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Fossil Fuel Subsidies as Manslaughter

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Manslaughter is the crime of killing a human being without malice aforethought. The classic defence is “I didn’t mean to do it.” This is not ususlly effective because societies need to hold people responsible for the consequences of their actions. The most successful defence seems to be “I am crazy.”

Climate change is killling people. Canadian Govenrment policies promote climate change. Specifically, subsidies for the fossil fuel industries promote climate change.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that countries around the wolrd will spend $5.3 trillion subsiding oil, gas and coal in 2015, versus $2 trillion in 2011. That is equivalent to 6.5% of global GDP, and is more than governments across the world spend on healthcare.

This has to stop – every voter should be asking every candidate “what are you doing to to make sure your party will stop all subsidies?”

But remember that there are two kinds of subsidies – money given to the industry, and taxes that the industry doesn’t pay. In Canada our Prime Minister is deeply committed to not charging for CO2 emissions and deeply committed to subidies for the oil, gas and coal industry.

Maybe the important question goes to conservative candidates: “Waht are you going to do to get rid of Mr. Harper?” If the answer is “Nothing” or “He is my hero,” then you have a candidate who is, intentionally or not, promoting climate change.

My personal understanding of people in this group is that they are committing a crime against humanity. The only defence I can see at this stage is for Conservative candidates to claim that they are crazy and can’t be held responsible for the consequences of their actions.



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