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A Good War


This is not another book about climate science. It takes the urgent science and the impacts of climate breakdown as a given. It is a book about politics, history and policy innovation. More specifically, it’s a book about what it takes to align our politics with the imperative the science demands of us. It takes as inspiration Canada’s Second World War experience and also draws encouragement from other countries that, are starting to treat this crisis as the emergency that it is.


Effectively tackling the climate crisis is not a technical or policy problem – we know what is needed to transition to a zero-carbon society, and the technology needed is largely ready to go. Rather, the challenge we face is a political one. Climate solutions persistently encounter a political wall; the prevailing assumption within the leadership of our political parties appears to be that if our political leaders were to articulate (let alone undertake) what the climate science tells us is necessary, it would be political suicide. And so they don’t.


This book explores whether we can successfully align our politics with climate science, and the conditions under which it may be possible to pursue a bold policy plan that is well-received by Canadians. It outlines what a meaningful and hopeful climate program can look like and makes the case for why our political leaders should embrace this generational mission.


Like many of you, I’m afraid. In particular, I feel deep anxiety for my children, and the state of the world we are leaving to those who will live after us. The simple truth is that we don’t know if we will rise to this challenge in time. But it is worth appreciating that those who rallied in the face of fascism 80 years didn’t know if they would win either.  We forget that there was a good chunk of the war during which the outcome was far from certain. Yet that generation rallied regardless, and in the process, surprised themselves with what they were capable of achieving. That’s the spirit we need today.


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Whose Water Is It, Anyway?


A Blue Community is founded on the understanding that water is a commons, a cultural and natural resource vital to our survival that must be accessible to all members of a community. Commons resources such as air, water and oceans, must be accessible to all members of a community. They are not privately owned but are held collectively to be shared, carefully managed and enjoyed by all. They are a public trust. Recognizing water as a public trust requires governments to protect water for a community’s reasonable use, and for future generations. As part of the commons, community rights and the public interest take priority over private water use. Public and community management of water requires transparent rules of access to water. Many private companies and industries need water for their operations but they must be subject to government oversight based on democratically agreed upon priorities for the use of local water sources.


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