Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for September 30th, 2007

Gore likes B.C.’s green moves

with 5 comments


This is deeply depressing. I suppose that for the same reason sharks don’t eat lawyers (professional courtesy) Al could not point out that our emperor has no clothes.

Al Gore says he’s impressed with the environmental initiatives being promised by B.C.’s government.

The former U.S. vice-president told a Vancouver audience Saturday night Premier Gordon Campbell is to be praised for his promise last week of legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and his pledge to adopt California’s tough tailpipe emission standards for vehicles.

I do not think anyone should praise politicians for promises. Especially this politician who broken so many: the man who wrote the Livable Region Strategy and now intends to see it dismantled: the man who promised not to sell BC Rail, so he just leased it for 999 years: the man who put a freeway cut through Eagleridge Bluffs: the man who made the promise to reduce emissions but forgot to tell his cabinet colleagues so an entire year will have passed before anything actually happens.

Al Gore was a politician but he also knows first hand what happens to politicians who become dependent on their handlers. Politics may be “the art of the possible” but Gordon Campbell has had plenty of opportunities to change direction. But as far as this region is concerned, he is committed to replacing what has set us apart from other North American cities with what will make us exactly like them. He is part of the massive right wing conspiracy to foist neo-liberal economics on the world – and especially what he persists in calling “the Best Place on Earth”. Which will shortly be seen by the world on their tv screens as the place that could have been, and once was, but is no more. The place where gridlock rules. The place where the salmon and the resident orcas will have gone. Where the Pacific flyway has been intercepted by container storage. Where a shabby deal with big business counts for more than an irreplaceable ecological gem.

I think the real environmentalists were not in the Bayshore. They were in the Unitarian church earlier that afternoon, and shivering in the rain outside the Bayshore later on. An extraordinary cross section of the community who all share one thing in common. A real concern for the place we live in and what the almighty dollar is doing to it.

I think it is really sad that David Suzuki and Al Gore did not point out to Premier Campbell that his actions speak far louder than his words. They could have done it politely. They could have used the the presence of the media to make a point, but they chose not to. If you were waiting for the opportune moment, gentlemen, that was it.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 30, 2007 at 4:45 pm