More than 13 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product depends on healthy ecosystems, according to Environment Canada. it seems absurd to try to assign worth to something so vital we can't survive without it. Who needs nature? We do. Without nature, we would not be here. How do we put an economic value on that?
The press release had a pretty stark headline: "Haida Announce Termination of Russ George." George was the guy who persuaded the small impoverished indigenous community of Old Massett on Haida Gwaii to part with over $2.5-million. He did so under the pretense that dumping iron in the ocean to stimulate a plankton bloom would net lucrative profits in the carbon credit market. Losing the rogue geoengineer may be good for optics, but it is a meaningless step unless the Haida also jettison his junk visions to manipulate the oceans and climate.
The term "antibacterial" has been used since the 1940s but only gained a hold of the market in the mid-1990s thanks to the widespread use of the antibacterial agent triclosan. But triclosan has a dark side that has only come to light in the last decade. The scientific literature has been peppered with articles showing the potential side effects to triclosan use.
Rio+20 failed, plain and simple. Few are surprised, and many are grasping at straws within the weak, toothless text, searching for something to grab onto to claim victory. Rio failed because if it had succeeded, it would have fundamentally undermined some of the most powerful forces on the planet: big polluters.
I'm not surprised to find out that Canada is promoting the tar sands at the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development and the environment, after all, they have a long and marked history of using these conferences to promote and defend the image of the tar sands abroad. It might not be surprising, but that doesn't mean it isn't wrong.