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2012-01-09  |  John Bennett

The Federal Government is engaged in an unprecedented campaign to damage the credibility of the environmental movement. In the latest move, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver (apparently replacing Environment Minister Peter Kent as the chief anti-environmentalist government spokesperson) submitted an “open letter” to the media. In it, he links “radicals and environmental groups” and charges they are against everything. 

As a father of three grown daughters and grandfather of one beautiful baby boy, I struggle with being called a radical. It’s true I work for a conservation organization. Sierra Club was founded in 1892 and has a long track record of drawing public attention to environmental issues and, perhaps more importantly, helping...

2011-12-30  |  Derek Leahy

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (I’ve moved!) – As 2011 comes to an end I cannot help but wonder. Years from now when the pages of history are written on how people around the world stopped the largest and most destructive energy project in the world – the Albertan tar sands - will they say 2011 was the turning point? I think it may have been, but I will let you judge for yourself.

A look back on 2011: 

At the end of March, the European Union Climate Change Commissioner announced that the EU Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) would recognize tar sands oil has a higher carbon footprint than conventional oil. As I write these words,  the Canadian government and the oil industry (Total Oil, BP, Shell) continue to lobby EU countries to reject the FQD, but the precedent has already been set. A major international...

2011-12-20  |  John Bennett

This is my last blog of the year so I want to begin by sincerely thanking you for being part of the most exciting year of my campaigning career. In 2011 we probably had one of highest participation rates for email campaigns in all of Canada. Again, thank you.

Today I want to tell you about a disturbing pattern emerging in the public dialogue on environmental issues that has the potential to do significant damage to the environmental movement and our ability to positively influence public opinion. Influencing public opinion, after all, is how we have achieved the great change in how the natural environment is viewed and treated, so it’s important to understand what is happening.

It first came to my attention when CBC reported a meeting between Alberta government officials and the oil...

2011-12-17  |  Malaika Aleba

This summer in Oxford, I had the privilege of meeting the inspirational photographer, musician, and writer, Amelia Gregory, while she was on tour to promote her new book, Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Amelia got her start as a fashion photographer working for the likes of The Guardian, Sleaze Nation, and Time Out Magazine before creating her own publication, Amelia’s Magazine, an online ethical fashion and illustration bible.

She spoke at Comma, Oxford’s adorable independently-owned gift shop, about her book and the role of art and design in the growing environmental movement.

No stranger to the link between...

2011-12-09  |  John Bennett

This morning when I woke up, I saw that I received an email from Graham Saunders. Graham’s email really summarizes the situation in Durban succinctly and I wanted to share it with you.

If you haven’t already, please take a moment and send a message to the Prime Minister and Federal Environment Minister telling them to uphold Canada's reputation and do what's right in Durban! After reading the post below, I know you will!

– John Bennett, Executive Director, Sierra Club Canada


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