Sierra Club Blog Posts
I’m headed to New York City this weekend to march with tens of thousands for climate action. A number of people have been ruminating on the wisdom of travelling so far, with its carbon implications and use of resources. But as we saw with the Arab Spring, revolutions are won when people stand arm-in-arm for justice.
That’s why I’m going. I made my decision a few minutes ago after a call with the “Lobby Monitor”. They obtained a copy of the briefing binder given to Greg Rickford earlier this year (Rickford replaced Joe Oliver as Minister of Natural Resources in March 2014) and I was asked if I wished to comment on his instructions to obtain the infrastructure necessary to export oil and diversify markets (read: find new Asian customers).... Read more »
My brother liked to throw things at me shouting “THINK FAST!"
Now I’m doing it to you! August 29th is the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's (CNSC) deadline for comments on its “Hypothetical Severe Nuclear Accident and Effectiveness of Mitigation Measures" report. You can send yours here.
Sorry for giving you so little time.
Back in 2012 we all urged the CNSC to consider what would happen if a Fukushima-scale accident took place in Canada. Would the CNSC's emergency measures have been effective?... Read more »
The National Energy Board (NEB) is continuing its undemocratic approach to pleasing its master: the oil industry. Most recently, the Calgary-based rubber stamp is trying to use the summer to hide yet another concession. On July 11th the NEB said it was going consider a request from Imperial Oil and Chevron to weaken the rules for offshore drilling in the Arctic and gave the public until August 1st to comment (some strong arguing won an extra two weeks).... Read more »
Anyone who knows me knows I’m not good at keeping secrets, and I particularly don’t like when governments work in secret. Governments feed us a lot of malarkey about why secrecy is essential, but 9 times out of 10 there’s no justifiable reason.
Here are some government plans developing in secret that everyone should know about.
At an undisclosed location in Ottawa this week, 400 delegates from Pacific Rim countries are negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) - the latest ‘free trade’ deal our government says we just have to have.... Read more »
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:... Read more »
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.... Read more »
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.... Read more »
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!”... Read more »
Should a CBC radio and television commentator be accepting speaking fees for pro-Tar Sands speeches on the side without publicly disclosing the financial conflict of interest to viewers? Should a national newspaper consider--let alone sign--a strategic partnership with the oil industry (a.k.a. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) to produce content? Would such a move render the paper a non-news organization? Should it?
These two stories emerged over the last week and received almost no attention in the media. There has to be a better explanation than Olympic coverage eating up air time.
We’re all familiar with the National Post’s ‘tendencies’ (sorry Terrence) so I wasn’t overly shocked with the latter. But I have to say I was taken aback by the news about Rex Murphy.... Read more »