The following is a letter by Hamilton 350 member Don McLean published in the Hamilton Spectator on January 12, 2019, in response to the article "Rally in support of BC First Nations Pipeline Protest," that appeared in the January 9 edition of the paper.
How did Canada get into such a position? Our governments send a militarized RCMP to arrest indigenous residents in the wilderness of northern British Columbia. They do this to support construction of a 760 kilometre pipeline running the full width of the province that will wreak environmental havoc on largely pristine lands.
The pipeline is being built to carry natural gas destined for foreign markets. The gas is being obtained by fracking - an industrial process that intentionally pollutes both surface and ground water. The surface waters are first contaminated with chemicals and other materials, and then pumped into the earth where they permanently contaminate ground water. The pumping is hard enough to often trigger earthquakes because the companies want to fracture underground formations to ‘release’ fossil oil and gas so they can extract and sell it.
The outcome of this intentional water pollution is also pollute the air by burning the oil and gas even though the world’s scientists have repeatedly warned this will further destabilize earth's climate and worsen already devastating extreme weather damages.
Why isn’t the RCMP sent to arrest the frackers and the pipeline builders? It is their profit-driven activities which clearly damage the public good, not the brave people trying to stop this madness.
[The following is a post by Hamilton 350 member Ute Schmid Jones that she originally put on Facebook.]
As COP 24 continues to unfold in Poland, more than 40 climate activists gathered in #Hamont in front of the office of Member of Parliament for Hamilton-West-Ancaster-Dundas to reinforce the pressure on our Federal Government to act with #GlobalResponsibility on our national commitment to reduce our carbon emissions.
The rally, was to coincide with Filomena Tassi's scheduled meeting with a local climate advisory committee, in order to put media pressure on the MP. Unfortunately the meeting was cancelled earlier this week and so the activists were not given a public statement on the outcome of that consultation and meeting.
Each rally participant was instead encouraged to fill out a "visitor" information document that described their reason for "visiting the MP's Office". It is hoped that not only will Tassi read each submitted document, but that she will also respond to each in a timely matter. It is after all, the eve of an election year, and these Canadians are making it clear that they want to see their locally elected representatives step up on #climateaction.
Thank you to each community member who came out to stand in the cold today. Thank you to those who spoke at the microphone with passion... you inspire me. Thank you to those who drove by our rally and honked in solidarity.
This series of photos opens with a video introduction by Don McLean, the current chair of Hamilton 350 and concludes with some words from Grant Linney, the current chair of Hamilton Blue Dot. We will continue to demand better from our elected representatives.
In response to the COP 24 meeting of global governments to improve the Paris Climate Accord, Hamilton residents will rally on Friday afternoon outside the offices of MP Filomena Tassi, federal Minister of Seniors.
See below for the poster for our action on December 7!
“Claim the Climate” march of 65,000 in Brussels marks start of COP 24 http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/big-brussels-climate-march-marks-cop24-start/article/538135;
Large AP article also in Hamilton Spectator on Monday on COP 24 https://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-peterborough-examiner/20181203/281672551012449
UK Guardian coverage of COP 24 says world is “on the verge of climate catastrophe” and “has probably staggered beyond a crucial point of no return https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/02/world-verge-climate-catastophe
David Attenborough tells COP 24 that the "collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizons" if no urgent action is taken against global warming. https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/david-attenborough-us-climate-change-warning-1.4930189 Also coverage in the Spectator at https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9064501-un-chief-climate-change-is-most-important-issue-we-face-/
CBC story on opening of COP 24 calls it “the most important UN meeting on global warming since the landmark 2015 Paris deal to shift away from fossil fuels” https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/climate-change-talks-katowice-poland-paris-accord-1.4929385
World at a crossroads says BBC story on COP 24 and notes unprecedented call from former UN presidents https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46398057
On the eve of the COP 24 conference, the European Union is calling for carbon net zero by 2050 for its 28 member states https://www.dw.com/en/eu-aims-to-be-climate-neutral-by-2050/a-46493187
Oxfam says COP 24 decisions are life and death https://reliefweb.int/report/world/cop24-governments-face-life-and-death-decisions-says-oxfam;
United Nations explains the critical significance of COP 24 and what needs to be achieved https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/11/1026851;
Join us at 2:30pm on Friday, December 7 outside the office of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas Liberal MP Filomena Tassi (1636 Main West, Hamilton, Ontario) for a rally to pressure the Liberals to take real, meaningful action on the climate crisis.
The struggle for climate justice seems like nothing but a series of crucial moments these days...but nonetheless, early December is a crucial period for putting pressure on the federal government.
* December 3 - 15 is the first international review of the Paris Accord since the release of the grave UN climate reports earlier this year
* December 7 marks Prime Minister Trudeau's meeting with provincial premiers on carbon taxation
* December 7 also marks a scheduled meeting of Filomena Tassi with her climate advisory committee, which will report to the rally on their conversations with her that day
We need serious action on climate NOW!
This event is organized by Hamilton 350. You can be in touch with us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our website at www.hamilton350.org. And you can find the event page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/602198283548745/.
For the last couple of years, Hamilton 350 has been active on a variety of campaigns -- for instance, our campaign last year against the expansion of Enbridge's Line 10 tarsands pipeline, which runs through rural Hamilton. The image below is from a reading of the Dr. Seuss book The Lorax that we did at one of their construction sites in autumn of 2017.
Despite all of our hard work, however, we have not done a good job of using our website to communicate what we're up to and how Hamiltonians can get involved. As part of a broader process of shifting our activities over the fall of 2018, we have committed to expanding our online presence. We hope that this website can become a hub for local climate information. We want this to include highlighting local climate-related events and actions, as well as publishing both pointers to good climate content published elsewhere and our own original content by group members and the group as a whole. We will also be continuing our regular updates via our email list -- subscribe here -- and Facebook page, and our long-dormant Twitter account is now up and running again.
This is still a work in progress, but we're off to a good start. Please check back soon!
Dundas Centennial Park and the bloomin’ cherry trees from Japan! After a 3 hour kayak cleanup along Spencer Creek and the Cootes’ West Pond and Canal.
Earlier dates in April, including a wild ride down Spencer Creek during the spring freshet–no time (or skill!) to stop and pluck detritus from the banks!
Why so much garbage, week after week? Mainly, an attitude adopted by many and society in general–there is no monetary value in “the commons”, so it ain’t my problem.
Other causes, in my opinion:
The fact of so much garbage in our waterways, making its way from our farms fields, roadways, pathways, streets–everywhere–is systemic of the malaise of our society. We know what the problems are, but we can’t seem to be able to change our “system”, mostly because our governance systems are now beholden to corporate influence–the same corporate system created by politicians a 100 years ago! And these “entities” that the courts have declared are “people” have no obligation to consider the “commons” as an “externality” that must be factored in to their bottom line, while they can dissolve themselves whenever they face these costs (requiring the “public” to pay the clean up tab of their bankruptcy)–in fact, their only obligation is to their shareholders and their “bottom line”.
It is a mixed up system, and we need to fix it.
Blog Post Courtesy of Neal Bonnor. For more posts like this, visit https://cleaningbykayak.wordpress.com/!
In an open letter composed earlier this week, three Hamilton environmental groups joined forces to urge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reject Enbridge's Line 10 through Indigenous land and rural Hamilton land. Quite simply the reason why we oppose these pipeline projects so heavily is because if we want to make our world a better place to live in, it begins with not making the situation worse. Justin Trudeau wants to be respected and trusted but when he keeps going back on his own words, that does not make it any easier to do so.
Enbridge's Line 10 will run through Westover through Hamilton, and onward down to New York State. In addition to transporting bitumen sludge from Alberta, line 10 is also supposed to be expanded - from a 12" pipe to 20" pipe, significantly increasing capacity through aging infrastructure.
In addition, on October 18, 2016, Enbridge came to Hamilton to confer over Line 10, with heavy police presence. I guess they felt threatened or something, with all these people who care about the land, rallying outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel on King Street, downtown Hamilton. We had about 90 people come out on a beautiful Tuesday morning to voice their concerns. It was there that we met Mohawk Seedkeeper Terrylynn Brant, who spoke diligently over the importance of maintaining wildlife diversity in the area, and the lack of consultation on behalf of Enbridge.
In this letter, Don Mclean of Hamilton 350, Lynda Lukasik of Environment Hamilton, and Ed Reece of Council of Canadians- Hamilton Chapter, all agreed in the necessity to not expand tarsands infrastructure. In November of 2016, the federal government ratified the 2015 COP 21 Paris Accord, signifying their strong beliefs in countering climate change. Aside from incorporating a national 'carbon tax' that not only penalizes the consumer, on top of increasing hydro costs, the federal government also approved the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipeline, Enbridge Line 3, and in January 2017, Enbridge's line 10 through Hamilton. Trudeau wanted to tout his pride in 'shutting down' the Kitimat project, Northern Gateway, but we all know that that pipeline was dead in the water the second it was attempted to be birthed. So Trudeau approves 3 major pipeline projects, while saying he's an advocate for fighting climate change? Who is he kidding?
Read the open letter below and if you or someone you may know is interested in becoming a signatory, please email us at email@example.com.
Our very first meeting of 2017 concluded earlier this evening. We are pleased to announce a number of ideas for the year, revolving around pipelines and climate change. You can expect news soon on this.
Hamilton Stands With Standing Rock
Stay tuned for the latest 350 news.