Sierra Club Blog Posts

This page shows a collection of all of Sierra Club Canada's blog posts, shown in chronological order. To view the full post, click on its title.

Asbestos Victims: Screw You

Life is full of contradictions. While the prime minister's office is busy bombarding Canadians with industry junk science (thinking it will convince us asbestos if good for the Third World) warning signs adorn Parliament Hill urging us to steer clear while people in space suits remove asbestos.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party of Canada - that just a few months ago was plastering its logo on every available space in Canada - has threaten legal action against a Canadian widow for putting the CPC logo on her anti-asbestos website.

Now here is the contradiction: Prime Minister Harper proudly announced during the election that only the Conservative Party supports asbestos mining. So why is displaying the CPC logo in the context of asbestos damaging to the party? Why is it threatening legal action against this widow?... Read more »

Alberta's Tar Sands: A Dire Dilemma

A Dire Dilemma

By Emma O’Connor, August 8, 2011


In the north of Canada’s Alberta province, a handful of aboriginal First Nation communities grapple with a precarious balancing act. While they reap staggering economic benefits through collaboration with the nearby Tar Sands extraction industry, local doctors, environmentalists and citizens say the oil projects have dramatically harmed native health and lifestyle. This ongoing dilemma is perhaps most potent for the Fort McKay First Nation community, which winds its way through the oil sands and sits less than 40 kilometers north of some of Alberta’s largest excavation sites.... Read more »

Vindictiveness on full display

Someone recently emailed me to say that the Harper government’s cutting 700 jobs at Environment Canada was no more than plain "vindictiveness".

It is tough to argue against that.

The environment is the only file where the government spin masters have failed to win the communications battle. The people being laid off are largely scientists associated with climate change and other areas that have embarrassed the government in the past (and will likely do so again in the future).

In my 30 years doing this work I have never been treated with such contempt and arrogance by a government. There is an utter refusal by the Harper government to even politely listen to reasoned argument.
... Read more »

Cartoon: Cuts coming to Environment Canada

Cartoon Source:Toronto Sun, August 6, 2011

I don't know about you, but I’m absolutely shocked

Canada's energy ministers met in Kananaskis this week. This was the first meeting since the meltdown of the Fukushima reactor in Japan. The first since the unprecedented floods in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Québec. The first since 900 temperature records were set in the United States. The first since the Town of Slave Lake was nearly destroyed by a wild fire. And it was taking place while Canada was in the midst of a record-setting heat and scientists were marveling over the appearance of an ice sheet off Newfoundland half the size of New York (that broke off in Greenland).

You would think the ministers might have been taking about what all this means to Canada and our future. Or at least what Canada should be doing energy wise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and phase-out nuclear power. At least I did, but then again I'm environmentalist and by definition an optimist.
... Read more »

Climate Change Art


A big thanks to Christopher Gill for the great cartoon.

-- The Sierra Club Canada Team


A big thanks to Christopher Gill for the great cartoon.

-- The Sierra Club Canada Team


A big thanks to Christopher Gill for the great cartoon.

-- The Sierra Club Canada Team

JULY 2011... Read more »

Action Report from Europe - International Stop the Tar Sands Day

BERLIN, GERMANY - Ok, I will admit, this is a little ridiculous. It took me nearly a month to post something on how things went on June 18th for International Stop the Tar Sands Day 2011. I promise I have a very good excuse, but I will get to that later.

First, what happened on June 18th here in Europe.

In most parts of Europe the weather was not too great on June 18th. It actually began to rain just as we were setting things up in front of the Canadian embassy in Berlin.  But like last year the rain stopped just before we before our "demo-fest"  (demonstration + festival) began and held off for the next two hours. Mother Nature was on our side again!... Read more »

What is International Stop the Tar Sands Day?

Tomorrow is going to be a day to remember.....

BERLIN, GERMANY - Surprisingly, the question - what is International Stop the Tar Sands Day? -  does not come up that often. With 50 actions in Canada, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand due to kick off this weekend in support of shutting down the tar sands of northern Alberta I thought maybe it was time I answered this question.

I am not going to get into the origins of the Day because you can just go to my very first posts for that. I want to explain what the Day is about.

First and foremost, International Stop the Tar Sands Day is about raising awareness.  In order to do anything about any problem, you need to be aware of it and you need to understand it. There is a beautiful quote from Jane Goodall on how this formula for success works:... Read more »

Our Numbers are Growing

International Stop the Tar Sands Day 2011 is going to be the biggest event in support of shutting down the Alberta tar sands ever!

BERLIN, GERMANY - Last time I wrote I was bouncing off the walls with excitement because of 10 actions planned for 10 major US cities as part of International Stop the Tar Sands Day on June 18th, 2011. Those numbers seem so small compared to what we have right now.

New events seem to pop up every few days so it is getting hard to keep track. This was our events count the last time I checked:... Read more »

Take a Pic, Stop the Tar Sands!

There is more than one way to stop the tar sands.....

BERLIN, GERMANY - The idea came about in a conversation with Micha, who along with Ries are our organisers of International Stop the Tar Sands Day (June 18th) in Amsterdam. I had traveled to Middelburg, Netherlands shortly after returning to Europe from Mexico to meet Micha for the first time. The federal election had just been called in Canada and I was very doubtful that any our events would get off the ground in Canada this year because most concerned Canadians had thrown themselves into working on the election. Fair enough. A healthy democracy = a healthy environment and vice versa.... Read more »

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