Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vote Out Carbon Fatties

The federal election is upon us and I can hardly stand the suspense! Looks like Harper and his carbon obese entourage are stalling in their quest for all mighty five-year-rule. That’s five years of unmitigated carbon binging. Imagine what that will do to your kids' future, and yours.

Coming up from third place is Jack Layton’s NDP, which, thank heavens, knows we need to trim up via a good wholesome diet of energy efficiency and renewable energy development. Now their proposed mechanism on how we get there - cap & trade – needs some work, but at least their hearts are in the right place and they are likely receptive to better ideas. Unlike Harper.

But isn’t Harper a better steward of the economy? Sure – if you like to see the gulf between rich and poor widen, would rather see tar sand development continue to carve out our manufacturing sector, and don’t believe what a growing number of economists are telling us – that the costs of inaction on climate change will far outweigh the costs associated with action.

First step, please vote. If there are young adults in your lives, encourage them to do so as well.

Vote strategically if you live in a swing riding. I know some of you think that doing so is an affront to democracy. Try a Harper majority. The man has been whittling away at our democracy for a few years now. Imagine what he will do in five years of uncontested power?

Here are a few sites to assist you:

AVAAZ - Take Back Democracy
Provides insights into your riding. Just type in your postal code

Catch 22
Targets swing ridings with volunteers on the ground encouraging strategic voting

Canadians for Coalition
My group! Please sign the open letter to Layton and Ignatieff to consider forming a coalition government or legislative alliance should a minority Conservative government demonstrate yet again an unwillingness to work with the opposition.

Join us on Facebook - Coalition/108826285865447

Follow us on Twitter - @coalitionnow

Let’s take our democracy back – and build a sustainable economy.

Vote! Don’t Blow it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lights Out and Coalition Now!

Earth Hour begins at 8:30pm today! Remember to turn off all lights, power bars and other electronics. Light some candles and enjoy! Jane and I will celebrate at the Library Café at the Royal York Hotel where they turn out the lights every Saturday evening and serenade patrons with live guitar music.

While you are in the dark and with friends, conversation may turn to the upcoming election. I and a few of my friends have started Canadians for Coalition. If the Conservatives win another minority, we want the Liberals and NDP to form a Coalition government.

Visit to find out more about coalition government and how you can take action. In the meantime, enjoy this first of several videos we will release in the weeks ahead. It's legal. It works. It's time we tried it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Our Oily Video on Oil Subsidies

This is the last week to ask Harper and Flaherty to end subsidies to fossil fuel companies, some of which are the largest companies in the world. The budget announcement is next week. There will likely be an election called due to a vote of non-confidence, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to still send home the message.

And to bring home that message we at the Citizens Climate Lobby produced this little video, which touches, ever so lovingly, on the absurdity of government handouts to rich oily companies.

Please call the PM and Finance Minister if you have not already. Dial 866-599-4999 and ask for the PM office or Jim Flaherty, the Finance Minister. Sound scary? It isn’t. All you’ll do is leave a message with a machine or receptionist. Phone calls are taken more seriously than emails. Let them know there are better ways to spend our money.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Conservative's Extraordinary Priorities

The Conservative Party has such extraordinary values. They're so funny. It's budget time and they have to chip away at the deficit. Where to cut? Hmmm. Should they cut important environmental services, including climate change research, or should they end the billions in subsidies to fossil fuel companies?

Guess what the Conservatives plan to do?

Forget that fact that in 2009 during the G20 Summit in Pittsburg, Prime Minister Harper signed a statement with the other G20 countries committing to end fossil fuel subsidies. Canada gives $1.4 billion to oil countries every year through tax breaks, etc. (by the way: five of these companies are the largest in the world).

This past week, we learned that the government plans to cut $1.6 billion in environmental services, including climate change research, but no cuts to subsidies as promised.


I am involved in the Climate Action Network’s campaign to urge the government to keep its international promise and cut fossil fuel subsidies. Please join us. Write to Harper and Flaherty asking them to keep the environmental services, but end fossil fuel subsidies. Mailed letters are better (it’s free!) as politicians tend to take them more seriously than emails.

Prime Minister Harper
Parliament of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A9

Calling is effective too - (866) 599-4999. Ask for the Prime Minister’s Office.

For more on the fossil fuel subsidies, check out the op-ed I wrote for, which was posted last week.

It's time to end Canada's billion-dollar handout to big oil and coal

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Heatless in Toronto

I have been terribly remiss with my Carbon Slim blog. There has been nary an installment in weeks. No, I haven’t been suffering from Writer’s Blog Block. I’ve been busy. Busy getting the Citizens Climate Lobby Toronto off the ground, and busy with Transition Toronto.

Both initiatives are grounded in local action to avert the climate crisis, and are replicated in other cities and towns. Both stem from proven methodologies and allow for adaptively in local regions. And the people I meet through these channels are inspirational.

I do want to blog about these initiatives in the weeks ahead. And I will. Really.

In the meantime, I want to let you know of a little video that I and other Citizens Climate Lobby members worked on as a fundraiser for our lobby efforts. We submitted a video to People for Corporate Tax Cuts, a tongue and cheek campaign to draw awareness to the absurdity of corporate tax cuts in Ontario, which amounts to $500 per household. The contest asks us what we are willing to give up so big corporations can have their tax cuts. The winner receives $500.

This is our answer (and we won the contest!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Writing a Storm to Quell the Storms

These past few weeks have been busy, what with the climate conference in Cancun. Many seem cheered that world leaders are back negotiating after the train wreck that was Copenhagen. However, meaningful targets are still not set to avert runaway global warming.

Working behind the scenes to ensure the world does not slip into the unthinkable are grassroots groups slogging it out to make some kind of difference.

One of those groups is the Citizens Climate Lobby, of which I am now a member. We have blasted the media with proposed op-eds and letters to the editor throughout the conference. The following is an op-ed I wrote on behalf of the Citizens Climate Lobby that published this week. I take issue with the Prime Minister's assertion that getting real about climate change will put millions out of work:

Just before the world met in Cancun for climate talks, Conservatives in the Senate -- abetted by the prime minister -- deprived Canadians of legislation that would address the pressing problem of global climate change and also usher in a prosperous clean energy economy. Continue reading

Finally, I’d like to end with a little holiday cheer from Jane and me to you. Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Buy Nothing Day this Friday

Friday, November 26th is Buy Nothing Day. It’s a day of non-action action to give us pause before launching into the buying frenzy that is known as Christmas.

Now some may argue that holiday gift giving helps drive the current economy (as the current economy drives us over a cliff). But really, the current economy is not very sustainable.

I love receiving and giving gifts as the next person. I also like giving a livable planet to my niece and nephew. That’s a nice gift.

When celebrating the holidays, please celebrate taking action for a sustainable economy. Whatever you give, please consider:

  • Ensuring the receiver will really use it, that it won’t fall apart or be forgotten in a matter of minutes
  • That it’s carbon slim
  • That it’s locally made and doesn’t poison anything
  • That it’s helping your local economy
  • That it doesn’t spoil anyone rotten

Whatever you buy, please make sure it’s not on Friday. On that day, let’s celebrate what makes us truly happy…. Please don’t say that only shopping makes you happy, because that’s sad.

Happy Buy Nothing Day!