Will Oremus, writing for Slate
Given that the Alberta tar sands already account for more carbon emissions than 145 entire nations, one would think Canada would have a hard time meeting international environmental standards. One would be right. Under a liberal government, the country was one of the first to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol in 1998. In 2002, even as Bush was gleefully thumbing his nose at the climate treaty, Canada ratified it, promising an ambitious 6 percent reduction from 1990’s carbon levels by 2012. Instead, emissions had risen 24 percent as of 2008. And in terms of energy consumption per capita, Canada is fourth in the world, 15 percent higher than the notoriously wasteful United States.
Canadians still think we are the world’s friendly neighbour, that we’re loved around the world, and still proudly sport maple leaves when backpacking around the world.
Too bad it just isn’t true. Every year we seem to become more conservative, clinging to corrosive industries like oil, factory farming, and even the fur industry, despite being widely banned around the world. Our image is not as spotless as we think.