26 December 2009


It has been harder than usual for me to feel festive this Christmas season.

First, I heard recently that a large group representing business, industry and commerce in the United States (I will not dignify them by giving them free publicity here) is suing some youth who staged a phoney press conference. Ya know, when the old farts who care only for money start attacking the young people who are desperately trying to safeguard their own future — that's when my gloves come off. My generation has no right whatsoever — NONE — to give the younger generations a hard time when we are 100% responsible for the mess their future (heck, our future!) is in.

Second, a local newspaper defamed my husband — by name — and then gave him only one sentence in which to show the weight of evidence that we are in a global climate change emergency. Peter spends 8 to 18 hours of every day reading and synthesizing the global warming / climate change research, so to be insulted for caring about future generations (heck, today's generations!) was hard to bear. Not to mention it was also a sign that our small community isn't the entirely intelligent, supportive and caring place we thought it was.

(Those in Canada will appreciate this farce: CBC's crank commentator Rex Murphy was one of the "experts" quoted to "prove" that my husband's stance is "extremist." I did not know that Murphy is a climatologist when he's not on radio and television. These climate change deniers are very busy people — busy memorizing all the latest denialist drivel it seems they have been asked to spout and spread at every opportunity. And the world continues to heat up. Don't believe it? Let's compare your so-called "facts" to what is actually happening in the Arctic.)

And third, the sense of failure and progenycidal disaster coming out of the Copenhagen climate talks hangs over me like a black cloud of betrayal. It seems that our human world is so entrenched in borders and boundaries and sovereignty that the negotiators and leaders just could not view the Earth as one planet, its atmosphere as the same atmosphere for all nations. The only thing that has been nearly globalized is our addiction to economic growth through fossil fuel use.

Reading this view of China's role in the final hours of the talks sealed that realization for me — and gave me a shudder. The government of China wants to develop — at all costs. Given what I've seen recently of the devastation in that once beautiful country, I'm not sure the Chinese people impacted by this not-sustainable development would choose it over living off the land, given the choice. (Photos by the very courageous photographer, Lu Guang.) Remember "economic globalization"? It seems we've created a monster that's come back to bite us in the butt.


  1. A late Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Sorry that your husband got lambasted by the local media. I heard Rex Murphy describe his stance on climate change and it really doesn`t make much sense. He believes the climate is changing but not convinced its all related to human activity. The stupid part is that he doesn't believe that that dealing with climate change should affect the economy or other policy areas. What he doesn't seem to get is that if climate change is real, and that it is caused by humans, then there is no choice but to rethink our entire socioeconomic system...

  2. Hi Remi,
    Thanks for your greetings. I hope you had a lovely holiday. (Update: It seems the editor got enough complaints that she offered my husband "equal time" in her newspaper, so that saga continues.)

    It seems that Rex Murphy and so many others in that "club" subscribe to the Stephen Harper / Milton Friedman school of economics.

    "Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another."
    —Milton Friedman

    In Friedman's belief system, capitalism = freedom (a popular belief in his home nation), but he and his followers were/are ecologically illiterate, with no understanding that the planet is, in fact, a "fixed pie." Right now, those gaining comprise our generation — and definitely at the expense of future generations.


I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?