While it will be a huge task, people in different countries must form some sort of power base that can challenge corporate power and also influence the signing of a world climate agreement. For our part in North America, it's unfortunate that the NGO environmental sector is so seriously split that it can't be called a movement.
We are, above all else, biological beings, with an absolute need for clean air from the moment of birth to the last death rattle. We are about 60 per cent water by weight, so we need clean water to be healthy. We eat plants and animals for our nourishment, so whatever they're exposed to ends up in our bodies. We need clean soil to give us clean food. These are basic, biological facts and should be the prism through which any decision is made at individual, corporate or government levels. Protection of air, water, soil and the web of life should be the highest social, political and economic priority.
Like Mr. Mulcair, Dr. Jaccard has gone down to Washington to try to shame Canada into walking away from a prospective source of prosperity and employment for the people of Canada. He does his country no service tossing around overheated rhetoric which only arms Canada's competitors and critics against her best interests.
Why should the rest of the world take the Conservative government seriously at the annual UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw or next year in Lima or in Paris in 2015? We've been regularly shamed by the international community, receiving the ignominious "Fossil of the Year" title five years in a row. As it stands now, their actions on everything from emissions regulations to climate finance aren't living up to the standards of the international community, or the standards that Canadians deserve.
Typhoon Haiyan is the latest and most poignant, not to mention the most tragic, example of what is in store for humanity as governments like Canada continue to allow fossil fuel producers to pump carbon pollution into our atmosphere unregulated. So if we know that the intensity and devastating impacts of Typhoon Haiyan are a result of climate change and record levels of industrial greenhouse gas, what is Canada's level of responsibility for what happened in the Philippines?
President Obama's Climate Action Plan, amounts to a strong signal that Canada's "business as usual" days are numbered. It looks like the United States is taking serious action on all these fronts, as promised. Our own government has said it would "wait and see" before following suit. The waiting is now over. Game on.
This is a larger, more esoteric blog than merely defending my use of North Korea and Canada in the same sentence. But, okay, I am also defending my use of North Korea and Canada in the same sentence. The analogy is that in one context only -- global environmental treaties -- Canada is acting rogue, and since North Korea is the most shocking example of a rogue state, the analogy is to North Korea. Given the challenges of Twitter, I think saying Canada is the North Korea of environmental treaties captures it very well. Not literally true in any respect. But as an analogy, it explains just how shocking Stephen Harper's actions really are.
With consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline proposal heading into the home stretch, a parade of Canadian politicians have been making the trek to the U.S. to try to convince the Obama Administration of the pipeline's merits.The good news is that the recent visitors -- from Premiers Redford and Wall to federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver -- now acknowledge that Canada's environmental record is crucial to the upcoming U.S. decision.The bad news is that there are some gaping holes in that record.