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2011-01-20  |  John Bennett

We have a new environment Minister and, as usual, a new spin to go with him. He wasn't in the job a whole day before he starting talking about "ethical oil" - an oxymoron to most of us, but a popular line in right-wing circles these days.

The next day the Prime Minister made it official when used the same phrase.

Like any good diversionary tactic it has all of us scrambling to come up with the right arguments to refute the notion that there is such a thing as ethical oil, and do the tar sands qualify?

Lookout! It's a debating trap designed to change the argument from what's wrong with the tar sands to what's good about them. A clever trick - but that's all it is.

So when the Globe and Mail asked me to react to this new government spin, I didn't try to argue poisoning fish, wildlife and the people who eat them is just as unethical as denying Saudi women equal rights or hanging protesters Nigeria. Frankly I don...

2011-01-12  |  Bryn M

Join us for this special Canmore event...
B.C.'s Flathead River Valley: Protect It Now!

 

Flathead Nov poster header.jpg

 

Please join us for an evening of extraordinary images and speakers, to support permanent protection for B.C.'s Flathead River Valley. The Flathead adjoins Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and is a key link in the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

Speakers include Harvey Locke from the Wild Foundation, Casey Brennan from Wildsight and Sarah Cox from Sierra Club BC.

The evening includes a display of photographs taken during a 2009 Flathead RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition)...

2010-12-03  |  Malaika Aleba

 

Children have a special relationship to nature that we don’t often get to hear about, so I decided to interview the two children of family friends of ours, Spencer and Noah, aged 8 and 6, respectively. They made some pretty awesome points about pollution, spiders, and the merits of playing outside!

An interview with Spencer, Aged 8:

What was the most fun you’ve ever had playing outside?

At my cousin’s house, at his birthday party, we played capture the flag and water guns and stuff.

What do you like more - playing outside or computer games?

Playing outside. I like going hunting with my dad. Sometimes we go camping for a day or come back before midnight. My favourite part of hunting is target practice, but also hiking because on the hikes we get to see a lot of blue jays. We also see a lot of moose and elk, but we can’t shoot the elk if we...

2010-12-03  |  Malaika Aleba

A few weekends ago, I spoke to my Oma (grandmother) about her upbringing on the Saskatchewan family-farm and how it affected her thoughts on the environment and technology.

The environment means everything to me, she said as we sat together in her bedroom shortly after supper. I was looking forward to this casual interview with my Oma. Though she never tells anyone how old she actually is, I'm sure she must be more than a few decades past middle age, making her a reservoir of stories and rich life experiences.

We were a big family, six sisters and four brothers, she told me, explaining what life was like in the first half of the twentieth century. We didn’t need any playmates.

This was fortunate because playmates would have been hard to come by. The nearest town was days away by horse. The family only went shopping twice a year, and it was quite the journey: it took almost a full twenty-four hours to get to town, so they...

2010-11-22  |  John Bennett

Last week the CBC reported that polar bears near Churchill, Manitoba are going hungry because Hudson Bay is over a month late freezing over this year. The bears hunt at the edge of the ice; the climate is changing. Think of polar bears as giant canaries - the miners’ early warning system.

Also last week, Conservative senators used a surprise dirty trick to defeat the Climate Change Accountability Act – a private members bill twice passed by elected MPs. The bill would have required the government to base its emission reduction plan on science.

Why can't we get action on climate change?  In every poll done over the last five years, an overwhelming majority of Canadians are in support of climate action. In the last election, 68% of voters voted for parties with plans to take significant steps to address this issue. The last pollster even told me we have the best numbers she’s ever seen for a public issue.

Yet,...

 
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