Just finished breakfast and a coffee at the Intercontinental Hotel on Front Street in Toronto, which has been my home-away-from-home for over ten years. This week has seen an interesting overview by the press on environmental issues.
Rex Murphy, the straight-shooting radio host and columnist for CBC, may have the best commentary of the week on where politics and the environment are today. In simple terms my read is that, in his view, the environment has faded to the back of the bus on most political election agendas. And, in some cases, politicians are trying to use the ‘anti-environmental’ approach to their advantage.
As an example, hard to believe that Governor Perry of Texas, in announcing his campaign for President of the United States, stated he does not believe any of the science regarding global warming. This is a deliberate attempt to set himself apart from the converging views on the issue. Radical and ridiculous!!
On energy, the highly touted and advertized rally at the White House this weekend to protest against the new pipeline to export crude from the Oilsands to the Gulf refineries had celebrities from the entertainment industry and other areas leading the charge. However, the rally only drew a small crowd of about 1500 with 65 people deliberately getting arrested. More protests are planned for the fall.
Hey, put this protest in perspective; international media attention and they only get 1500 people. And many of us could get 65 people into our backyard for a barbeque, so again, it is just my opinion, but I think this huge media effort failed to advance the cause.
This is a time of serious international financial crisis, we have no job growth, and there is a concern that the world is slipping into another recession like it or not. So, without solid and proven impacts, the ‘noise’ generated by environmental protesters like Greenpeace and others is falling on deaf ears. I think the US will approve the pipeline by year end.
Not to say environmental issues do not gain attention. The New York Times today ran an editorial on the seriousness of the hydraulic fracturing issue and the challenges facing environmentalists, industry and regulators alike. Debate and media attention to serious issues is not dead, but it is not gaining the same attention or, in my view, the grass roots support it has in the past.
In Ontario, with a provincial election only two months away, the McGuinty government is fighting a rear guard action over what is perceived as its wrong-headed and expensive approach to sustainable energy, including wind power and solar.
In a very blatant attempt to shore up the government, two solar industry players are running media ads in the province touting the jobs and technology investment. From anyone who is used to watching the dynamics of pending elections, I would be very surprised if the Liberal spin masters are not behind this effort. Politics and the Environment; an ongoing story, but maybe not as many people are listening.
TRASHED! How Political Garbage Made the United States Canada’s Largest Dump