Sunday, February 25, 2007

Suzuki Tells It Like It Is

So much for David Suzuki backing down from his comments on Friday. Instead, Suzuki tells it like it is:
Federal governments have been reluctant to touch Alberta's dismal record on climate change because they're scared of the consequences, says environmental activist David Suzuki.

"Ottawa kind of tiptoes around Alberta all the time, because they're afraid. The closest thing to separation is Alberta, not Quebec," Suzuki said Saturday night after a sold-out talk to over 800 people at the University of Alberta.

"So Alberta is treated with kid gloves."

"Right now, if you look at Fort McMurray, it's an economic, it's a social and an ecological disaster zone."

While Prime Minister Stephen Harper "seems to think that any kind of tax imposed on the oil industry to deal with the emissions is like a socialist plot to drain money out of the economy," Suzuki lauds a call by the Alberta-based Pembina Institute for a tax of up to $1.50 per barrel of oil extracted from the oilsands.

Someone needs to say it:
"If it takes someone to come in and very loudly and vociferously call a spade a spade ... sometimes it's necessary to have those kinds of challenges to get people out of the rut of denial," said Brian Pincott of the Sierra Club of Canada.

You can't even mention curbing oil sands development without the howls of economic ruin, accompanied by the requisite "anti-Alberta" crap. I'm glad that Dr. Suzuki isn't playing nice this time, we don't need timid rhetoric.

11 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

This is a tough one. We need to stop the pollution caused by the tar sands, but I somehow think the chances of Alberta leaving Canada are far greater than Quebec and if Alberta left, it would cost Canada dearly economically. So do we continue to allow them to get away with environmental recklessness or do we take them on and risk them separating which will hurt us economically? Tough question. My only hope is that both the provincial and federal governments in the mean time work to divserify the economy so Alberta can stay economically strong when they move away from oil production.

Steve V said...

"but I somehow think the chances of Alberta leaving Canada are far greater than Quebec"

Something is seriously wrong with this "country", far too much us vs them. I'm not optimistic about the future.

Anonymous said...

Suzuki is telling the truth.

However he has wrongly pinpointed the villain in this mess. Harper is not the villian. Alberta is not the villain. He should come straight out and tell us who the villain is.

Why doesn't he talk about that? Suzuki's views on political engines and how to fix this mess, globally, would be worth listening to.

What does Suzuki propose we do with countries that have destroyed their environment's but that also benefit from the current system?

What does Suzuki propose we do with Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, and the host of other economies driven entirely by oil extraction profits?

What does Suzuki propose we do with China?

What does Suzuki propose we do about our dependence on the internal combustion engine and fossil fuel driven energy economies?

What does Suzuki propose we do with nuclear power?

I would like to hear his views on political solutions rather than political scapegoating.

Tomm

Steve V said...

Tomm

You're mixing up the argument. Suzuki is concerned about the world, the worst polluters, but that doesn't translate into ignoring the domestic situation. Leave us alone, go bitch about the Saudis doesn't quite cut it.

ottlib said...

Let's give Albertans some credit.

Many of them know that what is happening at the Tar Sands is unsustainable on so many levels and they are suggesting the development be dialed back a bit. At least until the rest of the province can catch up to its current level of development.

As well, I do not believe Albertans are so selfish that they would protest reasonable measures to curtail ghg emissions. The only sticking point would be what is considered reasonable.

There are definitely some hot heads who will claim the second coming of the NEP to advance their greedy goals but they are not in the majority. If Canadians can come up with a way to reduce ghg emissions from the Tar Sands while allowing Albertans to benefit from the sustainable development of them then those voices of doom will just be voices in the wilderness.

Miles Lunn said...

Something is seriously wrong with this "country", far too much us vs them. I'm not optimistic about the future.

I am a bit concerned too. I think though parties need to stay away from regionally divisive issues. I would suggest if someone is going to go after Alberta's Tar Sands have an Albertan do it just like we usually get a Francophone Quebecer to take on the separtist.

If someone from Alberta does it they won't be able to use the silly excuse of the East trying to steal Alberta's wealth. In addition we should support Alberta diversify its economy

Tony said...

Suzuki "tells it like it is" to a bunch of elementary school kids.

Steve V said...

"Let's give Albertans some credit."

It's the government, that is addicted to the revenue and a misguided sense of power, the people seem to understand the consequences. Interesting point, with all the development in Fort McMurray, the only complaints seem to come from the average Albertan, whereas the government seems determined to move full steam ahead, they have divided loyalties.


tony

I've seen this comment elsewhere, it's completely irrelevant. You don't think Suzuki isn't sauvy enough to realize the real audience.

Miles Lunn said...

I think it is not so much the government has divided loyalties, but has more to do with the power and influence the neo-cons have. Unlike the rest of Canada, Albertans are bombarded with right wing propaganda from the media and various think tanks regularly so if the government did do something the neo-cons would pretty much do everything possible to defeat the government.

What is needed is more progressive voices to counter the influence of the right in Alberta. Unlike the Rest of Canada where progressives have the upper hand over the neo-cons, Alberta is more like the US in the sense that the neo-cons have far more influence than progressives.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Yeah I was there when the "think globally, act locally" bumper stickers hit the streets.

I'm all over that.

The problem is the lack of accountability among the environmentally fixated members of our society.

If one person jumps up and down, the rest think he's crazy and won't talk to him. If 50 people all jump up and down, they go for beers together and think they are brothers. That's what's happening here.

What's next? Mr. Suzuki has just found 50 people who willl jump up and down with him. But he doesn't know what's next. Or perhaps he does, but has conveniently forgotten to tell the rest of us that he is a deep ecologist and ultimately for the destruction of the earth's civilization. Which is it David?

Tomm

Scotian said...

What is Zuzuki's citizenship? Canadian. Therefore it would seem to me quite reasonable and logical that he would be focusing so much within his own country instead of spending the bulk of his time on foreign countries as some as asserted he should be doing. He also by virtue of being a citizen of this country is in a position to attack the failings of Canadian governments without having to deal with the branding as "foreign voice/influence trying to shape the domestic politics of another nation" that is a favoured defence of all governments receiving foreign criticism is does not like.

That line of reasoning is simply moronic.