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2006 12 09
The Politics Of Green: Canadians Want Change
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Recent surveys of Canada’s political landscape turned up some interesting trends. Canadians, much to the surprise of the current federal government, are deeply concerned about the environment. In fact, the environment ranks a close second to health care as the topic we want political action on. Surprised? George Monblot writes in the Straight.com that Canadians rank among the worst polluters in the world:

So it’s a shock to discover that there is scarcely a whisker of difference between Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and those of the U.S. and Australia. In Europe climate change campaigners are - as we should be - heartily ashamed of our nation’s contribution to the destruction of the biosphere. In the United Kingdom, we each produce an average of 9.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year. The Germans turn out 10.2 tonnes, and the French 6.8. But the Canadians emit an average of 19.05 tonnes a year - just 50 kilos less than the Australians and a tonne less than the Americans. While emissions across much of Europe are falling, in Canada they have been rising for over 10 years.

Because of its size and northern climate, Canada’s consumption of energy trends above the world norms. However, we are also engaged in discretionary energy consumption like coal fired generators and tar sands processing that require burning vast amounts of fuel.

The only way to reduce those emissions is through regulatory action by all levels of government. Yet, the public mood for conservation of our increasingly fragile environment is not registering on their political radars. That has to change. Now that the pollution denying neo-conservative ideologues south of the border have lost their grip on power, our own conservative party is quickly rethinking its environmental position. Meanwhile, all Canadians wait expectantly for the revised energy plan the minority government is promising. 

[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 12/09 at 04:32 PM

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