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Trudeau Is Less Liberal Than You Think


Trudeau Is Less Liberal Than You Think

Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis

Our inboxes runneth over with congratulations from American friends. “Pleasure to be able to look north without wincing,” “we’re all thrilled to have regained our sensible neighbors to the north,” “Goodbye Stephen ‘Keystone XL’ Harper.” And then there was this from England: “you now officially have the hottest Prime Minister EVER!”


You might be right here CTS, but the gist of the article was about Trudeau, not Obama. I believe Naomi Klein was simply being gracious with her comment about Obama. She didn't want to go into depth and detail about the in's and out's of Obama's presidency, etc. Just a guess. What about her comments concerning renewables? Any insights?


I always enjoy reading Naomi Klein. Her thinking, translated into writing, clarifies so many issues.

I'm not an expert on the subject of renewables by any means. But my thinking is, won't it be necessary to use a huge amount of fossil fuels in order to create all the workable parts for a new infrastructure that utilizes clean energy? If this is not started right now...there may not be time in the coming years to accomplish it.

The trick will be how to get Big Oil to switch sides. After all, they will not let go of their huge profit making endeavor without a fair replacement. This of course means, renewables may not be that inexpensive once the fossil fuel guys get their hands on it.

Also, I suspected Trudeau was not an angel. Ms. Klein is right. Pressure from below will be a necessary motivator under Justin Trudeau's oil soaked butt.


There are no leaders who will save us. There is only leadership. All that Naomi says is true and a Leap Manifesto is important but the only thing that we need is for ordinary people to talk and walk with their neighbors and demand the politicians do the right thing about the destabilization of the climate.

When after years of demonstrations and civil disobedience a point was reached eventually where we saw a change in attitude, a general understanding in the population, about the Vietnam War in almost everybody. Even people who always supported the war began to talk about that it should end.

That general understanding among people left policy makers even the hawks, with no backing for continuing the conflict.

Leap Manifestos are instructive tools but by now everybody understands (maybe the MSM and congress don't) about global warming. That moment has been reached where people who have been trying to convince others realize that everybody knows.

What was necessary was to give people a way to show it. The result was that the demonstrations got bigger and the politicians knew it. Instead of more instruction and discussion we need to speak with our feet, our presence in large demonstrations that politicians can't ignore.

The politicians know but they will wait with pockets stuffed with lobbyist cash/donations until they SEE those big and frequent 'Marches on Washington' to protest inaction about climate change.

We can teach those who know and those who pretend they don't know as long as we want but the politicians care only about public opinion that they can see (in demonstrations) not what they read. What they see in the streets and assembled on the Mall and on their TVs... is what others see, including donors and backers and the media. Politicians can't ignore a 100,000 people being on the news.

Every large demonstration sees results in the political sphere. Every bit of progress on any issue comes after people are organized and visible in large numbers in some demonstration.


You attempt to deviate from the topic--which is what Naomi Klein IS saying and all of the brilliant, positive examples she offers on ways that citizens have forestalled awful Big Energy operations--to revert the conversation back to Obama.

Why do the usual posters do this type of diversionary tactic all the time?

You are critiquing a woman who does more in a day than you will likely do in a lifetime.

And you're trying to take the air out of her comprehensive analysis by nit-picking over Politics-As-Team sport.

Can't you clones see beyond your own memes?


Um where does she do that? This article isn't about Obama.


Maybe out there in the real world everybody knows, but not here in the US. Here 50% of the population are either still on the fence or outright deniers.

Here are some statistics:


Here are a few more Obama pre-election and campaign positions:

  1. Voted to renew the Patriot Act
  2. Voted to maintain warrantless wiretapping
  3. Selected Rahm Emmanuel, a primary architect of NAFTA, as his chief of staff
  4. Publicly defended Democratic lawmakers who voted for Roberts as Chief Justice and worked in the Senate to prevent a filibuster against Alito
  5. His top economic advisors, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, were the main lobbyists in favor of Phil Gramm's successful deregulation legislation
  6. Wanted to extend the War on Terror to Afghanistan and Pakistan
  7. Backed right-wing Joe Lieberman (running as an Independent) for the Senate over the anti-war Democratic Party candidate
  8. Voted for the $700 billion bailout of the financial industry
  9. Rejected Senator Russell Feingold's motion to censure George W. Bush over the White House's refusal to seek court orders for domestic wiretapping
  10. Opposed gay marriage
  11. Opposed curtailing the War on Drugs
  12. Supported the Cuba embargo
  13. Promised, as President, to defend Israel (but not Palestine) if attacked by enemies

I'm sure there are plenty of others. And it seems to me that his recent modest policy reversals on gay marriage and Cuba were forced on him as a result of public/international pressure. He's still as awful a human being as he ever was.


You quote a survey from a year and a half ago. Plus a quick scan of the questions asked reveals a specificity which even a believer in climate change would answer the questions differently. A common practice of polls.

I ask you to observe for yourself rather than be told what is observable or isn't by others. An old fashioned see for yourself.

Are you suggesting that if you went through your day that you would find most people haven't heard of climate change or the words global warming?

Everybody knows by now. Some still are in semi-denial but there are fewer and fewer and they are now quibbling over saying climate change is happening but it isn't human caused etc. Look in their eyes and you can see they are in political denial not scientific denial. They deny climate change for political reasons not scientific ones.

Everybody knows but the politicians gauge things by what they can get away with before they are forced to come out for a position that they've opposed before.

When politicians try to pretend that the demonstrations aren't huge or even act that they aren't happening they can't get away with it. Even their supporters want to hear real answers not pap as to why people are demonstrating.

Politicians also see tens of thousands of votes that they will lose if they say the wrong things. When they don't see the demonstrations... when they don't see people making any real effort to demand change they know they still have time before they have to come out for or against some issue. Politicians want everything to stay the same and nothing happen. They don't want risks or to say something that will come back on them later.

Demonstrations are real world voters by the tens of thousands and even more who didn't come out that day too and no politician wants to lose tens of thousands/ hundreds of thousands of votes.

Politicians know... everybody knows... but it doesn't feel all that critical does it? Politicians figure if it were really that important then people would be out in the streets demonstrating or doing things like civil disobedience like the kayakavists with Arctic Drilling.

This is close to two years after that poll and the results collected and tabulated and then published. A small poll of a few hundred people per country/20 countries and who exactly was polled btw?

What about your own poll? Think about all the people you know and see if you can come up with someone who doesn't know about global warming anymore? Even the deniers don't really deny it is real anymore.


Klein and Lewis are nothing more than a pair of opportunistic pretentious poseurs.If they had any real concern for the environment (as opposed to their concerns for their social standing and careers) they would seriously tackle animal agricuture which is the number one cause of climate change! see cowspiracy.com


The writer does a lot of condemning before the fact. Please note:
There was until the very last a very tight 3-way race going on in Canada. Harper's strength lay in the Alberta oil patch, with the capital (of the oil industry, not the province) being Calgary. Lambasting Obama's non-support of Keystone, was the closest thing he could do to pacify Albertans without directly promoting that pipeline. It brought him several seats right in Calgary. It was too late anyway, because Obama ha long made up his mind to go nuclear instead.

So let us wait until Trudeau has done something worth criticizing him for, before we blast him.

Speaking of nuclear, There are two types of major threats to the environment: The relatively short one of air pollution, with the likely enduring climate change and the other one is to contaminate the planet with nuclear trash for centuries and millennia to come.

Lambasting Germany for using coal for energy is absurd, That country has chosen to fight the radiation threat first, by targeting to close down all nuclear reactors by 2022.

On one day, a few weeks ago, during favorable weather conditions, achieved 78% of its energy from renewable resources. The target is to make that standard by 2020, 5 short years away. The only country doing better is tiny Iceland, with its vast geothermal resources.

So let us straighten our own mess first!


Look at it from a positive point of view, Trudeau is a hell of a lot better than that autocratic, right wing pig Harper. Voting him in shows some progression toward enlightenment of the Canadian population. Let's hope that the voting population of the US show a propensity toward the same.


"It calls for ... a shift to 100% renewable energy for electricity in two decades (which dozens of Canadian experts have said is entirely doable)"

Doable just means theoretically achievable. It doesn't mean that it is politically or economically feasible. As matters stand, basically nobody is forecasting that it will happen. It also isn't clear that a 100% renewables approach would be the most environmentally benign option.



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The deniers deny it by saying it's now " intelligent design ", of course. So, the plan ( our unique planet ) is in The Big Cloud Guy's hands. New technology is divine inspiration ( Da Vinci's touch ) surely here, too. They're slowly evolving the flat earthers ( evangelicals, pentecostals and fundamental zealots ) so they can keep making $$$$ off variations of the prosperity gospel. Yet another revised and extended edition, no doubt. :smirk: It's a steaming pile of sxit, of course, but the thing has been working for centuries ( don't fix it if it ain't broken ) now. These gradations of religious insanity won't help getting us where we need to get to. Some remedial comfort afforded the 47% at best, perhaps. Hence, all the guano about predestination, etc. allows the left behind to blame themselves for the actual sins of politicians, intellectuals and the elite business class. And, after nearly 400 years of this American pattern; we should expect something different? Yeah, sure.


I agree that most people know about global warming. My definition of a denier includes those people who assign no responsibility to humans for causing the problem. My own poll depends on where I am asking. If I am asking at the university where I teach I get very different results than if I ask in Wyoming. I don't know where you live but out here in the rural west it is not difficult to run across pockets of real deniers; people who go so far as to say the scientists are all lying. I live in a university town so my local poll is much more in line with your perception. However, I also live in Idaho and I can almost guarantee you that on a state-wide basis a poll would indicate us to be firmly in the denier camp.

Here is a link to a more recent survey that I found:

This poll is probably a more realistic picture of the situation today but still has some troubling aspects as well as some that are encouraging.


A Green New Deal:
Create millions of jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, and conservation.

Hmm, sounds like the Amer. version of the Leap Manifesto ...


She did "that" in the final paragraph of the article.

Klein should have mentioned that according to the Vancouver Sun the first topic of discussion in Obama's congratulatory phone call to Trudeau was reconfirming their mutual support of TPP. Upon ratification TPP will assure that there will be no limit on dirty energy in Canada or any other signatory nation, irrespective of whatever Klein and others have accomplished to date.


The writer of the above article has obviously been fed her information from sources close to the NDP,the big losers in that election. I clearly sense some sour grapes there.


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