Saturday, April 29, 2006

Greening the Harper Government

Below is the edited letter I wrote to the Ottawa Citizen which they published on Wednesday, April 26th, 2006.

"Kudos to the Ottawa International Writers Festival for bringing in such reputable authors on Earth Day. In particular, Australian scientist Tim Flannery, who spoke convincingly on the subject of climate change. To Earth watchers, Arctic ice-melt, devastating forest fires, record hurricane seasons and Alberta tarsands pollution make for a bleak future. While Nero fiddles Rome burns.

Mr. Flannery gives us hope, however, by explaining that as oil reaches $75 a barrel it creates a double edged sword. On the one hand is a pocketbook issue, but more importantly it allows alternative energies their day in the sun because they are competitive. Biofuels and cellulose-based technologies offer a way to absorb carbon dioxide, the most damaging greenhouse gas, and yet give a huge boost to our farmers. The $65 billion the U.S. spends on fossil fuels each year could be going to sustainable agriculture which, according to Mr. Flannery, is even more effective than a hydrogen economy.

Brian Mulroney has urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to green his government policies. What a way for Harper to get re-elected. He should rethink the shortsighted tarsands mania but boost farming across the nation. It sounds like a savvy approach. And I don’t even vote blue."