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.

Political logic

I recently listened to David Suzuki interviewing Jim Prentice on CBC. What struck me most wasn’t the government’s approach to climate change – which is widely and rightly condemned – but the government’s approach to logic.

Once upon a time, I was a philosophy student.  That line of study provided a fascinating opportunity to look at logical continuity. It’s not rocket science: you start from a set of premises, and work your way to a conclusion in a consistent manner. In theory, problems of politics find their root in incompatible premises – opposing worldviews that can lead two sides to dramatically different positions. Luckily, one would think, the climate change debate is largely scientific and so depends on empirical observation. As long as everyone accepts the premise that science provides objective insights into the ways of the world, we should reach similar conclusions.
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Strong-arming the citizens of Ottawa

So now you need to put up $50,000 before you can take the City of Ottawa to court.

The citizens' group that formed to save the Blanding's turtle and the South March Highlands could be forced to pay the money up front before their application for a judicial review and injunction can be heard. Pretty shocking considering the City has a policy of not seeking costs from citizens' groups.

What's Mayor O'Brien trying to hide that he would stoop to such strong arm tactics to prevent legal scrutiny of the Terry Fox Drive extension?

Plenty. The South March Highlands are one of the most unique and valuable ecological areas of the city. For O'Brien, the goal is to move ahead before too many people find out. It's all being sacrificed on the altar of the automobile in celebration of the stupidity of humankind.
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A letter to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

I just learned the Canada Pension Plan has invested $250 million in a tar sands plant so I have written David Denison, President and CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, to share my thoughts. You should too.

Dear Sir,

I read with dismay that my contribution to the Canada Pension Plan will be used to fuel catastrophic climate change. I presume this is a strategy to reduce future benefit payments by shortening the life span of Canadians. The stress alone from droughts, floods and extreme storms will have a devastating effect.

I can understand the potential benefits for my surviving children and grandchildren, but I would rather everyone live to a ripe old age.

I also wonder how you could be so oblivious to the urgency of the climate crisis that you do not realize burning fossil fuels - however profitable - causes climate change.
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Austria and the Tar Sands

I read an article today called The Dirty Trail of the Black Gold in an Austrian newspaper. It was about the Albertan tar sands and other extreme sources of oil. It made me think about the first time I talked about the tar sands with an Austrian. He had never heard of them before. 

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - I have come full circle. Today, after sleeping very little on a 10 hour night train I arrived in the very first city I travelled to to spread the word about the Tar Sands Demonstrations Europe Project - Vienna.... Read more »

Reflections on the G20

 

What a mess.

When I heard the G20 meeting was coming to Toronto, I knew it would be an expensive inconvenience to Canada’s largest city. But I nevertheless gave our leadership class some credit by thinking they would manage the inconvenience with a degree of competence.

It’s not the first time I’ve been wrong about our public elites. ... Read more »

Thunder Bay To Ottawa, Successful and Content!

Tuesday, June 22, Day Thirty-one: I left Thunder Bay early, I was breakfasted and on the road by about 8:30. I wanted to take full advantage of the two days of rest I had gotten. As always after a rest day, however, it was slow going at the start. I remember being convinced that my brakes were rubbing, and that my load must be about 10 pounds heavier than when I had gotten into town.... By three o'clock I had made it to Nipigon, where I had a big lunch and then got back on the road. I met a really nice cyclist whose name I unfortunately cannot remember and whose picture I lost, due to circumstances that will be explained shortly. Anyway, just past Nipigon is the point where the Highway splits into the #17 and the #11. I had already decided it would be the #11 that I would take, so I headed north and looked to put as much distance as possible behind me before nightfall.... Read more »

Is it anti-Canadian to be anti-Tar Sands?

As Canada Day slowly comes to an end in Germany, I can't help but wonder what it is going to be like for me the next time I am in Canada? 

By now, most of my friends and family in Canada have found out about what I am doing in Europe. None of them have said anything negative about the Tar Sands Demonstrations Europe Project, but I have had some experiences in the past which lead me to believe some may misinterpret my efforts as anti-Canadian.

The opinion piece I wrote last December about the damage the tar sands were doing to Canada's international reputation (see my 2nd post) enraged one reader so much that he told me to hand in my maple leaf. To test out the waters I sometimes tell Canadians in Berlin I am organizing demonstrations in five European cities to raise awareness about the tar sands. There is always an awkward silence afterwards.... Read more »

Offshore oil information in Canada

 

Offshore Oil information in Canada

 

This is my first blog on ``Offshore Oil Information in Canada`` in regards to my research of information on offshore oil extraction that had been given to me as a project by John Bennet. I was able to manage two documents, related to Natural Resources Canada,  last week but had yet to make it available due to technical difficulties on my part.

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Black Block Violence Distracts from Message, Police Brutality Overshadows Peaceful Protests

This week I saw many things that I never expected to see with my own eyes, things I thought only happened in other parts of the world. I saw anarchists smash windows and jump on the roof of a burning police car and graffiti "Bomb the Banks", acts that detract attention from the thousands of peaceful protesters with legitimate concerns about climate change financing, labour rights, women's rights, poverty and other issues. But I also saw (with my own eyes and in numerous videos) police viciously beat and arrest peaceful demonstrators, journalists and innocent bystanders.... Read more »

International "Stop the Tar Sands!" Day is coming to Canada!

 

I heard the news today oh boy!

BERLIN, GERMANY - Last March, when I sent my first email to my first group and subsequently got my first non-response, I never imagined this - a stop the tar sands action in Canada taking place the same day as our demonstrations in Europe (July 17th). 

Don't get me wrong, a demonstration or action in support of shutting down the Canadian tar sands taking place in Canada is logical. The power to stop this disaster lies solely in the hands of us, the people of Canada. But back in March while trying to convince European environmental groups that the tar sands were a problem for Europe as well, I was having trouble staying optimistic that the demonstrations would take place in Europe at all, let alone Canada. ... Read more »

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