June 17, 2014
It’s a decision that could define our times. We are witnessing the final stages of a protracted wrestling match between our future and our past.
Can we afford to let this decision stand? Aren’t our children--born and unborn--depending on us?
I’m not going to go into all the reasons why we must end our fossil fuel addiction, and move on to a clean energy future. You’ve heard it before.
But this decision could be different. It could be a game-changer. The Northern Gateway Tar Sands pipeline could be a turning point because of the huge opposition in British Columbia —unparalleled in Canadian history:
- 130 First Nations and over 10,000 residents have...
May 22, 2014
It’s been a busy week for government propagandists. Why?
Back when I was a reporter I had a mantra I would chant to myself while writing: Who, What, When, and Why. Who, What, When, and Why? It’s particularly effective when applied to government stories, so let’s apply it to last week’s series of announcements.
WHO: The federal government that has turned a deaf ear to climate change and mitigation, and stripped itself of the ability to protect the environment by gutting the Environmental Assessment, Fisheries and Navigable Waters Acts.
WHAT: New rules for tankers that raise the ceiling on corporate liability but not enough to ensure taxpayers won’t be making a big contribution to cleaning up the next disastrous oil spill....
Farley Mowat passed away this week at the age of 92. It has been thirty years since he wrote “Sea of Slaughter”, a book that I’ll never forget. He sold almost 17 million books over his long and decorated career. His books about nature (translated into 52 languages) were a major contributor not only to the Canadian environmental movement, but the global movement to protect the earth.
Millions of people around the world view Canada in a better light because of his life’s work. He mixed the serious with humour in devastating ways, making us smile one minute, cry the next and then rant with a rage over how we treat this planet.
I’ve been thinking about my favourite Farley Mowat book, “No Bird Sang”, since I heard the news today.
I first met Farley in the back room of a book store in Belleville, having arrived late for an interview following a book signing. I was late because I detoured to pick up my wife and daughter -- I didn...
This week is Emergency Preparedness Week -- the kind of non-event, event that might mean we’ll see a photo (or two) of a politician at some media event, but most won’t give it a second thought.
At best, it might evoke an image of Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory with his survival backpack and fluorescent arrows painted on the floor. Some of us older folks might evoke the man on a street corner shouting: “Repent the end is near!”
A couple of weeks ago I attended the Symposium on Extreme Weather: Impacts, Challenges and Adaptations, presented by the Canadian Climate Forum in Ottawa. As you would expect from the title, I heard a...