Climate Change

How Anjali can win (So we don’t all lose)

A guest post by Bill Henderson

Incompetence  – the way the BC NDP leadership race was set up anybody could seize the NDP and become premier. Because there were only 9000 signed up NDP members, an activist such as Anjali Appadurai could easily sign up 14,000 dissatisfied environmentalists and win the leadership.

That is why she had to be DQed.

Appadurai, a climate and environmental activist, was running to draw attention to how BC NDP government climate policy and actions were deep brown – even though climate change is an emergency and getting worse. If we were serious about climate change, if our government was serious about mitigating climate change, LNG would be shut down, BCs coal industry put on a managed decline, and a management approach to forestry that has turned huge carbon sinks into massive GHG sources would be finally rejected.

These systemic policy changes are all essential in the now urgently needed reduction of emissions, but they are not exactly BC NDP policy.

But any government that tried to shut down LNG, coal and most of the forest industry (even one issue at a time if we had decades) would be annihalated in the next election. Do we need another Liz Truss, only now, here in BC?

No, Anjali had to be DQed.

But she had run in the Fed election as a New Democrat to raise the profile of needed climate action, and contesting the NDP leadership was a chance to hold a terribly brown party accountable while again raising the climate emergency profile.

She is now the victim of a truly stinking insider party protecting process. We all lose: no leadership contest, no debate about the NDPs climate actions, the new premier designate tarred in the mess created, and New Democrats divided.

So how could she (and activists, progressives and the NDP) still win?

The obvious bigger, much more important problem here is that the government of BC can’t do what it must do – now, urgently – in the long term climate interests of its citizens. LNG, coal and forestry reform.

(This is maybe better understood as BC has no right producing, using and exporting substances that could cumulatively prove fatal to our present civilization and maybe even humanity and so the BC government must restrict fossil fuel production. And turning a major carbon sink into a growing GHG source can’t be allowed to happen in BC or Brazil.)

Anjali could lead not only BC but the world if she could just get this most important issue properly and transparently debated within the party. She could offer to withdraw her leadership attempt in the interests of climate and the party if Horgan, Eby and all in the party actually took climate seriously and openly debated what needs to be done, what an NDP government of BC must do and how. LNG, coal and forestry reform – not just the pretend mitigation of CleanBC.

This could be a vital step forward. (You have to hope. It is very late in the day and there has to be a path to real climate action.)

(And because this is really about climate and good government and not about her,  because she is a true green climate activist, we’d all hope Ms. Appadurai ran for the NDP in the next provincial election. And much more after that.)

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Categories: Climate Change, NDP BC

13 replies »

  1. Since she has been deep-6ed by the NDP she and others with climate as priority could cancel their NDP membership and join the Greens.


  2. Bill, you say, “Anjali could lead not only BC but the world if she could just get this most important issue properly and transparently debated within the party.”

    Not sure about leading the world, but her attempt at leading the BCNDP and the issue properly debated within the party got the door slammed in her face and her and her associates labelled thugs and cheaters. Offering to withdraw her leadership bid in the hope that the party would then turn on a dime and get religion on climate after it already publicly told her where to shove her bid seems a tad optimistic.

    As a general rule of thumb, if you have to drag conscripts to the fight kicking and screaming they will make untrustworthy allies. Any party that is deathly afraid to even debate the issue is extremely unlikely to move quickly, decisively, or effectively on it, if at all.

    The BCNDP have shown us who they are on the environment; not by their words but by their deeds. If the old adage that “home is where the heart is” can be believed, the BCNDP is not the home for Ms Appadurai. Or any serious environmentalist.


  3. I’m more with you Lew but I think Ms. Appadurai is a lifelong New Democrat.
    But our focus should be on climate and how to get needed but presently impossible action. A climate activist like her has the questions and answers if we could only get to open, well covered debate on LNG, coal and forestry reform – given our increasingly dire, existential, climate predicament.


  4. That’s why there is a Green Party waiting for Ms. Appadurai to sign up, pay the due$ and run as their candidate to be an MLA instead of …..


    • The most important timeline is reducing emissions urgently to try and cut GHG emissions by more than half by 2030. The last time I looked the Greens were a very minor third party. For better or worse the only possible path is greening the NDP.


    • Anjali Appadurai already said she is staying with the NDP. So too are people who were leaders in her effort. People such as Avi Lewis and Seth Klein.

      These folks bleed orange. They want more influence in the party but will not depart.


  5. There is a line in the post that suggests, flatly states, that shutting down LNG, coal, and poor forestry would annihilate the NDP. The only way that I see that happening is if the NDP is an intransigent, deep brown, lying organization. If the NDP has any sense of honour, courage, and care for the future they have the capacity to explain why it is necessary and beneficial. They have had the capacity to do that for at least 7 years, and they have not tried.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am glad to hear Anjali Appadurai said she is staying with the NDP. I am also heartened by Dave Eby’s response, which says in part”…I saw Anjali bring passion and energy to the conversation about the critical and interconnected challenges facing BC, and in particular to the issues of climate change and environmental sustainability. She also brought many British Colombians to our party, some for the first time — maybe you are one of these new members.
    No matter who you intended to support, for many of you, news of her disqualification will be saddening. And I know this will be particularly hard for those of you who joined specifically to support Anjali.
    While the leadership race is over, the conversation within our party on the issues raised by Anjali during this campaign must continue. I am committed to doing my best to earn the support of and listen to the feedback of all members — because having a strong, united NDP matters…”


    • David Eby said “the conversation within our party on the issues raised by Anjali during this campaign must continue.”

      Those are words of climate change deniers. We’re long past the time for conversation. Now is the time for action. But that won’t happen with this crowd. Generous industry lobbyists have them convinced they’ll lose power if they pay attention to science.

      As a result, NDP is okay with rewarding billions of dollars to fossil fuel producers, which is something even Gordon Campbell refused to do. They’re also happy that BC is North America’s largest exporter of of coal and is one of the world’s largest exporters of wood pellets.

      Mike, you fought against bad government when you were younger. No you defend it.


  7. The best way to forge ahead with any serious action is for the province to declare a state of climate emergency, cancel fossil fuel infrastructure and announce a moratorium on new oil and gas expansion projects, Appadurai said.

    Slowly drawing down emissions year by year, that’s actually not how we’re going to achieve any kind of meaningful climate action,” she said. “I think we do need to acknowledge that we’re failing on this file and in a related way failing on several other files because the climate crisis intersects across all parts of society and the economy.”

    At a muted celebration last week of his ascension to the party leadership, Eby said the province could not continue to expand fossil fuel infrastructure in order to hit its climate goals. He also said he’s “very much looking forward to continuing the conversation with Anjali and the people who signed up to support her.”


    • I am realy sorry that she did not cancel her membership with the NDP, and instead taken out a membership with the Green Party. Her environmentalism would have brought many of those NDP members who joined because of her ideals to do the same and bolster the voices for the environment in the Legislature. The Greens need support along the same way as Appadurai has been saying – it is now an emergency, and just talking is not bringing fast enough ACTION.


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