Canada’s Environment Minister Says Reducing Green House Gases Pointless

If you want to tell Mr. Prentice that it is pointless to ignore the risk of global climate destabilization from climate change any longer, click here for his contact info.

  • In an interesting twist, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now saying he wants to work on saving the most vulnerable people on earth, women and children.¬† In a recent opinion article in The Toronto Star, Harper wrote:

“As president of the G8 in 2010, Canada will champion a major initiative to improve the health of women and children in the world’s poorest regions.”

However, as Star environment columnist Peter Gorrie points out, the most recent UN “State of the World’s Population Report” states women are the segment of the population most vulnerable to suffer from climate change -related effects:

Women … are among the most vulnerable to climate change, partly because in many countries they make up the larger share of the agricultural work force and partly because they tend to have access to fewer income-earning opportunities.

Women manage households and care for family members, which often limits their mobility and increases their vulnerability to sudden weather-related natural disasters. Drought and erratic rainfall force women to work harder to secure food, water and energy for their homes. Girls drop out of school to help their mothers with these tasks (creating a) cycle of deprivation, poverty and inequality.

Gorrie goes on to conclude:

If Harper were serious about his new campaign, he’d put Canada in the lead on climate change rather than keep us a laggard. He’d make that policy part of a coherent effort to change the conditions that condemn so many women and children to desperate, short lives.

Click here to read Gorrie’s full article.

What if it’s all a hoax?

As usual, humour cuts through nonsense to portray an essential truth. I found this cartoon at a blog entitled Globalization and the Environment (click here to visit it). The blogger is Rob Elliot, an economist at the University of Birmingham, UK who has “an interest in all aspects of the Economics of Globalisation especially the environmental implications“.

The cartoon is by Joel Pett, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Cartoonists and Writers Syndicate, and was published on December 7, 2009 in USA TODAY.

Christmas and Climate Change

I like Christmas as much as the next person, or at least parts of it – the eating good food, getting together with friends and family, and taking time off of work parts. But, as the “Advent Conspiracy” campaign points out, there are big problems with the way we in North America celebrate it. And the way we celebrate the season contributes in a very real way to climate change. If you have 2o minutes and want to know more about the connection between overconsumption and the destruction of the planet, check out Annie Leonard’s video “The Story of Stuff“, or watch the 3-minute teaser on my blog’s video list.

Here’s some slam poetry from OneClimate.net on this topic:

And if you still want more, rent the hilarious documentary¬† “What Would Jesus Buy”. Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir are filmed on a tour across the U.S. to save Christmas and Americans from the Shopocalypse. He asks “Will we walk in the Valley of the Shadow of Debt, or will we find a new way to give a gift this Christmas?”

There are some serious laughs in the tongue-in-cheek political theatre Reverend Billy and his group engage in. Thanks to Donna from Junk ‘n Java, our local second-hand and fair trade store,¬† for loaning it to me!

For more inspiration and ideas about how to change the way Christmas is celebrated, check out the Buy Nothing Christmas website.

“The Elephant is Moving”

Here’s what Avaaz.org, a grassroots activist organization, had to say about the failed negotiations in Copenhagen last week:

“…while leaders failed to make history, people around the world did. In thousands of vigils, rallies and protests, hundreds of thousands of phone calls, and millions of petition signatures, an unprecedented movement rose to this moment. After hearing the result of the talks, one member from Africa wrote “It takes a lot to get an elephant moving, but when you do it is hard to stop…the elephant is moving

Avaaz added this cautionary addendum:

There were some opening champagne in Copenhagen today. The polluting industry lobbyists and corporations — those who have captured our democracies and divided our leaders — celebrated their victory. They operated quietly in the shadows, but their voices were loud in some politicians’ ears. As they drank their champagne their one concern may have been us – the potential of our new people-powered movement. In fact, they’re already launching an attempt to silence us...”

Click here to read more about Avaaz.org and join the movement to “close the gap between the world we have, and the world most people everywhere want.”

An Advent Conspiracy – Mending the World

There is a Hebrew phrase, Tikkun Olam, which means mending or perfecting the world. For many of the Jewish faith, Tikkun Olam has come to connote social action and the pursuit of social justice.

Today is the final Advent Sunday, a time of expectation and hope. Advent anticipates Christmas, a world-changing event for Christians. Advent Conspiracy is a campaign that asks “What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?”.

We and this blue planet we inhabit are in need of a conspiracy of people of all faiths to pursue Tikkun Olam. Check out this video that challenges the way Christmas is now celebrated, and offers a different way, a way of mending the world. Click here to learn more.

Thanks to my brother Tom, who sent this video my way a few weeks ago!