This past week, several local environmental groups asked us to reassess Vancouver’s role in the climate crisis. On Sunday morning, Rising Tide-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories set up a 15-foot mock fracking rig on Premier Christy Clark’s lawn. “How does she justify going on other people’s property and doing the same thing?” said Teresa Diewert. “If you look at the hydraulic fracturing all over North America it’s destroying the water and B.C. is one of the last places that good water is still available and we feel like we can stop it.”

It’s one of many examples of direct action organized by Rising Tide. What weaves their disparate demonstrations together is a commitment to the root causes of the ecological crisis. “We ground our work in decolonizing principles,” Rising Tide notes on its website, “recognizing that environmental injustice stems from discrimination, domination, and violence through colonial occupation and expansion with the help of capitalist and imperialist institutions.”

There are other environmental organizations underscoring such root causes. On Saturday, we attended the World Peace Forum Society teach-in, entitled “If Capitalism Doesn’t work, What Does?” One of the lectures we took in was entitled “Cracked Pipes – Energy Challenges from Enbridge to Lac Megantic”, with co-presenters Roger Annis and Brad Hornick, both members of the newly-formed Vancouver Ecosocialist group.

“We have a capitalist economic system in which the imperative for growth prevails over everything,” said Annis in a conversation after the lecture. “So it’s not possible to rein in this system to have an economy that is consistent with the limits and the capacities of what our ecology allows us to do.”