I recently read a book by Naomi Klein called “No is Not Enough”. It discussed how shock political tactics are being used to generate one crisis after another. Policies that are destroying our environment, our economy, our security and a sense of well-being. It includes information on how to re-dress this, how we can organise to win a better world.
Naomi worked with a number of different people in Canada and came up with a manifesto, independent of political parties, that could be used by various people to take steps to change the future. The Leap Manifesto is aimed at Canada and how it could combat climate change in ways that makes it better for the people living there. Below is my customised version of it.
We could live in a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transport, in which the jobs and opportunities of this transition are designed to systematically eliminate racial and gender inequality.
Caring for one another and caring for the planet could be the economy’s fastest growing sectors. Many more people could have higher wage jobs with fewer work hours, leaving us ample time to enjoy our loved ones and flourish in our communities.
- The latest research shows we could get 100% of our electricity from renewable resources within two decades by 2050 we could have a 100% clean economy We demand that this shift begin now.
- No new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future. The new iron law of energy development must be: if you wouldn’t want it in your backyard, then it doesn’t belong in anyone’s backyard.
- The time for energy democracy has come: wherever possible, communities should collectively control new clean energy systems.
- We want a universal program to build and retrofit energy efficient housing, ensuring that the lowest income communities benefit first.
- We want high-speed rail powered by renewables and affordable public transport to unite every community in this country.
- We need to invest in our decaying public infrastructure so that it can withstand increasingly frequent extreme weather events.
- We must develop a more localized and ecologically-based agricultural system to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, absorb shocks in the global supply – and produce healthier and more affordable food for everyone.
- We must expand those sectors that are already low-carbon: caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public-interest media.
- Since so much of the labour of caretaking – whether of people or the planet – is currently unpaid and often performed by women, we call for a vigorous debate about the introduction of a universal basic annual income.
- We declare that “austerity” is a fossilized form of thinking that has become a threat to life on earth. The money we need to pay for this great transformation is available — we just need the right policies to release it. An end to fossil fuel subsidies. Financial transaction taxes. Increased resource royalties. Higher income taxes on corporations and wealthy people. A progressive carbon tax. Cuts to military spending.
- We want training and resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, ensuring they are fully able to participate in the clean energy economy.
- We must work swiftly towards a system in which every vote counts and corporate money is removed from political campaigns.
This transformation is our duty to those this country harmed in the past, to those suffering needlessly in the present, and to all who have a right to a bright and safe future.
Now is the time for boldness.
Now is the time to leap.