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.

Bread and circuses

Business is down at my daughter's downtown cafe in Toronto. There has been no economic ripple effect from the G20 meeting. The slower pace, however, has given the locals a chance to talk to each other. She even had time to call her dad just to chat.

"I had a customer the other day," she told me, "we got to talking about the environment and I mentioned Sierra Club. She said, 'Oh yeah, they changed their name.' I didn't know what she was talking about."

Got me thinking about all the time and effort we put into coming up with the right messaging and best strategies. How are we going to position our issues at the G20 to break through the hoopla of world leaders and billion dollar security?

I'm not heading down to Toronto. I've had my fill of marching and banner waving. I know it feels good to get together with people of like mind and express yourself.
... Read more »

Gearing up for the G20

Hello!

My name is Emily Rideout and I’ll be blogging about the G20 taking place in downtown Toronto June 25-27 2010.

So what does climate justice have to do with the G20?  The G20 is a meeting between the finance ministers of both the world's wealthiest countries and emerging economies (Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and India) to discuss the global economy. Collectively, the G20 economies comprise 85%of global gross national product, 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world population.... Read more »

Gearing up for the G20

Hello!

My name is Emily Rideout and I’ll be blogging about the G20 taking place in downtown Toronto June 25-27 2010.

So what does climate justice have to do with the G20?  The G20 is a meeting between the finance ministers of both the world's wealthiest countries and emerging economies (Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and India) to discuss the global economy. Collectively, the G20 economies comprise 85%of global gross national product, 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world population.... Read more »

Smarter cities

photo by Peter Blanchard

Ottawa, the city I have called home for most of my life, has the highest per capita number of residents with Ph.D.s in Canada.  It is filled to the brim with Parliamentary leaders, diplomatic elites, well-heeled bureaucrats, and the staff and students orbiting four universities and two community colleges.

So, for a city so smart, why is our planning so dumb?

Like many North American cities, Ottawa has had an on-going love affair with the automobile. Perhaps it’s time to file for divorce.

The car promises to make us money, so we pour millions into highways. The car promises to make life easier, so we forego a coherent transit plan in favour of sprawl.
... Read more »

The age of greenwash

photo by Toban Black

Over lunch with a colleague the other day, I asked for an assessment of the trajectory of the environmental movement.

I was interested to hear her recall a time – not so long ago – when environmentalism was not yet “green.”

For better or worse, green is today’s preeminent buzzword and branding device. For better, because we are fast approaching a tipping point in climate change and biodiversity loss. If we can somehow broaden the recognition of the environment as an overarching factor in decision-making, then we might finally alter course towards sustainability. 
... Read more »

Medicine Hat Past Regina - Blog post Number Two!

Saturday, June 5 Continued: After Finishing up Blog Post Number one, I still had an errand or two to run. firstly it was to the bike shop, to pick up two new spare tires to replace the ones that got used the day before. Then I had to pick up groceries for the trip. I was exited, because Jordyn was supposed to be there sometime that night, and it had been almost two weeks since I had seen any of my friends, so I wanted to make sure everything was done. The last and most important trip was to the "Family fun Center" the Medicine Hats largest indoor pool. I was just hoping for a hot tub, but this place had EVERYTHING. Hot tub, steam room, Olympic sized pool with High dive AND Diving platform. As a man who's possibly favorite activity is going to the pool, I was in heaven. I spent nearly three hours there, about half an hour or more of which was in the steam room, drinking several bottles of water till I was full to burst.... Read more »

Fake lakes and real news

Sometimes I wonder who is actually running the show.

This week, as omnibus legislation threatened to weaken some of Canada’s strongest environmental laws, all anyone could talk about was a fake lake.

As every media outlet in this country has probably drummed into your head by now, the federal government is being blasted for installing a $1.9 million fake lake at a Toronto media centre. The lake, built in preparation for the G8 / G20 Summits, is being branded as a “marketing pavilion” by the feds. With a trademark blend of indignation and hyperventilation, the opposition has voiced its discontent.  

Far be it from me to justify wasting public money, but somehow my concern lies elsewhere.
... Read more »

The energy question

Let’s pretend there was no BP oil spill. No explosion killing eleven offshore workers. No waves of viscous and pungent grease choking wetlands and sensitive wildlife breeding grounds. No sticky end to the Gulf fishing season, with the portent of immense lasting damage.

Would we still be discussing the hazards of offshore drilling and transport?

Sure, albeit in a very limited way. After all, there is always a deeply concerned minority on issues like these.

But now the conversation is more urgent, more passionate. The minority may gradually, finally be turning into a majority.

Yet the problem is far larger than this disaster alone. In fact, it’s bigger than “BP” or “oil” altogether. The danger lies in human energy needs, and in the way we’re trying to meet them.
... Read more »

Vernon To Medicine Hat: A Summary

Monday, May 24, Day one:  Well after that big Post I made about success and failure, I went ahead and failed right off the bat. I got as far as just outside Lumby, and got a flat tire. So I pumped it up enough to get me back to town, changed it out, and wouldn't you know it; a second flat tire. This, coupled with the fact that I had forgotten a few things, forced me to turn back, and call my girlfriend for a ride home. She was most gracious about it, and although I went to sleep miserable over my poor start, I knew it would have been a lot worse without her to cheer me up.
... Read more »

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