Articles Environment

  • “You can’t fool the environment any of the time”

    Environment

    The climate change threat presents at least four unique difficulties. The time frame: Unlike other dire threats to human existence, such as nuclear war or military-industrial dictatorships, climate change has a finite time frame. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cannot wait for innumerable agreements, accords, and conventions that minimize the problem, and it cannot wait for the entrenched wheels of bureaucracies to budge.

  • British Columbia’s Meaningless Climate Debate

    Judging by the response of mainstream environmentalists, British Columbia’s recent provincial election was a referendum on how to fight climate change. The Liberal incumbents proposed no change to the carbon tax they introduced last year. The opposition New Democratic Party wanted to replace the tax with “a ‘cap and trade’ plan — just like U.S. President Obama.”

    Prominent green NGOs, including the David Suzuki Foundation, the Pembina Institute, and ForestEthics, blasted the NDP for taking a “backward step.” A Pembina representative wrote: “The carbon tax is already showing results. It is important for British Columbia to keep moving forward on climate change rather than starting over again.” The Liberals won the election, so BC’s green future is assured. Right? Wrong.

  • Taking on the Tar Sands

    In his first speech to a business audience after his election in 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announcement that Canada was an “emerging energy superpower” signaled his government’s commitment to unflinching support for the relentless expansion of Alberta’s tar sands, primarily to supply synthetic crude oil to the United States. Since then, the tar sands have been the subject of extensive national and international media reporting, even receiving attention in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, where his staff disparaged the tar sands as “dirty oil.”

  • To Eat Like Our Ancestors Did

    In our overweight society – processed food at our fingertips every way we turn – it is a breath of fresh air to find a way to survive in a healthy fashion and get back to the basics of eating real, all-natural foods the way that our ancestors did.

  • Big Soy

    Soy consumption in North America and Europe is increasing exponentially, these days, for reasons ranging from health consciousness to animal rights to a more mainstream acceptance of tofu. The incredible landmass devoted to soy, however, won’t make the hippies happy. While soy is increasingly promoted as a healthy alternative to animal products in the North, the soy industry is destroying homes, livelihoods, health and the environment across South America. In the context of a global food crisis, in both the North and South large-scale agribusinesses are tightening their grip and local alternatives are espoused as the only saving grace.

  • Hot Air

    Jeffrey Simpson, Mark Jaccard and Nic Rivers belong to the second group. In Hot Air: Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge, they show convincingly that, if government doesn’t act, this country’s appalling record on greenhouse-gas emissions will get much worse.

  • BC’s Carbon Tax

    H.L. Mencken once wrote, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. “British Columbia’s recently announced carbon tax is a case in point. It won’t reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and it will have no impact on global warming – but it will hurt working people and the poor.

  • Ottawa’s Fraudulent Global Warming Plan

    Canada’s federal government is fiddling while the world burns. The Tories’ “Action Plan” to deal with climate change, announced by Environment Minister John Baird on April 26, is actually a recipe for inaction and delay.

  • 12-Step Program to Combat Climate Change

    While global warming is now garnering citizens’ attention around the world, the Canadian government’s abandonment of climate policy has awakened the public to the need for action. In October, 2006, Stephen Harper attempted to hoodwink us with a PR strategy taken straight from George Bush: Promise “clean air” and phony targets for emissions that mirror business-as-usual, while raising doubt about the science of global warming and the economic consequences of taking action.

  • Scouring Scum and Tar from the Bottom of the Pit

    Faced with the undeniable reality of “Hubbard’s Peak” in global conventional oil supplies, the world’s largest multinational energy corporations are now hell-bent on squeezing oil out of tar in northern Alberta, like junkies desperately conniving for one last giant fix in a futile attempt to quench America’s insatiable “addiction to oil” (described so eloquently by President George Bush II). Along the Athabasca River near Fort McMurray, a sub-arctic town almost 1,000 kilometres north of the U.S. border, tar literally seeps out of the riverbanks where Aboriginal peoples once used it to patch their birch-bark canoes. But most of the tar sands lie hidden below northern Alberta’s boreal forest, in an area larger than the state of Florida.

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