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‘Climate emergency’ on Monday, pipeline expansion on Tuesday: Trudeau the fraud strikes again

‘Climate emergency’ on Monday, pipeline expansion on Tuesday: Trudeau the fraud strikes again
Justin Trudeau’s faux concern for the environment was always hypocritical and duplicitous — but there’s something especially slimy about declaring a climate emergency on Monday and approving an oil pipeline expansion on Tuesday.

Canada’s parliament voted on Monday night to declare a national climate emergency, calling climate change a “real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity.”  The next day, Trudeau’s government green-lighted the environment-destroying Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX), demonstrating either complete indifference to the motion put forward by his own environment minister — or a severe misunderstanding of the words “emergency” and “human activity.”

The so-called “climate emergency” motion was non-binding and meaningless, of course; politicians often expect to be patted on the back for gesture politics — as though merely acknowledging the existence of a problem while taking minimal action to affect any real change is somehow worthy of admiration.

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This is the second time Trudeau’s Liberal government has approved the pipeline. Its previous approval was quashed by a court last year for failure to consider the environmental impact of tanker traffic and implications for First Nations people living in its path. The pipeline would triple the amount of oil shipped from the Alberta tar sands to the British Columbia coast. Environmental groups have warned of potential oil spills, increased greenhouse gas emissions, strain on already-struggling marine life and irreversible damage to indigenous land and water resources.

But it’s not just environmental activists warning of severe environmental repercussions. Canada’s own National Energy Board (NEB) found that the expansion would have “significant adverse environmental effects” for orca whales and said the effects of any oil spills would also be “significant.”

Despite the ill-effects, the NEB decided the expansion “can be justified” and is in the “public interest.” They did acknowledge that the undeniable environmental effects “weighed heavily” on them in the decision-making process. Indeed, it sounds like they were really losing sleep over it. What part of destroying the environment and biodiversity for future generations is in the “public interest” remains a mystery.

Trudeau’s government bought the pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd for $3.4 billion last year and plans to sell it after completion. Trudeau has tried to justify the project by warning that Canadians are currently “prisoners to the American market” and pledging to put all tax profits from the project toward clean energy projects.

That’s like “declaring war on cancer and then announcing a campaign to promote smoking,”— according to Patrick McCully, energy program director at the Rainforest Action Network.

In another example of his pathetic gesture politics, Trudeau promised last week to ban single-use plastics “from coast to coast” from 2021 — more meaningless tokenism from Canada’s fraud-in-chief, who wants plastic out of the oceans, but isn’t too concerned about killing off the marine life that lives in them.

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Trudeau swept to a landslide victory in 2015 with some clever progressive branding, but he has since lost his appeal to many genuinely progressive voters. It turns out that running around talking about “peoplekind” and giving motivational speeches at climate conferences isn’t actually enough to cut it with voters who genuinely care about the issues Trudeau only pretends to care about. The “man of substance,” as a writer for Canadian magazine Maclean’s put it in 2015, was just another snake oil salesman.

Environmental policy was one of the cornerstones of Trudeau’s last election campaign. Remember when he pledged to phase out federal fossil fuel subsidies? A report in 2018 named Canada as the largest provider of government subsidies for oil and gas production in the G7.

This is what happens when people fall for the “environmentalism” of supremely arrogant neocons like Trudeau and France’s equally stomach-churning Emmanuel Macron — two men who were hailed by liberal Western media as liberal saviors and anti-Trumps. In the US, Joe Biden with his “middle ground” approach to climate change falls into the same category, having all the hallmarks of the fake progressive more interested in hoovering up centrist votes than taking firm and principled positions on anything. As another Canadian election rolls around, Trudeau has promised to practice “positive politics” — whatever that means.

Fortunately, Trudeau’s approval of the pipeline project does not mean the expansion is a done deal — yet. There are still regulatory hoops for it to jump through and environmentalists and First Nations groups are gearing up for a fight, planning to mount new legal challenges and blockade its construction anywhere they can, the goal being to delay the project so much that it becomes too much of a financial burden to justify continuation.

Justin Trudeau does not care about climate change or the environment. He does not care about plastic in the oceans, marine life or protecting biodiversity. He cares about protecting an image of himself as an environmental champion — but that ship has well and truly sailed. You can't be an environmentalist and advocate for the building of oil pipelines that wreck the environment. The two do not compute.

Just like his slippery progressivism on a whole host of other issues, Trudeau’s flimsy environmentalism reveals him to be nothing more than a two-faced prevaricator accomplished in the art of doublespeak.

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By Danielle Ryan

Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance writer based in Dublin. Her work​ ​has appeared in Salon, The Nation, Rethinking Russia, teleSUR, RBTH, The Calvert Journal​ ​and others. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleRyanJ 

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