Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
SPOTLIGHT: Unaccountable climate activists should not be determining our destiny.
BIG PICTURE: In 2008, the Sierra Club accused the California city of Stockton of adopting an official plan that was insufficiently concerned about greenhouse gases. Rather than fight it out in court, the city caved. It agreed to a detailed settlement involving numerous costly measures.
It agreed to systematically tally the greenhouse gases being emitted by “all public and private sources in the city” (my italics). It agreed that “new housing units” as well as “new non-residential buildings” would meet green specifications. It committed to passing bylaws that would compel building permit applicants to add greenhouse gas reduction measures to their home renovation projects.
It further agreed to undertake a transit study, to set up a Climate Action Advisory Committee, and to consider deliberately slowing “the rate of approvals of building permits” if certain targets weren’t met.
In other words, the good people of Stockton and their duly elected representatives lost control of their own destiny. They didn’t draw up their city’s official plan. The Sierra Club did. This was a wholly undemocratic transfer of power from elected officials to utterly unaccountable climate activists.
Five years later, in 2013, the city of Stockton went bankrupt.
TOP TAKEAWAY: When you give money to the Sierra Club, you’re doing three bad things. You’re funding non-stop lawsuits. You’re sabotaging democracy. And you’re ensnaring ordinary people in costly red tape.
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