The blurst of times?

22Apr10

It’s Earth Day today, don’cha know.

But not only does it seem like awareness of this event is actually waning, there also appears to be mounting evidence that the environmental movement has hit a wall on several fronts.

Today’s Toronto Star editorial points out that changes like curbing water use, reducing consumption and limiting greenhouse gas emissions aren’t happening at the rate many environmentalists have been hoping for.

There isn’t much evidence of large-scale changes on these issues, the Star notes.

The Star lays the blame at the feet of the general public and takes a barb at the anti-environmental agenda of the Harper government.

I am inclined to agree.

The problem, though isn’t limited to getting the message out. People need to change their attitudes, but, frankly, many won’t until there are consequences.

This is where we need real leadership from our federal government. More programs to reward customers who buy eco-friendly, low emission, fuel-efficient vehicles would be a start.

But so would a program to clamp down on the production of gas-guzzling SUVS and muscle cars by the Big Three. The automakers have received enormous cash bailouts, with few restrictions tied to them.

Our federal government didn’t have the stones to seize the chance to dictate to the Big Three the types of environmentally friendly vehicles they need to be making in larger quantities.

Change requires vision. Our current federal government has shown time and again that it doesn’t have any of it on the environmental front. It’s not a priority for them.

And so, it remains a low priority for many Canadians as well. The SUV-driving, hydro-wasting, super-consumer won’t change his or her ways until there are real consequences in place.

I just hope it doesn’t take another four decades of mindless environmental destruction before it happens.

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