Tagged: environment

Climate Change- It’s All Politics

Approximately 80% of the worlds people are witnessing first hand that the weather patterns effecting them are changing. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists are more certain than ever of the link between human activities and global warming. More than 197 international scientific organizations agree that global warming is real and has been caused by human action. Ice is melting in both polar ice caps and mountain glaciers. Lakes around the world, including the Great Lakes, are warming rapidly – in some cases faster than the surrounding environment. Animals are changing migration patterns and plants are changing their activity patterns, growing less and seeding earlier.

The average global temperature has increased by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) over the past 100 years. In 2014, 2015 many cities across North America, Europe and Australia had the warmest summers on record. A report by the World Meteorological Organization said that deaths from heat increased by more than 2,000 percent over the previous decade.

“The Government of Canada is committed to the adoption of an effective climate change agreement at COP 21 that promotes increased ambition over time. We will work with international partners to lead the transformation towards a low-carbon, climate resilient global economy.” The agreement is to provide a collective vision to keep global temperature increase to below 2°C over 1990

Prior to COP 21 the government released this statement, “The Government of Canada will provide national leadership and join with the provinces and territories to take action on climate change, put a price on carbon, and reduce carbon pollution. Together, we will attend the Paris climate conference, and within 90 days will formally meet to establish a pan-Canadian framework for combating climate change.”

As we all know by now, establishing a ‘pan-Canadian framework for combating climate change’ has already been shuffled off till later. Prime Minister Trudeau has promised a pipeline to tidewater enabling export of oil sands bitumen, the most carbon intensive form of oil. Obviously hoping to have the cake and take a big bite as well. BC Premier Christy Clark has committed to a massive increase in LNG production of which methane is the main by-product. Yes they are reducing CO2 but methane is 7 times the GHG than CO2. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is committed to expanding the oil sands developement and begged for an export pipeline despite the NDP’s national commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and leaving bitumen oil in the ground. Newly re-elected Premier Brad Wall says Canada-wide climate initiatives should have to undergo rigorous ‘economic impact assessments’ and refuses to sign on to any National plan. In other words, “do nothing”.

Nowhere have we heard any commitment by any level of government to end Canada’s importation of foreign oil replaced by domestic oil.

It is all politics. Talk a good game but, in the end give in to the lowest common denominator, the easiest path to the next election.

Reduce Global Warming? Never significantly happen – there’s not a politician anywhere, especially in Canada, with enough guts to do right by GHGs and carbon emissions, they know they cannot win an election by doing so. Who is to blame? Bigger question – who is going to pay the final price? Sorry kids.

Dominion of Canada

Back in 1864, when the fathers of confederation met in Charlottetown to draft the papers officially forming our Nation, Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley of Prince Edward Island was the originator of the term “Dominion of Canada”. The Fathers of confederation had been discussing what to prefix Canada with and during morning devotions, Tilley read Psalm 72:8, which states “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth”. It was the ambition of the founding fathers to stretch the new nation of Canada to the Pacific Ocean and from the St Lawrence River all the way to the North Pole so this Biblical inspiration worked perfectly.

The term “Dominion” was first used in the Bible in Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” KJV

The word dominion means “rule or power over.” God has sovereign power over His creation and has delegated the authority to mankind.
With the authority to rule comes the responsibility to rule well – to properly manage. There is an inherent accountability in the command to “subdue” the earth. Man has a duty to exercise his dominion, be the steward of, only under the authority of the One who delegated it.

It was the Liberal government of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent who eliminated of the term “dominion” when referring to Canada. On November 8, 1951 he declared: “I can say at once that it is the policy of this government when statutes come up for review or consolidating to replace the word ‘dominion’ with the word ‘Canada.'” The last “Dominion Day” celebrations were held on Canada’s centennial July 1, 1967.

canadian_flag_smallThe prefix “Dominion” fit perfectly for Canada back in 1867. We will be celebrating Canada’s 150 year 2017 and along with the importance of environmental stewardship combined with the phrase every politician uses, “from sea to sea to sea” it seems very fitting to return the moniker “Dominion” even if only for Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration.