December 4, 2011

Canadian Government Lags Behind The Times In Durban

What if we created a better world for nothing?
It is a bad time to be a Canadian concerned about climate change. In Durban, South Africa, our country has been accused of "bullying" other countries into joining the naysayers, and throwing a wrench into potential positive change for a better, cleaner world.

I apologize to all the activists that have been working hard on guidelines to replace the Kyoto Accord when it expires soon. My government does not represent me, or most clear-thinking Canadians that I know, when it comes to taking action on climate change.

Please ignore our petty, small-minded, anti-science, business as usual bureaucrats, and get on with creating a cleaner, better world without us.

We will get caught up after we vote these climate clowns out of office next election.


  1. Hi Greg,
    I agree with your post, but I would just caution the use of the word "bureaucrat" to be interchangeable with politician. As a public servant (aka bureaucrat), I know a lot of incredible people trying hard to make a difference from within, despite the political machinery. It's not always easy to see that from the outside, but I feel it's important to acknowledge the contribution of these people, especially some of the poor souls who are still at Environment Canada. There are of course many bureaucrats who are exactly as you describe them, but there are also so many more who are desperately trying to do their job on behalf of Canadians. I see them every day, cheering quietly when we get sued by an NGO or getting depressed when their work is not given the attention it needs. It's rare that this side of the story is reported, but here's one recent article that illustrates this.

    I had the head of an ENGO tell be once that I sold out for working at Environment Canada. My response was, "Would you prefer that there not be any people who care working in government? How easy would it be for you to make a difference then?".

    I know you didn't mean it this way at all and it's just semantics, but I thought I'd drop you a line anyway because it's something I'm acutely aware of in my work. You don't need to post this...I won't be offended at all. :-)

  2. Geneviève,

    I think you are right, and that it is important to make a distinction between politicians and bureaucrats.

    I know what happened to Fisheries public servants when they warned of the impending collapse of the cod fishery on the east coast. If I remember correctly, it was first ignore, then gag, then fire.

    Meanwhile, the cod fishery collapsed.

    What kind of representation did Canada have at Durban besides Peter Kent, who did a shameful job? Was Environment Canada represented? What is their stand on climate change, and does this influence what Kent and the Conservatives are doing... or not doing, more like?

    It must be absolutely frustrating to work for our current anti-science government. My heart goes out to all of our hard-working, caring bureaucrats that are being stifled by political self-interest.

    Thank you for highlighting this - feel free not to answer my questions (in public). I will write
    Peter Kent and ask him myself.

  3. We should chat over a drink some time. I have war stories. Incidently, I just finished working on a documentary about Parks Canada's climate change science in the north. I really enjoyed working on the project because we have some great people working up there.
    Let me know what Kent answers ;-)


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