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Headlines Canada: environmental bad boy

void

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"Sluggish, asleep at the wheel, haywire and incontinent." A leading green country a decade ago is found severely wanting in a new report, writes Anne McIlroy

[FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Monday October 24, 2005

[/FONT][FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Canada's international reputation as a boy scout on environmental issues has been in decline for well over a decade, and now a new report ranks it 28th out of 30 OECD countries on key indicators such as cutting greenhouse gas emissions and smog. The damning report was commissioned by the David Suzuki Foundation, an environmental group based in Vancouver, and prepared by a team of scientists at Simon Fraser University. It found that Canada was the worst or second worse performer in the OECD on eight of 29 environmental indicators including per capita production of volatile organic emissions, one of the main components in smog, per capita generation of nuclear waste and energy use per unit of GDP.
Concerning global warming, Canada's emission of gases that trap heat in the atmosphere has increased by more than 20% above 1990 levels. This is despite its ratification of the Kyoto accord, according to which it agreed to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012.
Canada was "lethargic, sluggish, asleep at the wheel, in the ditch, haywire, incontinent", Jim Fulton, executive director of the Suzuki Foundation, told a press conference in Ottawa. And that was just on global warming.
Only Belgium and the US ranked lower than Canada in their environmental performance overall. Turkey was the least blameworthy but, the report says, that is because its economy is less developed than other nations in the OECD. The same went for Poland, ranked fourth, and the Slovak Republic, fifth.
The report says it makes more sense to compare Canada to countries with stronger economies. Switzerland was ranked second, Denmark third; Germany, Austria, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands were sixth to 10th respectively; the UK was 18th.
Canada's environment minister, Stephane Dion, while conceding the country had room to improve on the environment, was critical of the report when it was released last week.
"Who can give a lot of confidence to a study that said the country that had the best performance regarding the environment is Turkey," he asked. "Mexico is 13th. Mexico! Would you drink Mexico City water from the tap?"
The report considered the consumption of drinking water per capita rather than its quality. Canadians drink double the OECD average; Danes use one-10th the water Canadians consume.
Mr Dion noted that other studies, by the World Economic Forum and the Conference Board of Canada, ranked the country in the middle of industrialised nations concerning its green credentials. "I'm not saying we're second, I'm saying we are better than Mexico," Mr Dion said.
There was, however, some sunshine for Canada in the report. The country has decreased its production of municipal waste by 25% over the past decade, while the OECD average was an increase of 9%.
However, the study ranked Canada 14th on sewage treatment: only 72% of the population has sewage treatment, compared to 96 per cent in the Netherlands. The cities of Victoria, Halifax and St. John's - all provincial capitals - pump raw sewage into the ocean.
Why is Canada such a laggard? The report says geography and climate may be factors. It is a big, cold country; it takes a lot of energy to ship goods from city to city and to keep homes warm in the winter. However, the study, one of several to have condemned Canada's commitment to green issues in the past few years, says poor public policy has also played a role.
Mr Suzuki, one of Canada's best-known environmentalists and the founder of the organisation that commissioned the report, said he hoped Canadian voters would make the environment an issue in the upcoming federal election, expected early next year.
Polls show Canadians want their country to be a world leader on the environment. In previous years, Canada played an important part in international efforts to protect the ozone layer, and the former prime minister Brian Mulroney pushed for a treaty to protect plant and animal species at the Earth Summit in 1992.
But the Liberals, who have been in power since 1993, have neglected the environment. They ignored global warming for years, perhaps hoping the Kyoto agreement would founder before they had to take action. "It's time we stopped ignoring the environment," Mr Suzuki said. "Let's not let another election go by without making this a high priority."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,1599452,00.html
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RageAgainst

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Yeah, their priority is the economy, health and education, they always ignore environmental issues.
 
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Yikes, that hurts. Canada should be way up there on that list, not at the bottom! I guess because we have (or had) the reputation as an "enviromentally(sp?) friendly" country, we slacked off... :happysad:. Maybe this report will be a "wake up call".
 

void

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Jessica43999 said:
Yikes, that hurts. Canada should be way up there on that list, not at the bottom! I guess because we have (or had) the reputation as an "enviromentally(sp?) friendly" country, we slacked off... :happysad:. Maybe this report will be a "wake up call".
that's how i see it, i'm guessing per capita you have more green/eco types than most developed countries but as stated in the article they live in a huge, cold land that requires a lot of resources to be habitable..

wake up calls can be good things :thumbsup:

is the prius hybrid popular up there? it's really good in the snow as it is front wheel drive and has all the weight from the batteries..
 
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void said:
that's how i see it, i'm guessing per capita you have more green/eco types than most developed countries but as stated in the article they live in a huge, cold land that requires a lot of resources to be habitable..
Well, one of the two coutries on that list lower than Canada was the US, and it isn't a particularly cold country, though it is almost as big.

wake up calls can be good things :thumbsup:
Agreed, but Paul Martin (our Prime Minister) is an asshat on issues like this. Fucking Liberals...
void said:
is the prius hybrid popular up there? it's really good in the snow as it is front wheel drive and has all the weight from the batteries..
It actually is very popular, along with most other hybrid cars, and in Toronto, there is only snow on the ground for 2-3 months a year. Plus, the roads here are ploughed often and effectively.
 

void

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canadian_pov said:
Well, one of the two coutries on that list lower than Canada was the US, and it isn't a particularly cold country, though it is almost as big.
i don't think anyone ever has or ever will expect america to win any environmental accolades.. it's a race to the end here, the end of whatever there is..

canada on the other hand was on track 10 years ago, as the article states, somehow in he interim the plot was well and truely lost..
 

RageAgainst

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canadian_pov said:
Agreed, but Paul Martin (our Prime Minister) is an asshat on issues like this. Fucking Liberals...
Yeah screw Paul Martin and the liberals.. The conservatives are far worst.. What's left? If you live outside Quebec, NPD? I don't know.. I don't fully trust them.. can they run the country without deficit and job loss?

who would you vote for?
 

Nailbomb

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void said:
i don't think anyone ever has or ever will expect america to win any environmental accolades.. it's a race to the end here, the end of whatever there is..

canada on the other hand was on track 10 years ago, as the article states, somehow in he interim the plot was well and truely lost..
void, just ignore him. He's too stupid to fully admit Canada can fuck up as much as any other country, and so he has to add in a USA-related issue.
 
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Nailbomb said:
void, just ignore him. He's too stupid to fully admit Canada can fuck up as much as any other country, and so he has to add in a USA-related issue.
No, there you are just plain wrong. Canada isn't a world leading environmental country, and to be honest, our government sucks ass on a lot of issues. I was actually suggesting that Canadians shouldn't be using the excuse that Canada is cold, therefore giving them a license to pollute.

I was criticising Canada, you dipshit.

RageAgainst said:
Yeah screw Paul Martin and the liberals.. The conservatives are far worst.. What's left? If you live outside Quebec, NPD? I don't know.. I don't fully trust them.. can they run the country without deficit and job loss?

who would you vote for?
I would vote NDP, Because of a) their social policies are much more progressive than those of the Tories or the Liberals, b) their economic policies are more along the Socialist lines that I agree with, c) the fact that they are much less corrupt than other parties (who joins the NDP in order to further their own career?) and d) their international policies are vastly superior to those of the other parties.

I personally believe that the NDP would run the country quite well, without deficit, and with less job losses than we are currently experiencing.
 

Nailbomb

I'm just really nice.
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canadian_pov said:
No, there you are just plain wrong. Canada isn't a world leading environmental country, and to be honest, our government sucks ass on a lot of issues. I was actually suggesting that Canadians shouldn't be using the excuse that Canada is cold, therefore giving them a license to pollute.

I was criticising Canada, you dipshit.
No, you weren't. Anyone who can read could see you were plainly complaining about how America "is still worse, and they're not as cold."