Canada, I know I’ve been hard on you in the past. For such a big green country, you sure have a horrible environmental record.

You let greenhouse gas emissions rise by more than 30 per cent above our Kyoto target, and the government went so far as to say we wouldn’t bother even trying to meet Kyoto.

You mine asbestos – a horrendously toxic and outdated substance – and push it onto people in the developing world.

And your track record on Native issues? Don’t even get me started.

But, in the past few months Canada, you have astounded me, and made me proud to be a Canadian. Public polls have consistently shown that the environment is now your number one concern, even beating out health care (traditionally our number one issue). After years and years of being nothing more than apathetic about climate change, suddenly everyone in the country seems to care.

What’s more – and this is what really impresses me – the turnaround happened in the winter. In Canada. When it’s minus 20, the car won’t start and our joints ache from the perpetual cold, Canadians are concerned about the threat of global warming, and realize that a warmer world will bring far more danerous and complicated consequences than just milder winters.

So Canada: I’m proud of you.

Really proud. I didn’t expect you to start caring about the environment so much, and I really didn’t expect you to care during the coldest part of the year.

Ok, that’s it. I just wanted to tell you that.

…and I wanted to plug my pieces in the Globe and Mail this weekend, I admit it. The Globe published a collection of about 50 short stories on climate change, and everything that comes with it, here. I have six different pieces in the almanac, which of course I think you should read (they are very short) – but anybody would benefit from reading the whole thing. This is important stuff.

The articles are published in alphabetical order, and mine are entitled:

Climate Refugees

Empty Rice Bowls

Jesus Loves Carbon Reduction

Paint-On Solar

Reefer Madness (best…headline…ever)

and

Zero Hour for the Amazon (I got the last word, yay!)

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