Guys! Turns out other countries have news today too. It's election day in Canada, and the conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper is an epic source of maple-flavored environmental f*ckery.
Canada's elections involve a lot of words that even U.S. political junkies may never have heard before (“prorogation” is a totally new one on me). So maybe the bottom bunk of North America does not have time to figure out the parliamentary system before polls close, but if you care about the health of the Earth, you should at least be rooting against Harper and his Conservatives. Here's why:
- Harper called the Kyoto protocol a "socialist scheme."
- And that's not all talk — the Clean Air Act proposed under Harper's government abandons Kyoto commitments.
- In 2007, Harper's government put forward a climate plan that Al Gore described as "a complete and total fraud … designed to mislead the Canadian people."
- When the president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission tried to shut down a plant for safety upgrades, she was fired. (Though frankly the commission seems to have effed up on that one too, dragging its feet on completing the upgrades.)
- Also fired: The whistleblower who discovered plans to increase the food industry's role in food inspections — a discovery that was followed up by a deadly listeriosis outbreak.
- Harper's government opted not to post a Health Canada report on climate change on the web, making it available by request only — ostensibly because of its size (a third as long as the U.S. health care bill, so we call shenanigans).
- Conservatives canceled the EnerGuide home energy audit program, which reportedly reduced CO2 emissions by 2,400 metric tons annually.
- Sixteen lakes were quietly reclassified as tailings ponds for mines, i.e. dump sites for toxic outflow.
- Harper's government "phased out" the office of national science advisor, because who needs one of those, right?
- When a government scientist wrote a novel about climate change — a novel! — his scheduled talk at the National Press Club was abruptly canceled by orders from on high. (Could a science advisor have helped the government tell fact from, uh, fiction about fact?)
Go get 'im, northern neighbors! Go get 'im very politely!