Monday, November 27, 2006

Canada - an environmental pariah?

First it was the hopelessly inadequate Clean Air Act, calling for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 45 and 65% from 2003 levels by 2050 when science suggests the need is more like 90%. (Strike one)

Then it was Canada's opposition to a ban on bottom trawling on the high seas despite mounting scientific evidence the practice is devastating to sea bottom ecologies. Iceland and other laggards would probably have defeated the proposal anyway, but we certainly didn't help. As Jennifer Lash, executive director of Living Oceans Society, observed, "Canada didn't kill the deal, but they were definitely an accomplice." That's us -- accomplices in a crime against the environment. (Strike two)

And now, our government is slashing a host of our climate-change programs, including five at Agriculture Canada that would assist farmers in developing more environmentally sound practices. This comes after they shut down the federal climate change website,, earlier in the year. (Strike three)

Three strikes and counting against the Harper Conservatives.

George Monbiot, a British journalist who has written about climate change for years, observes, "Canada is in serious danger of becoming an international pariah on this issue." It appears our reputation around the world on the most important issue of our times, or any other time, is going into the toilet.


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