Who is Responsible?

09Jan07

Canada’s Kyoto protocol targets have been in the news recently. I guess that parliament has noticed the lack of winter here in southern Ontario. The article in today’s Globe outlines Steven Harper’s plans to meet our targets. For this I have to give him some props. He may not be the most environment guy out there, but he understands that we must start to do something for the environment. However, he fails to understand how to do this.

Harper’s current stance is that reversing climate change and air quality is a huge undertaking and can’t be done in time for Kyoto’s 2012 deadline. Instead of making an effort to try and do this he is simply accepting defeat. Elizabeth May, the leader of Canada’s Green Party, is worried that this means Harper is trying to lower the public’s expectations. She states, “The thing they have to do is Kyoto. Doing better than what they’ve done is almost a certainty… because what they’ve done is be destructive.”

Ms. May understands the situation. Her comments remind me of one of Cradle to Cradle’s mantras, “being “less bad” is no good.” She understands how big the issue is and knows that simply throwing in the towel is not how to affect change. Asi recently touched on this point while describing why the public isn’t adopting positive changes in their own life. However, his statements could just as easily be applied to Mr. Harper. I think that it is just as important to convince the government of making change, as it is the public. Both are equally responsible for creating change.

(My Think Tank’s project touches on this by attempting to make environmentalism the norm rather than a choice.)

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