Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Let’s Get Political

George Monbiot said something at Toronto’s Green Living Show that stuck with me. An article in the Toronto Star only reinforced what he said.

Monbiot told the conference that several years ago he traded his car for a bicycle as part of his commitment to reduce his carbon footprint. He realized though that by removing one car from the road he was only freeing up space for another to take its place. What was required was government action to reduce the numbers of cars on the road.

I believe that making a personal commitment to a carbon diet is absolutely essential. Monbiot has a point, however. To truly make a difference we need to get a little political – even if it just means talking to our elected representatives about facilitating a greener environment.

That Brings me to…the Toronto Star article, Silence on Geothermal Deafening by Tyler Hamilton. Hamilton writes about a proposal touted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that the Alberta Oil Sands use geothermal, rather than natural gas, to extract bitumen from the tar sands. A report from MIT claims that using geothermal would help reduce the Sand’s enormous carbon footprint. Although when it comes to the Sand’s Gulliver-size footprint, using geothermal may mean reducing a baby toe. Or maybe a hair on a baby toe.

But geothermal is better than natural gas. The problem is that no one seems to be jumping on the idea. Ottawa is still beating the nuclear and carbon storage drums as eco-alternatives to gas.
Hamilton cites the nuclear industry’s powerful hold on Ottawa and geothermal’s non-existent public relations machine.

Which leads me to…two other Hamilton articles in the Toronto Star:
Two sides crank up heat in nuclear power debate
The Nuclear Option

Both articles speak to the nuclear industry’s powerful voice when it comes to politics and making things happen. You and I know that nuclear is extremely costly, relies on a non renewable mined element (uranium) that damages the environment, and leaves a quarter of a million year-old toxic mess. A cleaner investment would entail making buildings energy efficient, giving home owners and businesses juicy incentives to incorporate renewable energy in their buildings and increasing wind and solar farms.

That leaves you and me to write to our MPs and make a little noise.

Come on Canada. Let’s do it. Ever write to your MP or MPP before? If not, now’s the time. If you live in Ontario or Alberta it is in your best interest to bang a drum on this.

Contact your MP

Contact your Ontario MPP or Alberta MPP

Talk to them about the nuclear issue or government subsidies to the oil sands or anything else you have in mind that’s federally or provincially related. You Americans - go talk to your reps too. Less cars. More bikes. More renewables. No nukes. Go get ‘em!

In the News

Green Bloggers

Ecoshock Radio

Grist Magazine

Tree Hugger

Zerofootprint Blog

BBC – The Greenroom

New York Times – Environment

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