Ashamed of Our Nation on Climate Change

Sarah Marchildon works for the David Suzuki Foundation. She’s in Bali at the moment, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where the world is negotiating the sequel to the Kyoto Agreement. She’s been blogging about her work there, and I’ve enjoyed two recent posts.

The first describes a typical day at the conference:

Once the morning meeting is over, it’s time to hike back to the conference centre to take in a press conference or two. Today there were 21 different press conferences to choose from. I’m less interested in the content of the press conference and more interested in the questions the journalists are asking. It’s a good way to find out what’s generating a buzz in Bali.

The second if about the perception of Canada among attendees:

Canada’s bad behaviour isn’t going unnoticed. I had lunch with an Australian journalist today who said the event was a “complete con” and “totally outrageous.”

A Nigerian delegate joined our table. Upon learning I was Canadian, he said, “Aren’t you ashamed to show your face here?”

That reputation has been well-earned in recent years. Despite concern for the environment being a top issue for Canadians in poll after poll, our government has been all about bluster and in-action. I’m proud of my nation for so many things, but I’ve ashamed of Canada on climate change.

On a trivial, vaguely-related note, I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen the top-level domain .INT used (for the Bali conference website).

1 comment

  1. As Canadians, sometimes our biggest downfall is believing our own press. We like to believe that we’re the nicest, most environmentally conscious, and most socially progressive people in the world. Experiences like this are definitely eye-opening and important if we’re going to live up to our reputation.

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