Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Canada’s New Environmental Policy

Last Thursday’s announcement of Canada’s new Clean Air Act is nothing short of an environmental “snub”. I would be very upset if I actually believed that this was the best they could do, but I’m not.

This is only a “proposed bill”.

In short it hasn’t “got legs”.

It has to follow the same process as any other bill. In theory it could take years to come into effect. And none of that really matters; the opposition has already stated that they will not accept this proposed bill.

So, what does all of this really mean?

The Conservatives has saved “face”. They have proposed a solution to our environmental woes and we have said no. It’s not their fault, they tried and we refused. Their lame attempt to solve the growing problem of global warming has been rejected by all, with the exception of “big business”. The heavy GHG emitters think this bill is fair. It will give them the time they need to “create” new technology’s that will solve all of their problems.

Our “New Government” has sent a clear message to anyone who will listen.
- Kyoto is “dead” to Canada.
- Big Business, Tar sands, mining, logging … etc. Will not be forced to help save the environment.
- The average Canadian will have to take it upon themselves to do their part for the environment.

In the end we will continue with the status-quo.

Is it possible that this was the point of this exercise in the first place?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Someday we will have a plan…someday.

The easiest plan to implement is the plan that does not yet exist. Yesterday’s non announcement of a non environmental plan only muddied the waters a little more. Using such big words as “holistic approach” and “regulatory framework”, Harper attempted to put a spin on his proposal to create a plan of some sort in the future. Just when that might be, no one knows. He may not even know himself. What ever his plan might be, it will more than likely amount to a combination of sucking up to big business, sticking it to the little guy and burying our CO2 heads in the sand.
Without clear and immediate action we will simply be trying to play catch-up to the changes that are occurring right now.
Hope you like it hot.

East vs. West.

After yesterday’s embarrassing moment from our federal government, it would seem as thought the battle of Canada is about to heat up.
Yes the oil sands are a major contributor of GHG in Canada, (the west).
Yes the auto industry is also a major contributor of GHG in Canada, (the east).
So what are we going to do about it?
It would appear as thought the fed’s have found a way to prolong the “climate change debate”, a debate that is all but over in most other countries.

Read all about the “childish “ attitude of our political leaders at, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/04/AR2006100401724.html

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Suburban “green” space.

This past weekend I spent a few hours rediscovering the Rattray marsh. The marsh, located along the shores of Lake Ontario west of Port Credit, is an "environmental gem". Sheridan creek runs through the forest that leads to the marsh. In the forest it is easy to forget that just a few metres away is the bustle of suburban life. Rarely does the sound of “civilisation” penetrate the forest canopy. The creek babbles as it lazily winds its way towards the lake. The creek feeds the marsh that is held back at a shale bar. The “bar” controls the marshes water level. The water was very low, almost empty in fact. The only inhabitants present were a single swan and two ducks. The usual population of carp have been penned in as part of an invasive species study.
Numerous sailboats could be seen everywhere along the lakes calm deep blue surface. The city of Toronto, some 30kms distant, dominated the eastward view. The bright afternoon sun highlighted every detail of the city, including the tan coloured ground haze. October 8th, and pollution still clings to the city. Of course, the tan haze seems to stay with the city all year long now. It’s very rare not to see it.
If, as the global warming naysayers claim, humans are not having an influence on the environment, then what “natural” cause has created this haze?
What naturally occurring element is it composed of?
Why does it only occur over urban centres?
I’m sure the global warming naysayers could put a spin on their answers to these questions that might actually make them sound plausible.
Walking through the marsh as it is enveloped in a tan haze would some how lessen the natural beauty.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ontario's lame environment policy.

A recent report from the Environmental Commissioner, Gord Miller, says that "Ontario's climate is changing because of the build-up of greenhouse gases, yet the province has not developed a strategy for adapting to the changes." The commissioner is also warning Ontarians that severe weather may strain the provincial infrastructure to the point of breaking. He cites recent severe weather events such as the flooding in Peterborough and large power outages.

In a related story, the Premier, Dalton McGuinty, sent a message to Ottawa informing them that when it comes to putting a cap on green house gas emissions, they should concentrate on the oil and gas industry in Alberta and leave the auto manufacturers of Ontario alone.

What’s wrong with this government? These two reports would indicate that the McGuinty liberals don’t give a damn about the environment. Their attitude seems to be that when it comes to “cleaning up” we should look elsewhere. After all, it’s not our fault. Someone else is clearly to blame.

Once again we see the interests of big business put ahead of protection of the environment. As McGuinty said,” forcing the automakers to reduce emissions would hurt the auto industry in Ontario.”

In the fight for better air and better cars it looks as though the people of Ontario have lost on both counts.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

War on Terror or War on Global Warming?

There seems to be a growing group of “concerned scientists, military experts, public servants and citizens” that believe that global terrorism is more dangerous to mankind than global warming.
It would appear that there is a large network of terrorists that spans all over the world. There is no place that is safe from their reach.
How do we identify them?
Is their weapon of choice a gun, bomb or exhaust pipe?
Are they “religious extremists” or heavy GHG emitters?
They are both.
Whether it is Al Qaeda or ExxonMobil, the end results are the same. Suicide bombers and heavy emitters all kill without discretion. It is said that “the first victim of war is innocence”. It would seem that it is quickly followed by intelligence. The war on terror has cost the American people millions of dollars and hundreds of lives. The war on global warming has cost a lot less money, due to inaction, but it has taken a higher toll on life all over the planet. Not just human life, all life.
Does it make sense to waste vast economic and human resources fighting a misguided war that may help bring about the destruction of humanity?
It seems as though the real “war” being waged today is fought between mankind and Mother Earth. Our inactivity with regard to excessive polluting and waste has been over shadowed by a war to secure oil and continued gluttony.
The basic support system of life on this planet starts with the plants. With or without us they can survive.
Next are the animals. They depend upon the plants for their very existence. Remove the plants and the animals will die from starvation.
Finally we have humans. They depend upon the plants and the animals to keep themselves alive. Without plants and animals they will starve to death. Humans are intelligent enough to understand this relationship. Unfortunately they also seem to be hell bent on screwing it up. In our rush “to have great things” we have been slowly destroying the plants, which in turn has caused some of the animals to disappear. In nature there is balance. If the plants grow out of control, the animal population will flourish. More animals consume plants until there are fewer plants. Then the overpopulation of animals will begin to decline as the food source grows smaller. In the end all is returned to its balanced state. In humanity there is no balance. We are all rushing to have the highest standard of living no matter what the cost. In the fight for balance, Mother Earth is falling behind.
Our resources would be better spent on maintaining our life support system instead of maintaining our “wants and desires” system.
In the end Mother Earth will win. If she has to she will simply starve us out.