Tar Sands Solutions Network

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Creating a Low Carbon Future

Canada will continue to produce and use oil for some time, but building an economy based on tar sands oil means missing the boat on the enormous employment and economic opportunities created by the inexorable global transition towards renewable energy. In fact, investment in renewable energy now outpaces investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, and employment opportunities in the renewable energy sector is set to grow substantially in the years ahead. A low carbon future is on the horizon, and Canada needs to abandon the tar sands so it won't be left behind.

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Over the past eight years, and despite a global economic collapse and subsequent challenges in the world’s major economies, the renewable energy sector experienced solid growth. According to recent estimates, the renewable energy sector employs five million people worldwide, and is predicted to grow rapidly as the world transitions to clean sources of energy.

At the same time, the warning signs that we need to get serious about tackling global warming have never been clearer. Thousands of heat records were broken across the continent this year, and Arctic sea ice was almost 700,000 square kilometres smaller than ever before, a loss equivalent to the size of Texas.

The oil industry’s plan to dramatically increase oil production will lead Canada in the wrong direction if we want to reduce climate-changing pollution, ensure a healthy planet for our children, and take advantage of the financial benefits of the renewable energy sector that will inevitably replace the oil industry as the economic engine of our society. Indeed, investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy and public transit not only reduces pollution, it creates six to eight times more jobs than comparable investments in fossil fuels.

We know that Canadians care deeply about both the environment and the economy. The oil industry’s plans to ramp up tar sands production to over five million barrels per day are not in the best interest of Canadians, economically or environmentally. It's time to invest in a clean energy economy and a low carbon future.

Creating a Low Carbon Future Updates & Resources

Everything you need to know to attend the biggest climate march in history

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Ari Phillips | ThinkProgress - September 16th 2014

Blog Post: For one week in late September, New York City will be the center of gravity for the fight to confront climate change. The People’s Climate March, being called the “largest climate march in history” by organizers, will potentially draw over a hundred thousand people to walk through Manhattan and show a level of demand for action not seen since the era of Civil Rights marches and anti-Vietnam protests. Here’s what you need to know to be a part of it.

Science clear on impacts of emissions

Kaitlyn Harvey | Saskatoon StarPhoenix - September 16th 2014

Press Clipping: This summer saw floodwaters rise across southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, closing highways, sending families from their homes and causing widespread damage. Water levels rose so high that Environment Canada's senior climatologist, David Phillips, said the flooding was "unprecedented ... ridiculous," and described as "almost monsoonal" in some locations. The unprecedented flooding is not a freak incident, but a symptom of a deepening climate crisis that will have profound implications for Saskatchewan. It is time to listen to the science and to take action, which is why I'm going to New York City on Friday for the People's Climate March.

As people march, a moment of truth in the climate fight

Katherine Bagley | InsideClimate News - September 15th 2014

Press Clipping: The People's Climate March is more than just a call to action. As demonstrators from more than a thousand organizations representing millions of people prepare to descend on New York City on Sept. 21, it represents the biggest expansion of the climate movement so far. Once considered an issue only for environmentalists, global warming has become part of the agenda for labor unions, faith-based organizations, schools, small businesses, and student, social justice, parenting, public health and political groups.

Why I’m helping organize a cross-border climate rally at the Peace Arch

Eoin Madden | Georgia Straight - September 15th 2014

Press Clipping: I remember the day I first got word that something big was coming for all of us seeking an opportunity to stand up and demand action on climate change. I was chatting with an organizer from 350.org, a group cofounded by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, who said, "Bill thinks we should create the biggest climate march in history.” I knew then that I wanted to do my bit to make that wish come true.

The world’s most ambitious disaster

Michael Brune | The Sierra Club - September 10th 2014

Blog Post: Brune on the tar sands: "What a waste -- not just of forests, habitat, energy, air, water, health, and our climate. What a waste of human talent.... How much could be achieved if all of this effort, ingenuity, and engineering prowess were instead directed toward developing clean power? Why go to so much trouble to do something so difficult and so destructive when you could invest the same effort into something positive that can literally save the world and power it to boot?"

Launching the People’s Climate March

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August 6th 2014

Visual: The People's Climate March will be the largest march demanding action on climate change in the history of the planet. It will be held on September 21, 2014, when world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution. Join us as we take a stand to bend the course of history.

IMF’s blunt message to nations: Raise fossil-fuel taxes to fight climate change

John H. Cushman Jr. | InsideClimate News - August 2nd 2014

Press Clipping: Countries all over the world, including the United States, should be collecting much higher pollution taxes on fossil fuels—stiff enough to reflect the long-term cost of global warming's damage, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday in an important new study. "Many energy prices in many countries are wrong. They are set at levels that do not reflect environmental damage, notably global warming."