Dr. Andrew Weaver (@AJWVictoriaBC), one of Canada’s most respected climate scientists, left the ivory tower to run for the legislature with the BC Green Party. Mark Leiren-Young met with BC’s first Green MLA as he launched his bid to become Canada’s first Green Premier.

“This has got to be the most rewarding job anybody can have, anywhere in the world.”

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Show Notes:

  • Why politics? Why Andrew Weaver left the ivory tower. [03:51]
  • Intergenerational Equity. [04:30]
  • The BC Liberal Party’s environmental history – Gordon Campbell vs Christy Clark. [07:00]
  • Working with Millennials, the debt to the next generation and issues with the Me generation. [08:01]
  • Curriculum at schools. [10:23]
  • Taxpayers and alternative facts: why it’s important to have an educated populace. [10:51]
  • How the USA is falling behind in the 21st century economy. [11:53]
  • Leaving academia to avoid “the Wayne Gretzky Effect.” [12:46]
  • Scientists masquerading as politicians, a strange new animal. [14:46]
  • Six PHD scientists running for the Green Party and his current candidates. [15:27]
  • Attack ads. [18:30]
  • “Vote splitting” and BC political history. [20:15]
  • Why spending money on education is fiscally conservative and how some social policies are money saving long term. [21:09]
  • Biggest challenges facing our environment:  Climate Change and cumulative effects of resource extraction. [24:01]
  • Creation of a Natural Resource Board. [25:19]
  •  The flawed NEB Kinder Morgan process. [26:58
  • Kinder Morgan protests will make War in the Woods look like a picnic. [32:46]
  • Orcas and “significant adverse effects.” [33:52]
  • His early whale sightings. [36:51]
  • Decarbonization and moving forward from the Paris accord, the David Black refinery controversy. [37:34]
  • Run of River and Weaver vs. Rafe Mair. [43:54]
  • The Green Party Climate Action Plan. [47:06]
  • Working across party lines for positive change. [48:10]
  •  Three things you can do for climate change. [50:52]
  • And much more…

Significant quotes:

“The decision makers of today don’t have to live out the consequences of decisions they are making, yet it is the youth of the day who do, and they’re not participating in our democracy, with 30-40% showing up at the polls in any given year.” [4:21]

“This has got to be the most rewarding job anybody can have, anywhere in the world.  Being able to represent people in decision making, to help people access the system, it’s just a remarkable opportunity.” [05:34]

“This is the first generation, my generation, that is going to leave behind a world that is in a worse state than we inherited it from our parents.  That’s a very sad testament to 21st century society.  It’s a very sad testament.  Greed, personal greed, and the Me generation have taken us to a state now that we’re simply ignoring our effects on others, and the Millennial generation is going to reap the problems.” [08:50]

“Ultimately it is the taxpayers who funds the science that we do, and if they don’t realize, if the taxpayer doesn’t realize the importance of your science—just look south of the border right now. There’s less of a desire to continue funding it, and you move into this alternate-fact world that they’re now struggling with south of the border, where “my opinion” is suddenly a fact.” [10:50]

“Right now they are in a real predicament, because around the world people are no longer looking to them for leadership.  They’re missing out on the opportunities of the 21st century economy that involve clean energy, the clean tech sector, automation, and they’re going back into the last century.  You know, they will deal with themselves, right now jurisdictions like China, Japan, South Korea, places like Canada, South America, Europe. People recognize the direction the world is heading in terms of investment in clean, renewable energy, and the knowledge economies of tomorrow.  The US can try to chase us back to the 20th century, but they’re be going there alone, maybe bringing Alberta and Christy Clark with them, but the rest of the world is moving forward.” [12:01]

“I dream of a time when we don’t have Food Banks.  They shouldn’t be necessary.  If you had a level of basic income, you wouldn’t need to have some of the services that we have to support people who can’t make ends meet. With a level of basic income it helps people during downtimes and lets them rise above.  So it levels the playing field.  It eliminates student debt.” [22:57]

“The species extinction rate happening now makes the five previous great extinction events pale in comparison.” [24:25]

“The entire oil spill response put forth by Kinder Morgan for diluted bitumen in coastal waters, was predicated on the existence of 20 hours of sunlight, calm conditions and the wind blowing offshore.  Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to calculate that you can not be anywhere south of the Latitude of Tuktoyaktuk on any day of the year to get 20 hours of sunlight.  So in essence, their oil spill response was done for conditions around Tuktoyaktuk.  Hardly relevant to the Salish Sea.  Yet when I asked them to redo this using realistic values, of both wind etc etc, I was told that they didn’t do it and that the NEB had enough information before them on which to make a decision.  And when I challenged that decision the NEB said, “no, it’s fine.” [28:25]

“The protests will be long and hard. And “War in the Woods,” that’s nothing, that’s nothing compared to what’s going to happen in the Burnaby area.” [33:27]

“It’s sad to think about it, that we would think it’s okay, to ship a raw product, not even a refined product. If Alberta refined it, it would be a different thing.  We’d have at least some of the environmental arguments with respect to oil spills… It wouldn’t affect the orca issue of course, but the fact that we would put some hypothetical pipeline and some hypothetical product, shipping something someone may or may not want in the future because the world is decarbonizing, and we’d risk an iconic species is mind-boggling to me.” [35:38]

“We’re in an era now where the strange and unique is accepted and interesting.” [44:45]

Links Mentioned:

Dr Andrew Weaver and the BC Greens

Dr. Weaver’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJWVictoriaBC

BC Green Party:  http://www.bcgreens.ca/  

On Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/BCGreens/

Generation US: http://amzn.to/2oS5TTA

Keeping our Cool:   http://amzn.to/2oRW0FG


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