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Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Blogs

$35 B NSPS is wrong-headed (letter to Prime Minister Harper)

from: Jan Slakov

Salt Spring Island, BC
V8K 1P5
13/2/13

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

It is not too late to save billions of dollars which have been allocated for building new navy ships through the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).

I very much hope you will work with other leaders to change your decision to spend $35 BILLION on the NSPS. The Department of National Defence expects the in-service support costs for these ships to be an additional $14 billion. Yet this project would probably only serve to make our world less secure, by exacerbating the enormous threat we face because we are headed towards ecological and social collapse.

We need to transform our energy systems as an urgent priority. The only good thing about having waited so long to act is that we can take advantage of the most up-to-date strategies and innovations. I urge you to look into the strategy proposed by economist Jeremy Rifkin, author of the NY Times bestseller, The Third Industrial Revolution; How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World and an advisor to political and business leaders in Europe, at the UN, also in San Antonio, Texas.

This first video is about 1/2 hr long and explains how serious climate change is and how we need to move towards an decentralized, collaborative energy and communications system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9wM-p8wTq4&feature=player_embedded#!

The longer video, below, gives a wider vision, showing how the shift to a more sustainable energy system fosters other societal goals, such as reducing the risk from war and terrorism and helping to advance what some have called the culture of peace. Humans are, fundamentally, empathic beings and the way we structure our energy and communications systems can support that aspect of our nature.

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EZv9H62xm0&feature=related

We know how grave the danger is. Even the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has spoken out strongly at the World Economic Summit early this year: “Unless we take action on climate change, future generations will be roasted, toasted, fried and grilled.”

I agree with Tamara Lorincz, a board member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW), who stated in her letter to you:

I am very concerned that the budget for the Department of National Defence has doubled from $10 billion in 2006
to $22 billion in 2012. By contrast, the budget for Environment Canada has stayed flat at $1 billion for the past
14 years but environmental problems, such as poor air quality, polluted waterways, contaminated sites, and global
warming have worsened and are jeopardizing our health, our economy and our children’s future.

She went on to ask you:

Why are you  spending so much on the military and so little on the environment? Why did Canadians not have a
say in the Canada First Defence Strategy that commits $490 billion on the military over the next 20 years? Polls
show that the priorities of Canadians are health, education and the environment, not the military.

I look forward to reading your answer, which VOW will post on its website, once they get it.

Sincere best wishes,

Jan Slakov