Small steps are no longer enough. Incremental climate action will not get us to where we need to be by 2050 – a low carbon economy. The Paris Agreement was a historic breakthrough but it’s not sufficient. It was just one stop in the climate revolution that is gripping the world. We need a post-Paris plan.
The climate movement must continue to evolve rapidly if the world is to escape the ravages of runaway global warming. 2016 is our year to leap. LEAP has been referred to as “system change on a deadline” and on February 29, the Leap Manifesto goes global.
Small Steps Are No Longer Enough
World renowned author and environmental activist Naomi Klein is one of the authors of the Leap Manifesto (released in September of 2015) which shows how Canada can reach a fully sustainable energy economy over 20 years.
LEAP follows her wildly successful 2014 book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, in which she illustrates how capitalism — an economic model of perpetual growth and over-consumption — is at the very root of the climate change crisis the world faces. The documentary with the same (This Changes Everything) name is now being shown around the world.
To celebrate the leap year, groups in Canada and around the world are holding events to push for a justice-based transition away from fossil fuels and towards new economic and energy systems. From Vancouver to Prince Edward Island, Salt Lake City to Zagreb, there are teach-ins, film screenings, community forums, mobilizations and more:
—In Nelson, BC, high school students are organizing a 24 hour Leap Day sit-in with workshops and local speakers to push the government on bold climate action.
—In Zagreb, Croatia Friends of the Earth are hosting a film screening and panel discussion titled “Climate change as an opportunity for building a more just world.”
—In Fort Chipewyan, the Keepers of the Athabasca and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation are hosting a Leap Day installation of solar panels at the local Youth and Elder’s centre.
—In New York City, Bronx Climate Justice North will host a Leap Day discussion and will hold a vote to adopt their own version.
—On Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Naomi Klein and other leaders will stand with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to launch a new campaign to turn the postal offices into green community hubs powering Canada’s next economy.
—Across Canada, ten Council of Canadians chapters are mobilizing for Leap Year, holding events and activities calling for action on climate change.
With scores of groups holding dozens of events around the world, it’s clear there is powerful momentum to make 2016 a true Leap Year for the climate justice movement.
In a recent Guardian article, Naomi Klein wrote about why we need to LEAP:
The gap between where we are and where we need to be is so great, and the time so short, that small steps simply will not cut it. On leap day….. there will be meetings, teach-ins and other events across the country, all of them pushing our new government to adopt a holistic approach to the twin crises of climate change and inequality.
However, the Leap Manifesto has drawn attacks from many sources – corporate media, business interests, the oil sector, politicians — calling the doctrine a call to overturn the capitalist system. In response to much misinformation and falsehoods, Greenpeace, the Council of Canadians, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees have sent a response to months of relentless attacks on the Leap Manifesto by the National Post.
The Leap Manifesto has been endorsed by over 150 organizations, including national nonprofits, major unions, religious groups, and a multi-million dollar corporation. CNN called it “a model for the world” during the UN climate negotiations in Paris in December. Parallel initiatives are underway in the United Kingdom, Australia and United States. Many of the social democratic policies it calls for are mainstream in several European countries, and many are under debate every day in the current U.S. election.
As the Leap Manifesto is poised to officially go global on February 29, it`s quite appropriate to reflect on a quote reputed to have been first made by Mahatma Gandhi:
First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.
Sign the Leap Manifesto Here.
Rolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org. He’s a Climate Reality leader, a Blogger and a Climate Activist. He’s a member of Climate Reality Canada, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Ottawa) and 350.Org (Ottawa), the Ethical Team (as an influencer) and Global Population Speakout.