Political Leanings

By Shae Hadden | Bio

Today is the day after the Canadian federal elections. It’s also Blog Action Day on Poverty. Admittedly, poverty is an important issue, and so are politics. But there is an intractable problem we all face that is the context for poverty, economics and politics. And that is the environment. Our elected leaders in Canada and the U.S. will not only set the course for
North American environmental and economic policies for the next few years, but will also impact our long-term future as well. And we all (developed and developing countries alike) need to transition to
clean energy economies if we want to avert global disaster.

During our 37-day election campaign in Canada, there has been an
environmental movement afoot for citizens to choose the most likely
candidate in their riding to succeed in ousting the Conservative
government. The Liberals have touted a ‘green’ carbon tax to promote
reduction in carbon emissions and foster the development of ‘clean’
technologies and industries. Election analysts have boiled down the
campaigns of each major party to ‘focused on fighting the carbon tax’
(the Conservatives) and ‘unfocused and lacking leadership’ (the

With Stephen Harper reelected as head of a Conservative minority government, the hope of implementing a carbon tax and other environmentally progressive initiatives dwindles. Harper and whoever the Americans elect as their next President will be supposedly responsible for leading both our countries through very turbulent times. The question that lingers with me is whether they will be accountable for their commitments to confront global warming, or will they repeat the past and let one of if not the most critical issue of our time become one of those promises that get lost on the campaign trail? Since the state of the environment determines what’s possible for
humans, including what’s possible for our economies and our societies, I think that
this and our stand on global conflicts are the most important election issues we face.

Enough is enough.

If we don’t align on our commitment to this one planet we live on and start taking actions to confront global warming, we will ALL face problems we can’t even begin to imagine. Tumbling markets and gas taxes will be the least of our concerns.

In December, leaders from around the world will be gathering in Poznan, Poland to discuss the next international climate treaty. No matter where you live, I urge you to write your elected leader and request that they attend these UN Climate Meetings. If you’re American, consider petitioning Obama or McCain online. If you’re Canadian, consider writing to your Member of Parliament (no postage required), c/o the House of Commons, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6.

Let’s tell our leaders we want to clean up the mess before we die so that there will be a world for future generations to live in.

© 2008 Shae Hadden. All rights reserved.