FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
K’jipuktuk/Halifax – Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia issues the following reply to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce’s defence of climate denialism as a legitimate part of a “for a more robust debate” (see below for the Chamber’s full response):
“Thank you for your reply. We are disappointed in your position that climate denialists must be given a megaphone in our community in the name of ‘debate’.
In the past, we’ve seen pro-tobacco lobbies and anti-vaccine lobbies push harmful propaganda, contrary to settled science, behind the guise of ‘public debate’ and ‘freedom of speech’. We do not believe that Chamber would host a speaker promoting the health benefits of tobacco or spreading anti-vaccine messages, so why host a climate denialist.
The climate crisis is settled science. We know we must make a fair transition to safe energy as quickly as possible, just to give young people their best shot at a livable planet. Sadly, we cannot guarantee them a livable planet, because we are already past that point. Massive growth in the fossil fuel industry and the continuation of fossil fuel profiteering are no longer legitimate positions up for debate – they are a direct threat to millions if not billions of people.
Critically, public confusion around the crisis is a major impediment to action. This stems from large-scale campaigns by fossil fuel lobbyists. By hosting such an event, you lend them legitimacy and so help further delay long overdue action. At this stage of the game, delay is denial.
We urge you to acknowledge the climate crisis and act accordingly. That means reconsidering your invitation to the President of CAPP.
Sincerely, Extinction Rebellion nova Scotia”
Chamber’s full original reply
The Halifax Chamber of Commerce has many events throughout the year in an effort to educate our members and provide insight into news or events that are taking place in Nova Scotia, Canada or the world. We think it is important for our members to enter in dialogue with our presenters to clearly understand the impact their decisions or actions can have in Nova Scotia and Halifax.
The Chamber recognizes that climate change is a key issue facing Canada and the world, and like many Canadians, we are very concerned about the future and what its impact. Rather than have one party present their views, in this case CAPP, we believe that seeing many sides of the discussion can provide for a more robust debate. We have therefore invited not just CAPP but also the CEO of Clean Nova Scotia to speak at the same event. We believe this will provide an opportunity for dialogue which we feel is very important for a full understanding of this complex issue.
Not allowing someone to speak and to update our audience on any progress being made from our presenters’ perspective or provide new information does not advance the discussion or lead to better outcomes.
I very much appreciate your interest in the topic and share with you my concern that we must transition from fossil fuels to solve climate change.
Regards, Patrick Sullivan President and CEO Halifax Chamber of Commerce
Nova Scotia is in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaw people.
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