February 15th Edition

The beginning of the mysterious, indecipherable Voynich Document-similar to TransCanada's Energy East application? 

The Voynich Manuscript is a 16th century document written in a language that is unintelligible. To this day, nobody knows what it actually says – is it written in code? Is it a little-known language that we don’t know about? Is it an elaborate 16th-century hoax? Nobody can say. For 500 years the Voynich Manuscipt has stood as an unparalleled mystery of an indecipherable, unknowable document.

Unparalleled, that is, until TransCanada came along. Last week, TransCanada’s 30,000+ page Energy East proposal submitted to the National Energy Board was declared too indecipherable for even experts to understandThat’s right, people whose job it is to understand ridiculously complicated documents, could not understand TransCanada’s proposal.

And we’re supposed to trust TransCanada to attentively and responsibly maintain 4,600 km of crude oil pipeline crossing six provinces and countless waterways and population centres when they cannot even attentively and responsibly write the proposal for it?!

TransCanada’s laziness and ineptitude is, however, actually good news: The National Energy Board has told TransCanada that they will have to resubmit the proposal. This could be a delay of months for TransCanada, which is great news.

The more Energy East is delayed, the more time we all have to realise that the huge carbon emissions from the tar sands are not the future we want. 

Major coastal cities underwater from climate change. Probably not the future we want.

In fact, in order to create the future we do want, we can begin by cutting the $46 billion per year that the IMF estimates that Canada gives in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. That’s $46 BILLION PER YEAR. To the fossil fuels that are destroying our world and our future.

Want to know some of the kick-ass stuff we could spend $46 billion per year on instead? This article in The Tyee starts with some awesome ideas: paying for the Bloor Subway extension, building and maintaining public housing, paying for a national pharmacare programme, giving incentives to shift away from fossil fuels, and providing retraining programmes for fossil fuel sector workers.

And I’ll add that we could also:

Fund waaaay more green energy ideas, projects, start-ups and jobs like these six profiled in the Globe & Mail .

Live more fully into our commitment of reconciliation with First Nations who, I will add, are on the forefront in the fight against pipelines.  And begin to boldly envision what a carbon-free Toronto could look like. This author’s vision is a pretty amazing start. 

We can have that kind of future. But not with pipelines. Not with Energy East. Not with Line 9. Not with Kinder Morgan. Not with fossil fuels.

Join us at Toronto350 and help shape the future you want for this world. Get active, get involved. Stop fossil fuels and start living for a cleaner, greener, better future.