Canadian training Afghan soldier, soldier's image by MCpl Yves Gemus, Canadian Armed Forces

Misplaced priorities

Victoria, B.C., Tuesday, June 5, 2007, by : Eugene Parks

What do climate change and the war in Afghanistan have in common? Well nothing, but the Harper government’s capricious attitudes towards them tells the story of why the new Canadian government is losing respect on both the world stage and domestically.

On the one hand, our new conservative government believes there is little to nothing we can do to contribute to global climate change. Their argument: Canada is too small a player to make a difference. Managing our globally shared atmosphere is too big an issue for Canada to lead the world in.

In contrast, this same government believes that Canada can be a world military leader in Afghanistan and manage social change through military force - in a country on the other side of the globe that has a population nearly identical in size to Canada’s.

Simply stated, while Harper envisions Canada's military might changing social problems around the planet and is spending billions in doing so, he ignores the necessity of fostering Canadian scientific leadership in dealing with developing global problems due to climate change.

Canada will never be a major military power however much resources are dedicated to that end. However, Canadians do have the potential - if encouraged - of positive contributions to adjusting to what one writer says is "the massive economic and social consequences of rapid climate change", (Richard Griffiths) first of all within our borders and then to the wider world.


Eugene Parks


Griffiths, Richard, Climate change beyond our control (pdf) June 3, 2007, The Toronto Star


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