George Monbiot’s new book, Heat, had me revved up before it had hit the shelves of Canadian bookstores. And now, well, now that it has arrived in my house (thanks to the holly daze and a wonderful nephew, J, in Toronto), I have to rave about it again.
Today is the second time I’ve cracked the cover with the intention of reading. The first was on Boxing Day when I thought I’d sneak a chapter before we headed out the door for more family and leftovers. After the first three paragraphs of the Foreword to the Canadian Edition, I’d decided to put it down because I knew I’d never get out the door if I kept at it. Today, I sat down with the intention to read only the Foreword and the Introduction, but before I could get to the Introduction I had to blog this:
Thanks to the efforts of Mr Harper and your [Canada’s] environment minister, Rona Ambrose, Canada’s global reputation is now beginning to catch up with its performance. When they say that Canada cannot reach its Kyoto targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, they mean that they do not intend to try. Their surrender within the first few months in office is an astonishing instance of political cowardice. Having presented himself to the Canadian people as a man who can make tough choices, Harper declared himself an irresolute wimp as soon as he was faced with a choice between upsetting a few industrial lobbyists or helping to save the planet. (p. x)
Like Bush, the Conservatives have also cut or suspended their funding for energy efficiency programmes and other means of preventing climate change. Environment Canada is beginning to look like the Environmental Protection Agency in the US: an official body whose staff are treated by the government as enevies of the state. (p. xi)
I expect I’ll have more to highlight here as I move through Monbiot’s work.