Federal MPs and Hilary Clinton, July 2009

Canada Day is past and you are presumably in your riding, and we hope getting a good holiday at some point.

Nonetheless, the climate crisis remains our greatest challenge. Prairie drought and faster-than-expected polar ice melting make this obvious.

We remind you that Canada is the world’s greatest per-capita emitter of greenhouse gases, that the targets for reduction set by the current government are abysmally low, and in fact Canada is still increasing emissions, despite the commitment we made in the Kyoto Protocol.

A joint study published July 1st by the World Wildlife Fund and a leading financial company, Allianz, points out that Canada ranks last in the G8 on dealing with climate change.

Concerned about costs? Economist Nicholas Stern explains that the costs of dealing with climate change will be far less than the costs we face by failing to do so.

We just sent the following letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton:

Dear Secretary Clinton

We understand that you have to decide if the Alberta Clipper pipeline would serve the “national interest” of the United States. This pipeline would bring dirty tar sands oil into the United States.

We as a Canadian environmental group concerned about climate change urge you not to issue the permit. The alternative for both our countries surely is a clean energy economy, based upon renewable fuel, energy efficiency and conservation.

The tar sands as you must realize generate far more greenhouse gas emissions per barrel of oil processed than any other fossil fuel. The method of processing uses up an enormous amount of water, pollutes local rivers, thereby harming local fishing and agriculture. First Nations’ peoples are the worst affected. The processing also uses up an inordinate amount of (cleaner) oil and gas. Thus we are using up the last of the conventional oil and gas available in the area to process the dirty oil.

Oil and gas in any form are non-renewable. Better to leave the oil in the tar sands for exploitation later, when more advanced technology may make its use less costly to the environment.