By Tyler Dawson
David Suzuki, the godfather of the Canadian environmental movement, warned over the weekend that if politicians don’t act to reverse climate change, there could be attacks against oil and gas infrastructure.
“We’re in deep, deep doo-doo,” said Suzuki Saturday, speaking at an Extinction Rebellion protest on Vancouver Island. “This is what we’re come to. The next stage after this, there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.”
Suzuki, reached by the National Post on Monday, said violence within the environmental movement is already happening, although he identified police actions against anti-logging protesters and anti-gas pipeline protesters as the culprits.
Asked whether or not he would support the bombing of pipelines, Suzuki said, “Of course not.”
“The violence is coming from the authorities, from government, from the RCMP,” said Suzuki. “They’re declaring war against those that are protesting.”
Still, Suzuki warned he feels that there are few remaining options for protesters who feel government isn’t moving rapidly enough to tackle climate change. What else is there but violence, he wondered.
“I think it’s going to be threatened by groups that feel government isn’t going anything,” Suzuki said.
“If the oil companies run roughshod over your lives, you have to take defensive action against them, whatever is necessary,” Ludwig said in 1997, after two wells near his home were blown up. “You can’t just let them kill your children.”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called for Suzuki’s comments to be universally condemned.
“This incitement to violence by David Suzuki is dangerous,” he wrote in a tweet on Monday. “In Canada we resolve our differences peacefully and democratically, not with threats of terrorism or acts of violence.”
This incitement to violence by David Suzuki is dangerous, and should be condemned universally.
In Canada we resolve our differences peacefully and democratically, not with threats of terrorism or acts of violence.https://t.co/6qFXmgvOam
— Jason Kenney 🇺🇦🇨🇦 (@jkenney) November 22, 2021
Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, echoed Kenney’s Twitter comments, calling Suzuki’s remarks dangerous and undemocratic, and saying they should be condemned.
This type of rhetoric is dangerous and undemocratic. It implies that energy workers and infrastructure should be targets for acts of terrorism. All political leaders should unreservedly condemn this statement. https://t.co/BRXSFPak0x
— Erin O'Toole (@erinotoole) November 22, 2021
The event in Victoria, called Funeral for the Future, came on the heels of extreme weather in British Columbia last week that left a handful of people dead and caused major damage to infrastructure in the province. Shortly before that, world leaders had gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, for a climate conference.
Protesters were calling on the British Columbia government to declare a “climate emergency,” and end investment in pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure.
“People in Extinction Rebellion are saying we’re headed in a direction of extinction and we’re rebelling against it. That’s why I’m here,” Suzuki said, according to CHEK News.
Ellis Ross, the MLA for Skeena, who’s running to lead the B.C. Liberal party, told the Post that this sort of rhetoric is “irresponsible” and “reckless.”
“It’s quite scary, to be honest,” Ross said. “We’re talking about violence.”
In 2010, NASA’s former lead climate scientist also endorsed a similar sounding book. See: James Hansen declared author ‘has it right…the system is the problem’ — Book proposes ‘razing cities to the ground, blowing up dams and switching off the greenhouse gas emissions machine’