As the end of Environment Week approaches cynicism creeps in

As the end of Environment Week approaches cynicism creeps in


Environmental education and programs like the Government of Alberta’s One Simple Act are great…for what they are. I will generalize and say they are window dressing to a dire and economically costly discussion that should be occurring in government, in media and across all sectors of the public. Why so cynical? We all have to do our part don’t we?


Part of my cynicism lies in the absence of a broad and robust discussion about environmental consequences.   For instance, in a recent talk, Knut Alfsen, Research Director of CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research), outlined for an Edmonton audience how, due to the nature of carbon dioxide and sequestration in land and water, we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80% just to stabilize global carbon dioxide at a given level. The consequences of such a shift for our economy and the global climate consequences around food production, food price and the potential for this to cause conflicts should make this as a central discussion and policy piece for the government and the public. Around the same time as this talk the Government of Canada issued its most recent Climate Change Plan, starkly illustrating the federal government’s baby steps in managing greenhouse gases.


Read “As the end of Environment Week approaches cynicism creeps in” on the ELC blog.




The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.


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