together … maybe 8 to 20 people come together and talk about climate change. And that’s really important because we don’t want this culture of silence around climate change.

We want to engage with the issue. Yes it’s big. Yes it’s daunting. But we need to talk about it.

BOB:
Talking won’t do it though, we need to take action as well and taking individual action is tough because I still have a gasoline-powered car … can’t for the life of me afford an electric vehicle at this point. Transit isn’t adequate where I live. I’m up in the rural area of Elmira so the bus service is not full day. So if I don’t get home by 7 o’clock I don’t get home at all if I’m taking the bus.

So it makes it difficult for people to take action and a lot of the action that they take probably isn’t very effective in making up a significant and profound change.

For example, even if I do get an electric vehicle that doesn’t stop the government from providing gas subsidies to the oil companies.

CATERINA:
Yes. All these things are true. So there’s that tension between taking an individual action and saying well we need a lot more of it.

So you could say … well … society is simply individuals multiplied. We do need the government’s doing the right thing and showing leadership and making it easier for people to make those choices.

Almost to make it the default choice. So right now the default choice is: buy a gasoline-powered car.

BOB:
That’s why I talk about buying a car … the exception should be buying the gasoline-powered car and the normalcy should be buying the electric vehicle.

CATERINA:
Correct. And Tesla is making big strides with their electric cars and they’re also, at the same time, building the super charging infrastructure. Whereas, I think the big three auto makers are sort of dabbling a little bit in electrics and not really thinking about the super charging.

BOB:
North American automobile manufactures are way behind the curve. There are Toyotas, there are Kias there are Hyundais that do have electric vehicles.

But then again the [Ford] government has just cancelled the green energy subsidy for electric vehicles. The provincial government; the federal government still has a rebate of some kind. So it just makes it that much more difficult for people to make that happen.

CATERINA:
Right. So the government needs to be more focused on how can we make it easier for people to reduce their emissions.

BOB:
We’ve just come out of an election and all the promises were made. Are we seeing any action?

CATERINA:
A little bit. I think they’re there are some. I am encouraged by sort of the federation of Canadian municipalities getting money from the federal government to do some innovative pilot projects. And that’s good.

The one pilot project I know of, for example, is started by the KW Business Improvement Association in downtown Kitchener and they are collecting … the working centre is is hiring workers to collect green bin waste, or what otherwise would be green bin waste, from businesses. Because the green bin program doesn’t cover apartment s or businesses it’s just for residential use. And yet a lot of food waste comes from people living in apartments and also businesses. So this program then takes that organic waste brings it to Bio-En (Power), which is a firm in Elmira, that makes these anaerobic digesters. So then the organic waste is turned into both energy and organic fertilizer that’s really good for growing food.

BOB:
Is there a lot demand for the fertilizer product?

CATERINA:
Yes.

BOB:
There is? My understanding is that with anaerobic digestion a lot of the energy is pulled out of the organic material to form the methane gas which is then would be run through a generator to produce electricity. Creating carbon dioxide emissions. And a lot of the nutritive value of the remnants are already consumed.

CATERINA:
Yeah. That’s not what I got from reading their website. They showed a picture of the fields and the half of it that was sprayed with the fertilizer … looked great.

BOB:
They are running a business themselves. And yes, I admit that for an anaerobic digester system like that … it is carbon neutral. Any emissions that it creates comes from the green stock that have absorbed the emissions fairly recently would corn stalks that have been grown and other materials.

So that’s absolutely carbon neutral. But they are still shipping it there with diesel trucks.

CATERINA:
True. So that is all part of the …

BOB:
We did a calculation a few years ago where they have a catchment area that pretty well covers all of North America. So they could be shipping material from Texas, in a diesel truck, all the way up to Elmira where it generates some kilowatts of energy. We calculated that the energy used up by the trucks exceeds the amount of energy produced … after a certain radius. So it would be more effective to burn the diesel fuel at the place where they are collecting the waste. That would be a more effective use of it that shipping it all the way up here.

CATERINA:
So you have to be careful to make sure it is truly economical or not.

BOB:
And that takes a lot of knowledge. I happen to know about this because I live in Elmira and I was involved in the process of appealing the decision to locate the plant in the core of residential Elmira. A group of us tried to have it moved … were unsuccessful … so I’m quite familiar with the operation there. And that took a lot of studying. A few months reading their material, reading other material, to find out that it might not be as rosy as they paint it on their web site. And is the average person expected to do that? If we are talking to people at climate rallies and encouraging them to be green … [then] they see a web site that says “we’re a green website” or “we’re a green organization” and “buy our product because it is good for the environment” … are we expecting them to do that much research to find out if that is really true or not? Or if it is merely green-washing?

CATERINA:
Probably not, right, because we don’t all have the time. Either with climate change.

Some people are saying I want to do something … what do I do? I think good actions are to move towards a plant based diet. I do think that is effective because of the resource use of the industrialized animal agriculture.

And if you can, drive less. Consolidate your trips. Do some more biking. Also if you can buy an electric car the next time you buy one.

But the economics have to work for it.

BOB:
I’ve read there are only four things that individuals can effectively do to reduce their carbon footprints. At the very top of the list is: drive less, or drive with an electric vehicle. The second one is fly less. And yet I still see some of my green friends jetting across the globe for vacation. It doesn’t seem to have penetrated the consciousness of people … the culture isn’t there.

CATERINA:
Yes. I know that after I read the book Heat[: How to stop the planet from burning] by George Monbiot … he talked about flying and how hopeless it is. It is very intense. I do understand, sometimes people have family … . So I kind of … did cut back on my flying. But we did a family vacation to Italy five years ago. So less often for sure. But I can see how sometimes with family its…

BOB:
There has to be a threshold … a significant number of people that stop flying. Because a plane will still fly with one person less on board. It will have to be at least a plane full of people that have to decide that they don’t want to go flying any more before we actually reduce aircraft emissions.

CATERINA:
Interesting … yeah.

BOB:
The third thing people can do at an individual level, a slightly more contentious issue, which is consume a plant based diet … that’s animal agriculture. The transportation of food can be vastly reduced by buying local. I can buy a potato from Elmira just as easily as I can buy a potato from China yet the carbon footprint is much less for one potato than the other. If I buy local that reduces the footprint as well. The most controversial thing that I heard is have fewer children. Now nobody is recommending eugenics here but as far as planning families goes don’t plan on having ten kids. And that is really really controversial. People don’t want to be told how to organize their families.

CATERINA:
I know that some people have said that it doesn’t have to be dictated from on high, we don’t need limits and so on. There does seem to be a phenomenon that as countries develop and empower women that the birth rate tends to go down naturally. So in Canada we have a birth rate that is less than replacement. So if we didn’t have immigration our population would actually be decreasing.

BOB:
I guess there is a whole topic there. We have climate based immigration and refugees. People escaping the low lying islands because they can’t live there. Miami is regularly flooded now just from high tide. So people can no longer live in those places and need to move somewhere else.
Yet the borders that we set up prevent that from happening.

CATERINA:
That’s what I was speaking about with that allusion to justice. Are we going to think of this as “we are all in this together on planet Earth” or are we going to say “we are Canada and we are going to protect ourselves.”

What about the fact that we are settlers here? And how do we treat indigenous people?

BOB:
You’ll have to delve into that a little deeper I think. The Wet’suwet’en crisis or blockades that are happening in British Columbia. Let’s have a listen to some music now. I’ve got something by Brandon Solomon, who’s an indigenous folk singer. Here’s a song he’s written called Reservation Life.
[Music: Reservation Life by Brandon Solomon]

(https://nikamowin.com/en/artist/brandon-solomon)

BOB:
You have some information about the blockade of the Wet’suwet’en.

CATERINA:
Yes. Tonight there is a pot-luck at St. Paul’s College and there will be a showing of a film and there will be a discussion about the situation, the blockade in Wet’suwet’en. It’s unceded territory and the hereditary chiefs are trying to stop the gas-link pipeline which would transports fuels to the liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal that is being built in British Columbia.

BOB:
You said hereditary chiefs … how is that different from other kinds of chiefs?

CATERINA:
Well there is also an elected band council. The elected band council is in favour of the pipeline by-and-large. So there is this debate about who has the actual authority for the Wet’suwet’en territory.

BOB:
You said it is unceded territory. Has that been recognized by the government.

CATERINA:
Probably not. I think they are looking at the elected band chiefs as being in charge of the territory.

BOB:
So all this talk about reconciliation is just talk? There’s no thought of recognizing First Nations as a separate nation? There is no recognition of the hereditary chiefs which is the bands own selected form of governance.

CATERINA:
Yeah, I would say that is accurate.

BOB:
That’s unfortunate because it’s just colonialism writ large.

CATERINA:
Yeah. And we are so use to colonialism that sometimes it is hard to see it when we are living right in it.

BOB:
So I think that having this event take place is going to make that recognition for people … locally at any rate.

CATERINA:
Yes.

BOB:
You don’t have a lot of indigenous presence here … at least not visibly and overtly. There are a lot of indigenous people living here in Kitchener and Waterloo. But it doesn’t get a lot of attention … it doesn’t get …

I see people regularly at the rallies because they have been invited out as the keepers of the land the protectors of of the water. And so if we followed native practices we wouldn’t be in the situation that we’re in.

CATERINA:
That’s right. Yes. And this Friday … so we are having another Fridays For Future climate strike. But this one is in support of the Wet’suwet’en cause and it will be at 12 Noon Friday January 17th, and it will be on King St. in front of TheMuseum.

BOB:
At the corner of King and Queen St.? In Kitchener not in Waterloo this time where the other ones have been.

CATERINA:
Yes. I’m looking forward to that because I think it is really important to support the Wet’suwet’en people. As well the museum is putting on a new exhibit called ALARM about the Climate Crisis. It opens for a sneak peak on Saturday Jan 18th. The day after the rally.

On the following Thursday (Jan 23rd) people that are 55 and over can get in free [at TheMuseum] and there is an event from 1:30 to 3 o’clock with Angela Carter. Angela Carter teaches at the University of Waterloo in the Political Science department and she studies climate change in the Canadian context: what is the supply and demand of fossil fuels. She will speak on “Hope amidst the Climate Crisis: Our Role in Waterloo Region” (https://themuseum.ca/events/). I think that is really important for people in the Waterloo Region to learn about what our role can be in this Climate Crisis.

BOB:
This exhibit goes for a while.

CATERINA:
Yes. It starts in January and will go for a while [a few months].

BOB:
You can look it up. We will stick it on the website as well; it will all be in the show notes:
https://radiowaterloo.ca/ckms-community-connections-for-13-january-2020-with-caterina-lindman/

You’re not just interested in Climate Change you have other interests as well.

CATERINA:
Yeah. I do … I’m an actuary and helped found an organization called Actuaries for Sustainable Health Care.

BOB:
What do actuaries do?

CATERINA:
Well we study risk and we work in insurance companies, there are some in academia and so on … and risk managers looking at investments. And we also design pay systems or insurance schemes.

So the Actuaries for Sustainable Health Care is asking actuaries to first of all learn about whole food plant based nutrition. We’re seeing it as a key to a sustainable health care system. Because, for example, if you have a heart attack and you put in a stent it’s kind of like putting a band-aid on; its not getting at the root cause of heart disease. The body can heal itself with the proper nutrition. So it is possible to reverse heart disease which is our number one killer. All sorts of chronic illnesses that take up 80% of our health care costs are preventable and reversible with whole food plant based nutrition.

BOB:
So now we are looking at a cultural change again?

CATERINA:
Yes. I came across it because because I thought — that this was necessary to fight Climate Change — to adopt a plant based diet and I think that as a bonus it makes people healthier.

So some may ask what’s in it for me if I switch my diet? They might think of it as giving up meat
… but after a while you don’t miss meat. It’s a change it’s not really … it’s something new … it involves that whole cultural “do I want to change”, “how do I change”, “but the world around me isn’t changing … do I stick out?”

We want to get to the point that it is normal to be plant based.

BOB:
Things aren’t easy if you want to make these changes. Look at your average fast food restaurant. I don’t think there are any vegan fast food restaurants. There are some sit down dining spots: the Pirates Cafe downtown here, Fresh Ground, Queen St Commons. Those are the ones I know about.

CATERINA:
Copper Tree uptown waterloo.

BOB:
Yes. Copper Tree is another vegan eating place. But you have to go looking for those places. You can’t just walk a downtown street …

CATERINA:
Right. But some fast food chains are coming up with plant based meat alternatives. So if you go to A&W you could get the Impossible Burger.

BOB:
And that is very very prominent in their advertising. Is that really reducing the carbon footprint or is the production that goes into those plant-based burgers as intense as the meat-based burgers.

CATERINA:
They are more environmentally friendly … I wouldn’t say they are actually healthier. So if you want healthier then you’ll have to go to whole food plant based. So go to Fresh Ground, which is a great place. I volunteer there once a week. It’s helped me learn more about cooking and how to cook whole food plant based at home. I also like supporting that and its a community experiment … what do you feel like if you eat this way? It’s a place for people to try the food and enjoy it. They work hard to make it taste delicious.

BOB:
Plant based foods taste every bit as good as other foods. I found that I’ve reduced meat in my diet and largely supplanted that with carbs. I don’t think it has done me any health benefits but …

CATERINA:
The thing is with carbs is that it is a myth that carbs are bad. It’s a half truth perhaps because … you could say that refined carbs are bad. But if they are not refined, if they are whole in their natural form and you get the fibre from them they are good.

So for example a rice noodle … they’ve taken all the fibre out and a lot of the nutrition. But if you ate brown rice or the whole grain that’s good for you.

BOB:
So if I go to a local grocery store I don’t really see a vegan foods section. There are places like Full Circles food that is all plant based. I don’t think there are any animal agriculture products there.

CATERINA:
Oh, I think there are. I think they have some organic meat.

BOB:
It is still … having to know about these places … they are not just in walking distance from where people live. In the suburbs you go to the local grocery store …

CATERINA:
Yeah, we really have to spend more time in the produce aisle.

BOB: Shall we listen to some more music? This is The Soviet Influence and called Secret Spaces.
[Music: Secret Spaces by The Soviet Influence]

https://open.spotify.com/artist/2yHTtSTWwSSxS3nvwGxaCe

BOB:
(quoting song lyrics) Changing the world from the inside. That’s exactly what we are trying to do. Peter Snow from the Soviet Influence, you are coming in to the studio on February 24th. A local to Waterloo Region group, they’ll be coming in to the studio just before their release party at the end of February.

We are changing the world from the inside with Caterina Lindman.
You are involved in Actuaries for Sustainable Health Care and started out with Rise For Climate. Is that a single group or an umbrella group of organizations?

CATERINA:
The Rise For Climate, Waterloo Region is part of an umbrella group that helps organize the climate strikes and we also do our own events. Some of our projects are art projects and we also are working on a solar furnace project where people can learn about what a solar furnace is and even go to a workshop and build one.

BOB:
And what is a solar furnace?

CATERINA:
A solar furnace is a 4×8 foot panel that collects the suns rays in the winter. It’s a box that traps the heat from the sun. Then two pipes circulate the heat through holes cut into your wall with a little fan that brings the warm air in and blows the cold air out. And it can offset about 5% of your natural gas use in your house with one panel.

BOB:
It’s on the side of the house and not the roof?

CATERINA:
Correct. You want it vertical because in the summer the sun is high and in the winter the sun is low. So when it is low in the winter is when you want it to shine in and doing it vertically is the best way.

BOB:
Then it wouldn’t get covered in snow that way either. A good Canadian climate solution.

CATERINA:
Yes.

BOB:
And other climate groups: Citizens Climate Lobby?

CATERINA:
Citizens Climate Lobby. I’ve been involved in that group since 2013. I joined it because I was finding that I’ve done what I can to reduce my carbon footprint but we really need society to change and we need effective climate legislation. So the two things that Citizens Climate Lobby focuses on are: Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, and to put a rising price on CO2 emissions and then take that money that is collected and give it back to citizens equally or equitably. The reason we do that is that we have noticed that the people that are richer tend to emit the most carbon; poor people emit less. So it is a way to fight income inequality a little bit, protect the poor people and by returning all the money to citizens we are hoping that is more palatable to people who, which in the States where this organization started but don’t want government to grow — so it’s not a tax-and-spend sort of thing.

BOB:
It’s sort of what the federal government is doing now though.

CATERINA:
Yes. Because of the federal back stop. In Ontario the Ontario government had cap-and-trade which qualified for the carbon price but then it was cancelled so they no longer had a price on carbon. So the federal government imposed it and is returning the money to the citizens through their taxes.

BOB:
At a useful level. Are the carbon prices …

CATERINA:
No their not high enough. One of the criticisms that the Conservatives have about the carbon tax is that it is not high enough to do something. And they are absolutely right …

BOB:
OK, I didn’t realize that was one of their complaints. I just thought that they where worried about the out-of-pocket that your average citizen has to endure…

CATERINA:
That argument can be shot down by the fact that it is fully rebated.

BOB:
And most people come out ahead. So there is a bit of competition between you and your neighbour. If your neighbour ends up driving his large SUV then he is essentially subsidizing your rebate.

CATERINA:
Yes. That is right. So the idea is make that price meaningful and …

BOB:
The current level is $35/tonne of CO2.

CATERINA:
It’s going up to $50 in 2022 and its going by $10. So I think its $40 in 2021 and $30 in 2020.

BOB:
I’ve heard that. It needed to start at $50/tonne and go up by $50/tonne a year to be a truly … a disincentive to …

CATERINA:
Yeah. We need it way higher. The Eco-Fiscal commission (https://ecofiscal.ca/) studied it and said at least $150[/tonne] by 2030 and that is to meet our target … which is already too low.
So, I wouldn’t mind a really aggressive price on carbon. And tell people about it … and that way businesses can plan. Like right now we don’t know what is going to happen beyond 2022. The government said we will increase it but we don’t know by how much. We hope that it comes out at an aggressive pace because the scale of the problem is becoming quite severe. We need to act … we need to model the behaviour we want to see around the world.

BOB:
Other ideas to reduce fossil fuel use? You mentioned Divest Waterloo while we were off mic.

CATERINA:
Yes. So Divest Waterloo is pointing out to people several reasons to divest your assets from fossil fuels. There is the moral argument … Bill McKibben’s (http://billmckibben.com/, https://350.org/) famous line “If it’s immoral to trash the planet it is also immoral to profit from trashing the planet”. On the economic side you have two forces that are happening, two trends. One is the capital expenditure for new fossil fuel projects is getting higher and higher … because we have used the “easy to get at” fuel first and what is left is getting more hard, more risky. Then secondly, the cost of the alternatives is continuing to go down. So battery storage is getting better, there is improved technology to get more energy out of renewable energy sources.

BOB:
The big news this weekend is that Scotland has produced enough energy from wind power to power Scotland twice over. They are producing 100% surplus over the last few days or weeks or months. So I can’t see the excuse that wind power isn’t effective any longer.

CATERINA:
We need to focus more on the positive things and frame this as an opportunity to remake our world in a more just way, in a more clean way, in a more sustainable way. I see that even with plant based diets. Isn’t better to avoid these diseases, these chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and so on, … feel more energetic. Those are good things that are perhaps more compelling than … “oh there is going to be a disaster if we don’t change our ways”.

BOB:
I think there is never an end point when it becomes too late. A lot of people are at the state where they say “oh it’s too late … nothing we can do about it. Might as well live to the whole hog and …”

CATERINA:
“… eat drink and be merry”.

BOB:
Exactly, exactly. The problem continues to escalate. Costs are going up. I had to pay my insurance for the upcoming year and it has gone up. They are trying to sell me a new rider for flood insurance, which was never an issue where we lived until about 2 years ago when Elmira’s main streets flooded with a metre of water from Canagagigue Creek (https://apps.grandriver.ca/waterdata/kiwischarts/rf_canagagiguecreek.aspx). This was unprecedented, it had never happened before so the insurance companies are recognizing … well as an actuary you would understand that … but individual people aren’t.

Think of this last election … it was the most climate-focused election
that I remember in my lifetime of elections, and yet we did not overwhelmingly elect a climate conscious government. What’s wrong with people?

CATERINA:
Hmmm. Maybe people are just caught up in day-to-day survival and they might feel overwhelmed by climate change and they feel hopeless and don’t know what to do. Which is incumbent on us to become educated about the things we can do and meet up with like-minded people that want to take this issue seriously and want to act. You get hope and support from one another that YES this is important.

BOB:
Don’t despair … we have solutions.

CATERINA:
Yeah. Not that it’s going to be easy to change because change is difficult …

BOB:
The longer we delay action the more difficult and more expensive that action becomes.

CATERINA:
Yes. Back in 2013 I wish we had a price on carbon, or even before that.

BOB:
Thirty years ago when it was recognized. The tragedy is that it is recognized at all levels including by the fossil fuel companies themselves. Yet if it interferes with their profits they are unlikely to take action on something that is likely to …

CATERINA:
Right. But it doesn’t have to interfere with their profits if they are willing to change their business model and say that they are an energy company not an oil and gas company. Yes that is a shift.

BOB:
That’s a huge shift and I don’t think large multinational corporations are equipped to do that easily. It will be expensive for them to do that. But if they don’t do it, I don’t foresee much future.

CATERINA:
Right. “There’s no business on a dead planet” — the slogan on the signs. The other one was “Systems change, not climate change”. We do need to change the system. So there is that balancing act between individual actions and also demanding a change to our system so that individual actions naturally gravitate to solutions.

BOB:
So coming out to the movie tonight …

CATERINA:
Yes. It’s at St. Paul’s College at 5-7pm there will be a movie screening and a pot-luck and you can learn more about the struggle of the Wet’suwet’en people. Then this coming Friday I’d love to see you at the protest, the Climate Strike in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation. That’s where we begin. We have to say NO to new pipelines. NO to pipeline infrastructure … it is un-economic, it doesn’t make sense for the climate and it doesn’t make sense if we are serious about reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

BOB:
Social media timeline is full of issues and actions. Local activist Louisette Lanteigne (https://twitter.com/lulex?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor) just pointed out that there are plans for a pipeline coming up from Pennsylvania full of fracked gas coming to Hamilton.

So pipelines are still being planned … are still been built …

Does rallying really help?

CATERINA:
I think so … it raises awareness. It sends a signal to the politicians that people care about this issue.

BOB:
The politicians have come out to these rallies and spoken and tried to tell us all is well. I don’t necessarily agree with those politicians.

So do come out to the rally on Friday 12noon Jan 17th at 10 King St West in front of TheMuseum at the corner of King St and Queen St.

St Paul’s College tonight for the movie. That’s on Westmount St. just North of Conrad Grebel .

CATERINA:
On Jan 23rd, Thursday at 1:30, if you are 55 and older you can get in for free, to hear Prof. Angela Carter speak about hope in the Climate Crisis and our response in the Waterloo region.

BOB:
I’ve heard Angela speak before. She’s been at many other rallies and presentations. A very engaging speaker. Very knowledgeable so worthwhile coming out to that.

Let’s play another piece of music. I have something queued up. This sounds like a movie soundtrack; it’s Joseph Bertoni, from his album called The Honeybirds, this is called The Deal. Not entirely Canadian, but produced in Canada, produced in Montreal.

[Music: The Deal by Joseph Martone]
https://www.facebook.com/martonejoe/