This is a guest post from Patrick Bonin and was originally posted at Greenpeace Canada.
In six short years, ‘The Harper Government’ (TM) has taken us from hockey, maple syrup and Mounties to pipelines, tar sands and climate change denial. This government has wreaked havoc on the Canadian environment, and now they’re pushing their dirty oil-pushing agenda on the Arctic Council.
Canada started the Arctic Council in 1996 with our fellow Arctic nations as a forum for cooperation and environmental protection. Fast forward to 2013, where rather than take our melting Arctic and climate change seriously, Canada becomes the chair of the Arctic Council and promotes more climate-changing, dangerous offshore oil drilling in the Arctic.
If you’re wondering what the next two years of Arctic †’cooperation and protection’ might look like, let’s look at the 5 ways the Harper government is eroding any climate-saving progress.
1) †Climate change, schmimate change
As one of the world’s top ten carbon emitters, Canada has undermined international agreements and negotiations, even national policies in the US and Europe – bringing home the “Fossil of the Year” six years in a row. Our Natural Resources Minister / in-house climate denier, Joe Oliver, has questioned climate science itself, saying “I think that people aren’t as worried as they were before about global warming of two degrees… Scientists have recently told us that our fears (on climate change) are exaggerated.” His source: Fox News.
2) Yay, carbon! Boo, renewables!
Canada gives away $1.3 billion dollars a year to to the world’s most profitable companies (guess who!) and cut support for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Suck on that, solar panels!
3) Anything you want, Big Oil
The Harper government wants oil companies to like it so much, that it is removing anything that even looks like a rule or a study that could get in the way of oil development. These include pesky environmental assessments and annoying regulations that protect rivers, lakes and streams.
4) Down with climate science, up with political science
Government climate scientists and researchers may only speak when spoken to, and even then it’s only with comments vetted by the government. Funding to environmental research and departments has been slashed
5) Questions = terrorism
Environmental organizations that dare question the all-knowing brilliance of the oil industry have been labelled radicals, extremists and terrorists.
It’s all part of a pattern of disturbing, anti-democratic tactics by this government to erode regulations, rights and research that get in the way of Big Oil and their short-sighted profits. These tactics fly in the face of the strong majority of Canadians who want climate-saving regulations and standards from this government.
Want to do something about it?
Photo courtesy of Greenpeace Canada.