Do Canadians still care about the environment?
As I pondered what the inaugural post would be - in what I hope will be an insightful, yet fun blog on Canada's path to a greener future - I thought there's nothing better than to reflect on if indeed Canadians still care about the environment. Al Gore's movie has come and gone, Oscars and Nobel Peace Prizes to boot. So have Live Earth concerts, Earth Hour, advertising campaigns from companies, reusable bags from groceries stores, and recycled rhetoric that "the time to act is now".
But with nine months until the Copenhagen UN climate conference, where the agreement to succeed Kyoto Protocol is expected to be made, have we reached the peak of how much this country will devote resources and attention span to the issue of the environment? Even though the Alberta oils sands have received worldwide attention for being the largest and dirtiest source of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions (last year the tar sands produced approximately 40 million tones of greenhouse gas emissions), a new poll suggests a majority of Canadians outside Quebec believe the benefits of oil sands outweigh the drawbacks during this economic recession. Our fading concern for the environment may have even motivated Michael Ignatieff to join the Conservatives in their lone support for the Alberta oil sands.
So how do Canadians feel, at this unique point in history that we exist in, as we ascend into a new era of climate change action? Though I certainly can't speak for all Canadians, I hope that through this blog in the coming months, I can explore these issues and thoughts, and relate my own experience as I navigate through the mismashed world of grassroots environmentalism right here in Toronto. I hope you stay tuned, and as always, welcome your comments and feedback.