In an open letter to Canadian policymakers, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other prominent African leaders urged Canada’s government to re-think their tar-sand extraction and oil-export policies. The letter was sent out as a press release, which included this moving paragraph:
Canada, you were once considered a leader on global issues like human rights and environmental protection. Today you’re home to polluting tar sands oil, speeding the dangerous effects of climate change. For us in Africa, climate change is a life and death issue. By dramatically increasing Canada’s global warming pollution, tar sands mining and drilling makes the problem worse, and exposes millions of Africans to more devastating drought and famine today and in the years to come. It’s time to draw the line. We call on Canada to change course and be a leader in clean energy and to support international action to reduce global warming pollution.
Canada’s tar sands policies have drawn significant criticisms from across the globe, with some Canadian activists suggesting that the country’s image is now so bad, globally, that Canadians would soon be ripping the maple-leaf flag off their bags when they travel.
Thus far, the response to such criticisms and protests from many Albertans has been dismissive (if not overtly aggressive), with many Canadians either choosing to ignore the environmental damage the tar-sand projects or else actively fretting about the success of high-mpg and electric vehicles which stand between many Canadians and the financial benefits of selling dirty oil abroad. Here’s hoping, then, that EVs and bio-fuels make a speed entrance into the global markets, and hit these clowns where it hurts: their pocketooks.