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.

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 »

How the Tar Sands Demonstrations Europe Project Began - Part Two: Copenhagen and Canada's International Reputation

How does one go from being a care-free individual giving walking tours to subsidize his many many travels in Europe to organizing demonstrations in five major European cities to raise awareness about the tar sands? 


BERLIN, GERMANY - My last post explains why I decided to finally get involved in the climate change movement but not why I began with the tar sands. There are dozens if not hundreds of different issues related to climate change that I could have began with but I chose the tar sands.... Read more »

G20 Update

Yesterday was one of the craziest days of my life, I never thought I would ever witness firsthand anything like the violence perpetrated by both police and anarchists.  I am actually speechless about everything that has happened in the last 24 hours. I’ve lost count of the number of abuses to civil liberties and uncalled for cases of police brutality that I have witnessed or read about.

I have posted some photos in my gallery (slide show below) and some videos (below) but I’ll wait to share my thoughts on the whole weekend once I’ve had time to digest the inspiring acts I have seen as well as the terrible ones.

Toronto will not soon forget the weekend the G20 came to town. 



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Naomi Klein Leads March From Massey Hall, Speaks to Crowd at G20 Tent City

Naomi Klein spoke at the Shout Out for Climate Justice hosted by the council of Canadians on June 25th. Afterwards she invited the audience to join her in marching to the tent city erected that day in Allan Garden to protest poverty in Toronto.



The Audience of Massey Hall arriving at Allan Garden around 11pm

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How the Tar Sands Demonstrations Europe Project Began - Part One: Copenhagen


How does one go from being a care-free individual giving walking tours to subsidize his many many travels in Europe, to organizing demonstrations in five major European cities to raise awareness about the tar sands? 

BERLIN, GERMANY – When I told my Grandmother last March that I was going to organize tar sands demonstrations in Europe her response was: “Derek, I wish you never went to Copenhagen!” No matter what I do, she always worries about me (God bless her!). She was right too. None of this would have happened had I not spent three weeks in Copenhagen, Denmark last December during the UN Climate Change Summit or COP 15.... Read more »

Sustaining a movement

Sometimes, what attracts you to a cause isn’t what holds your interest in it.

Although the environment was always a concern for me, it didn’t move into a place of central importance until fairly recently.

I’m one of those people who always considered themselves “balanced.” In fact, I prided myself on it. I would do my best to weigh competing arguments before making a decision. I enjoyed nuance in any argument. I tried not to opine on a subject before absorbing reams of information.

To a large extent, I’m still the same person. But on the topic of the environment, I am more than ever convinced that a "balanced” approach is the perfectly wrong way to deal with the severity of the crisis at hand.
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G20 - Toronto Police Given New Powers Near Security Fence

I have just learned that the Toronto Police have been given new temporary powers to prevent protesters from approaching the 1984-esque security fence around downtown Toronto. Police have been granted the power to:... Read more »

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