Welcome to the newsletter of the Vancouver Ecosocialist Group. We invite you to join in our activities.

Dec. 12

SFU Downtown (Harbour Centre) 7:00 pm, Room 1525

'The next organizing meeting of the Vancouver Ecosocialist Group will take place on Dec. 12. If you would like to join: come to our meeting, phone 604-773-8393 or email.

Mayor seeks intervenor status at Kinder Morgan pipeline hearings

Vancouver is looking at seeking intervenor status at National Energy Board hearings on Kinder Morgan's proposed expansion of the TransMountain pipeline. Mayor Gregor Robertson tabled a motion proposing the action today (December 4), following a report from deputy city manager Sadhu Johnston on the potential impacts of increased oil tankers in region...more

Online Newsletter
Vancouver Ecosocialist Group (VESG)
December 8, 2013

top stories‘Hold The Wall’ against the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline Two important events occurred this past week concerning the future of fossil fuel projects in British Columbia. One was the release on Dec 5 of the report by Special Federal Representative Douglas Eyford. He's the lawyer appointed earlier this year by Stephen Harper to find a way for fossil fuel projects in BC to overcome the opposition of First Nations. The other was a new declaration of opposition to the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline by a number of environmental organizations, trade unions, other organizations and several elected politicians. The declaration is in solidarity with First Nations, specifically in support of the Save The Fraser Declaration first issued by First Nations in 2010. More than 130 First Nations in British Columbia and the northern Canadian territory of Yukon have signed onto the Save the Fraser Declaration....more

Energized discussion at Vancouver Ecosocialists' Strategies forum

"Capitalism's gotta go," was the consensus among four panelists and over 50 people attending a public forum on "Strategies to Stop Climate Change" in Vancouver, December 3. The Vancouver Ecosocialist Group hosted the event and supplied one of the panelist, retired union member and paperworker Gene McGuckin. Other panelists were Carleen A. Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Kristjanne Vosper from Rising Tide Vancouver/Coast Salish Territories, and Kevin Washbrook, director of Voters Taking Action on Climate Change...more

EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection/FlickrScientists: Current international warming target is "disasterous"

Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones. Ever since the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, world leaders have agreed on 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) as the maximum acceptable global warming above preindustrial levels to avert the worst impacts of climate change (today we're at about 0.8 degrees C). But a new study, led by climatologist James Hansen of Columbia University, argues that pollution plans aimed at that target would still result in "disastrous consequences," from rampant sea level rise to widespread extinction....more

Energy workers union backs First Nations against Northern Gateway

Andrea Woo, Globe and Mail. Canada’s largest private-sector union has thrown its support behind First Nations in opposing the Northern Gateway pipeline project, vowing to hit picket lines in solidarity if the project goes ahead. Unifor, formed on Labour Day weekend with the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, now has more than 300,000 members across the country...more

Unite leader on the struggle against climate change

By Mike Treen, national director of the Unite union (New Zealand) December 2, 2013 -- Daily Blog -- The continuing pretense that world governments will do anything about climate change was exposed once more at the latest round of climate negotiations held in Poland November 11-22. This was the 19th round of annual negotiations. It is 21 years since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. Emissions are 60-70% higher than they were then. Global warming has proceeded at an accelerating pace. As a great article by economic historian Richard Smith notes: more

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Examining the July 6, 2013 oil train disaster in Lac Megantic, Quebec

This week, the Globe and Mail published an extensive, five-part article series on the oil train disaster in Lac Mégantic. Here is the list of articles:
Part 1: Last moments of Musi-Café
Part 2: How a flawed pipeline on wheels brought disaster
Part 3: The oil was known to be deadly
Now: Why railways can do as they please in Canada
Complete coverage of Lac-Mégantic.

Oil pipelines, Tankers on the West Coast and Food Banks – A  Viewpoint

Ann Grant, VESG. What are our priorities and where do we put our resources? This week is the big annual drive by the food banks in BC to raise money for their operations.  These food banks were supposed to be an “emergency” response to food needs 31 years ago.  After all these years of a “temporary” measure they are still going strong!...more

Hold the Wall: Pledge to stand together

The federal government will soon make a decision on approving the Enbridge Northern Gateway tar sands pipelines and tankers project. The Yinka Dene Alliance of First Nations is committed to using all lawful means to stop this devastating project from ever being built through our territories, and has joined with other First Nations to create a powerful and unbroken wall of opposition. We are asking you to stand with us to Hold the Wall....more

Saying no to trade union support for coal exports

The Vancouver Observer published an article by Carrie Saxifrage in its ‘Earth Matters’ blog responding to the four union leaders in British Columbia who published an open letter in the Vancouver Sun supporting unlimited train shipments of U.S.-mined thermal coal through the Port of Vancouver. Their call includes support for the hotly-contested, proposed Fraser Surrey Docks coal terminal. This was followed by a critical article by activists Paula Williams and Kevin Washbrook.

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David Suzuki: "Leave natural gas and fossil fuels in the ground"

A message was delivered this week by scientist and broadcaster David Suzuki on CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition. Suzuki was interviewed on the subject of plans for a liquefied natural gas industry in British Columbia. He delivered a stern message to the BC government and the fossil fuel industry concerning the fossil fuel reserves in the province: “Leave it in the ground!” Suzuki says the world must make a rapid shift away from the burning of fossil fuels. Failure to do so will have enormously harmful effects on the environmental and human society....

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