Canada’s environmental performance is no better han the United States and never has been. Our arrogance in this regard is truly astounding.
It’s not just the USA; pull out some old newspapers and look at what people were saying during the Fish War with Spain a few years back. You’d think Spain had killed every fish in the Atlantic; the fact that it was CANADA that was primarily responsible for fishing out the Grand Banks was totally ignored.
To be fair, however, I don’t often hear my fellow Canadians claiming Canada doesn’t have pollution problems. I hear them say Canadian CITIES are clean and American cities are dirty, and they’re absolutely right; by my Canuck standards, every American city I’ve ever been to ranged between “kind of dirty” and “disgusting.” Why that is I don’t exactly know, but it’s true; the dirtiest city I’ve ever been in in Canada, which I guess would be Winnipeg, is very clean by U.S. standards. That’s the universal Canadian conceit. But that’s not “pollution” per se. Toronto is a tidy city, but it still has smog. THAT’S pollution.
By its nature, of course, Canada faces some environmental challenges other countries do not. It’s an enormous country with a small, geographically dispersed population, which means longer distances travelled for people and goods, which means more pollution. It’s a northern winter country, meaning more energy used for heat. That stuff adds up.
Leaving near Toronto and knowing we still have many coal burning electric plants still in operation I know that we are a big polluter. Bigger than the US? Perhaps on a per capita basis but I’m sure the volume is not as great. I noticed percentages and tonnage used for Canada but not for the United States. It is still sad that we have increased that much.
Considering we are supposedly trying to begin adhereing to the Kyoto protocol this is particularly sad. We have no right to thumb our dirty noses at the States for its polution policies.
Rick Jay the Shouting about Spain was the frustration of many fisherman of the fact that other countries could fish during our moritorium and also that there was a general increase of fishing in the nose and tail of the Banks which are considered international waters by other countries. At least that was the fishing community
I live in Chicagoland and much of the drinking water comes from the lake. Lately we have been having trouble partly because the lake is so much clearer than it was so we have algea blooms near the intake for the city supply. Lake Michigan is getting cleaner in recent years.
When visiting Toronto, I was appalled at how much dirtier lake Ontario seemed and how much worse the tap water in Toronto was. It really blew my mind. Toronto seems like a cleaner, less crowded, better traffic version of Chicago, all except for the lake.
Remember that Lake Ontario is downstream from Lake Erie. This isn’t to say that the cities ringing Lake Ontario don’t need to clean up their act, but the condition of their lake isn’t solely under their control. Actually, if memory serves, both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are getting cleaner as well, but they were much filthier than Lake Michigan ever was.
Yup, Canadians as individuals produce more trash than just about anyone else in the world. And while the US may have rejected Kyoto, you still have the EPA. We’ve got nothing that’s really equivalent in terms of forcing companies to comply with pollution regulations. Instead our legal system fails to prosecute major industrial polluters.
I am genuinely surprised. The Canadian solution to everything has seemed to be more agencies, more regulation, more government activity. Why has this one area been essentially turned over to industry to run as they see fit?