We Have Better Choices Than “Drill Baby Drill”

The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” Utah Phillips

The magnitude and the potential for ecological damage is probably more great than anything we’ve ever seen in the Gulf of Mexico.” Nancy Rabalais, a scientist who heads the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, on the BP/Transocean oil rig explosion. Click here for more information on the impact of the spill on the Gulf’s ecosystem on Think Progress’s “The BP Oil Spill’s Toll on Gulf Coast Wildlife: All Bets Are Off.”  To get a sense of the magnitude of the disaster, click here to go to The Atlantic for “If You Think You have a Sense of the Oil Spill’s Scale”  which allows you to overlay a scaled representation of the Deepwater Horizon spill onto a Google Earth view of any city or region you choose.

The catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico shows clearly what our fossil fuel addiction is doing to our planet (if climate change and widespread loss of biodiversity isn’t obvious enough!). This could be a pivotal moment, however, when we finally turn from our addiction to filthy fuel and embrace clean energy. There are much better ways for us to get our energy – but Big Oil & Gas don’t want to wean themselves off their addiction to billions and billions of dollars in profit every year, so they are very invested in the status quo (and don’t forget we, the taxpayers, subsidize these companies to the tune of $500 billion dollars a year!). But there is a cleaner, greener way!

I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait ’til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” Thomas Edison

“The world’s deserts can supply energy for every conceivable demand by humankind.” Dr. Gerhard Knies

Rather than continuing to base our economy on a finite supply of dead things, we can base it on sources that are practically infinite and eternal: the sun, the moon and the Earth’s inner fire.” Van Jones

From “Friends of The Earth”:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MWWjpF-Pbg&feature=player_embedded]

Canada Unable to Formulate Its Own Climate Policy

Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice appeared on CBC Radio’s “The Current” with guest host Susan Ormiston this morning.  He kept repeating the now standard Conservative mantra that Canada can’t do anything until the U.S. takes definitive action on capping its emissions and adopting green technology.  This brings into question our nation’s sovereignty.  Although Canada has always had the U.S. elephant as our neighbour, it hasn’t deterred us from taking independent stances in the past.  Mr. Prentice and Mr Harper just need to look into the Progressive Conservative Party’s history – whether it is former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s leadership role in curbing acid rain emissions or former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s refusal of nuclear arms for Canada.  If either of these Conservative leaders had taken the present Conservative Prime Minister’s stance of letting the Americans take the lead, our country would be a very different place.

To hear the whole interview, click here and go to Part 1 of today’s program.

In other coverage leading up to Copenhagen, Robert J. Kennedy Jr. wrote an interesting commentary in the Huffington Post yesterday on “The New Arms Race”.  In the article, Mr. Kennedy asserts that the Chinese are now spending as much on green energy technologies as on the military.  38 % of the recent Chinese stimulus package went to renewable energy, in comparison with just 12% of the U.S. stimulus package.  (Here in Canada, the Conservative government designated a whopping 8 % of the stimulus package to renewables in last January’s budget).

Also in yesterday’s Huffington Post, James Hoggan asserts that the climate denial industry should foot the bill for delayed action on addressing climate change (see my post yesterday on the CBC coverage of this issue). The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently announced that every year of delayed action to address climate change will add $500 Billion to the price tag of saving the planet.