Canadians like to think of themselves as very outdoorsy, environment-conscious people. We talk about how great our pristine mountains are, and how our lakes and streams are crystal clear.
Well… if that’s the image we’re trying to project we just got a big kick in the cans cuz CNN had This Headline on their frontpage yesterday.
Canada ‘among worst polluters’.
Hooray Canada! Land of the strong and free and hypocrits!
About the only saving grace of this report is that it was done by Canadians, right here in BC at Simon Fraser University.
“The ability of other high-income countries, such as Sweden, to achieve much lower levels of pollution shows it can be done,” Gunton said in a news release. “There’s no excuse — all it requires is a strong commitment from government.”
The study found Canada has shown no improvement over the last decade. Canada’s rank today is the same as it was in 1992: 28th out of 30.
The US, not surprisingly, is right down there with us at #27… Canadians need to snap out of their arrogant stupor and realise that in terms of the environment, we are just as bad, and even worse, than the US, so we have no right to badger them about polluting their skies.
David Suzuki says it best:
“The Canada we see in this report does not reflect the one we hold in our hearts,” said Suzuki. “Canadians expect more and they expect better,” Suzuki said. “We should be outraged that we are among the worst in the industrialized world.”
That’s right… but will we demand better.. probably not. The NDP, which is the only party with any semblance of a concern for the environment refuses to be tough on this. It’s clear where the pollution is coming from. Canada is still highly dependant on primary resourses for its’ economy. Mining, oil, forestry and others… smelters, open-pit mines, refineries, powerplants, pulp mills. All highly polluting and highly toxic industries.
However, they can ALL be reigned in…
Kyoto is not perfect.. but what it lacks in scientific purpose it makes up for as a rallying poin. We have to force our governments to impose stricter environmental safeguards and we should use the keyword of Kyoto to do it. The Government is trying to download all the responsibility for meeting Kyoto requirements onto consumers, and while it’s not a bad thing to encourage people to be enviro-conscious and energy efficient… it is clear to me now that the Government is simply taking the focus away from the industry and businesses that are polluting our skies and waters.
We live in a wasteful society… and there is no doubt that North Americans in general have no concept of conservation… this is because of our vast empty spaces… we don’t feel the “squeeze” like someone in Tokyo or Paris. The biggest difference is our use of water. It is embarrassing how much literally goes down the drain. From fire hydrants, to toilet water, to the water we use to clean our streets. There are a myriad of situations that could easily use “gray” water… and thus conserve our precious drinking supplies.
I like to think of myself as a pretty enviro-conscious kinda guy.. I have low flow shower heads and a front-loading washer. But there are so many little things that I still take for granted…
Canada should be ashamed, and I hope our lawmakers will be shamed into making real changes. I’ll say it again.. this oil crisis that we are or are not in could be the key to many things. We must use the windfall that we are receiving from the Old Oil Age and use it to build a Cleaner, Brighter future.