A Ray of Light!

This morning’s Chronicle Herald renewed my love of Canada, move specifically, Nova Scotia.

Darrell Dexter, premier of Nova Scotia, aims to decrease emissions 10% from 1990 levels by 2020. I do believe that’s 4% greater than Canada’s Kyoto target. Now he’s moved the date a bit farther away, but he has made this commitment regardless of any agreement made in Copenhagen, regardless of the US, China or anyone else. He says he won’t use “the failure of others as an excuse”.

It is comforting among all the buzz of failing climate talks to hear a politician talk about the need for action. He also sees the economic potential for renewable energy, and is currently in Copenhagen talking to investors about tidal power.

The federal Conservatives have set a 20% reduction by 2020 as their target, but they’re using 2003 as a base line, not 1990. Unfortunately our emissions rose quite a bit between those years, and that reduction won’t even get us back to 1990 levels.

Thanks Nova Scotia, for not looking like a shmuck!

Fossil of the Day

harper_cowboyWell, with the Copenhagen climate talks about to wrap up, it’s about time I said something.

I am ashamed of the Canadian government. Canada’s international reputation is in tatters. How’s this lovely headline:

Throw Canada out of Commonwealth for climate record – Rising emissions and support for tar oil sands leads prominent figures to call for suspension (Ecologist, 27th November, 2009)

Kicking us out of the Commonwealth? That’s a part of who Canada is!

Now is the time for dramatic action. Some scientist are claiming we’re already gone too far, and even if greenhouse gas emissions stopped altogether tomorrow the planet will still warm to an unacceptable level from what’s already in the atmosphere. Harper can be all concerned about our economy if the tar sands can’t keep pumping out the oil and pumping out the emissions, but when the temperature rise starts killing ocean life, have fun with that economy. Just because their is oil in the ground doesn’t mean we have to take it out. Creating alternative energy sources will also create jobs and create a branch of the economy that isn’t designed to run out and explode in our faces.

So as a result of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives’s lack of action on climate change, Canada is leading the pack in Fossil of the Dayawards. This award is given to counties that are doing their best to impede climate change action. Congrats Canada, you’re now an environmental villain.

**Hilarious Edit**  `Harper not on Obama`s climate guest list`Obama`s having an emergency climate party and Harper isn`t invited. Even Australia got invited! No offence Oz, but we have similar world influence and we even live next door to Obama!

Van Diemen’s Land

Downtown Hobart

Downtown Hobart

All it took was a week for me to fall in love with Tasmania. Although we only saw Hobart and the area around it, I feel that we got a good taste for the state. It reminded me a lot of Halifax as a city; small, coastal and cheery.

Out of all the markets we visited in Australia, the Salamanca market in Hobart wasby far the best. Bustling with people and buskers, it had rows and rows of stalls with a good variety and quality artisan work. If you’re there on a Saturday it’s a must!

Port Authur was also a favourite. It’s an old penial colony shut down in the 1870s. I know what you’re thinking…the whole country was a penal colony, right? Right, but they weren’t actually in prison. They were given land to work and were basically free but they weren’t allowed to go back to Britain. Port Aurthur was where you went if you re-offended after being sent to Australia. A lot of history there. At one point it even held Canadian political prisoners. Cool.

Solitary confinment at Port Arthur

Solitary confinment at Port Arthur

wineglass bay

Wineglass Bay

We visited two beautiful national parks, Mt. Field and Freycinet. Mt. Field has the famous and beautiful Russell falls and Freycinet has Wineglass Bay…one of the top 10 beaches in the world. I’m sure the others are in New Zealand…more on that later.

And, of course, we saw some Tasmanian Devils. So cute! They’re currnetly endagnered due to a facial cancer that’s spread through biting. They’re trying to breed resistant populations so if you’re in Tasmania try to donate to the cause! There’s donation bins at all the wildfile parks and such. devils