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.

Shell & Canwest bring you an "Information feature"

We've been chatting the past couple days, here in the office, over an interesting full page ad...err...news article...err..."special information feature on climate change" that has appeared in the Ottawa Citizen (and the National Post, Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, and possibly others) the past couple of weekends. 

Indeed, it is quite unclear what this thing is.  It looks like a regular newspaper article, has nice pictures, is seemingly well-written, and would appear to be written by a legitimate journalist.  Yet, something isn't quite right.

The full title reads "New Energy Future: The Energy Challenge and Environmental Responsibility."  So far so good.  I'm intrigued really - until the next line that is: "A six-week Canwest special information feature on climate change, in partnership with Shell Canada."  ... Read more »

The Blackmail Begins

One of the reasons I still read the newspaper (besides being old) is the chance you might come across something you're not looking for.  You can't google, "What might be important or interesting?"

I was flipping through the Globe and Mail this morning and accidentally discovered a case of corporate blackmail.  It was subtle and I would not have spotted it without the words "environmental rules" in the title (Yes, I could have googled "environmental," but I would have received thousands of meaningless hits).

UTS Energy Corp apparently owns 20% of the proposed Foot Hills tar sands mine and last week it announced it was lowering its estimate of the recoverable bitumen (natural form of tar) reserves.  The company says only 490 million barrels can be economically extracted from the 2 to 4 billion barrels at the site.  Why is this?... Read more »

Changing the Channel

Riding on the bus this morning I was pondering how good Québec Premier Jean Charest looked standing up to Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, this week. 

On Monday, Mr. Prentice attacked Québec for establishing California standards for car emissions which are tougher than the Xeroxing of U.S. federal fuel economy regulations that Mr. Prentice had his staff do in order to create national mileage regulations for Canada.  Prentice talked about Quebec going alone when in fact there are 14 U.S. states and four other provinces in Canada that are all going down the same road.... Read more »

Battling for a Security Council Seat - will the environment play a role?

Sometimes I like to pretend I know the future.  I like to imagine how things could play out if only...

Before I get to that though, let me begin with what I know.

In 2008, Canada stated its intention to run for a non-permanent seat in the infamous United Nations Security Council for 2011-12  (Click here for more info).  As per the rules of these elections, which are designed to ensure more equal represenation, two of the five seats (there are 10 non-permanent and 5 permanent members) that are up for an election in October of this year will come from the Western European and Others Group of which Canada belongs.... Read more »

What's going on behind the scenes

In my short time at Sierra Club Canada, I've noticed and been a part of a number of changes here.  On a personal note, I went from being an intern to Campaign Coordinator.  Where before I found myself in largely a learning role, I now handle some more responsibility (though I still have a lot to learn) and am actively involved in a couple of different campaigns - namely waste diversion and water.

From the time I started in September until December, the focus was on transitioning toward being a more responsive, more modern organization.  This meant not just a new website, but also a new approach to how we engage with you and Canadian society more generally.

To that end, I'd like to quickly emphasize a couple of ways in which we are moving forward. ... Read more »

2 years, 2 weeks, and 12 paragraphs

Delegates from over 180 countries stood and applauded.  UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said, “This is a real breakthrough, a real opportunity for the international community to successfully fight climate change.”  This was the reaction from two years ago following the conclusion of COP 13 in Bali, Indonesia.

From the Bali conference, came the “Bali roadmap,” which was to lay the foundations for a future international agreement on climate change.  To further add impetus, COP 15 in Copenhagen was set as a deadline to get a deal finalized.

Over those two years, representatives from countries around the world convened periodically at a number of UNFCCC meetings to talk and negotiate in preparation for COP 15.

Then came the big show.  There were thousands of protesters, hundreds of arrests, thousands of delegates, and over a hundred world leaders present. 

Denmark seemed overwhelmed.  So too did the UNFCCC.... Read more »

Climate Action Network Canada Response to "Copenhagen Accord"

"The job is not done.

The Copenhagen Accord is not ambitious, it is not fair and it is not binding.

This agreement has huge loopholes and gaps.  The goals for reducing pollution keep us on a path that science says leads to catastrophic warming.

The financing in this deal to help developing countries confront a crisis not of their making amounts to less than the subsidies nations serve up to the fossil fuel industry.

It is essential that countries work to finalise a strong agreement in the next 6 months.   Countries should meet as many times as is needed over these 6 months to ensure that there is not another failure to get a deal that gets the job done.

In the mean time, we are faced with a very costly delay, with costs measured in human lives, and in dollars.

... Read more »

Canada the Colossal Fossil

I have some bad news: Canada just won the Colossal Fossil award, aka the Fossil of the Year award. This award is handed out to the country that has done the most to obstruct negotiations during the entire COP. Canada had the dishonor of winning this award last year as well.

... Read more »

Copenhagen Wheel

Well, the bad news is coming in waves today.  Stephen Harper missing in action, China refusing to compromise, Canada winning the Colossal Fossil of the Year (as voted by over 400 NGOs around the world for being the worst country at climate negotiations for 2009), NGOs continue to be locked out of the Bella Center, no movement from any countries to increase their pledges and break the developing-developed country split that has characterized the talks, etc. 

Long gone are hopes for a robust and binding agreement.  Also long gone are hopes for even a political agreement to take action.  Now, the latest is a rumoured "political declaration" in which countries would continue to say that they will work together with a deadline of June 2010 to get a treaty on paper. ... Read more »

READ THE BLOG of Sierra Club Canada Foundation's Program Director John Bennett and follow him on TWITTER

       

Sign-up and get involved...

Receive important news and action alerts!