Key to the Leap: Leave the oil in the soil
Angus, Ian; Riddell, Johnhttp://climateandcapitalism.com/2016/11/06/key-to-the-leap-leave-the-oil-in-the-soil/
Publisher: Climate & Capitalism
Date Written: 06/11/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20110
Ian Angus and John Riddell argue that using the Leap Manifesto as the basis for building a new socialist movement in Canada must include confronting the climate crisis and the power of Big Oil.
First we should bear in mind that the Manifesto -- only 1,400 words long was negotiated by a wide range of organizations, including major trade unions. Its tone and content reflect that origin. Moreover, proposals such as a national childcare program, immigration status for all workers, and a universal basic annual income arent new, or, by themselves, particularly radical.
But the Manifesto also calls for a halt to "building new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future." It specifically demands a stop to building oil and gas pipelines. That clearly goes beyond the limits of acceptable discourse in mainstream Canadian politics. And it points unmistakably to the greatest of heresies: that most of Canada's oil reserves must be left in the ground.
The Manifesto's radicalism is not just a matter of individual demands. It arises from their combination. Effective climate action requires more teaching; conversely the call for more investment in education is urgent given the need for a clean energy economy. All of this in the context of opposition to the policies of one of the strongest sectors of Canadian capitalism.