Good Morning Everyone,
On the Christian calendar, today is Good Friday, and it will be Easter in a few days. I hope that if you are celebrating you have a fine weekend. And if you have another celebration or just a regular weekend, I hope that is fine too.
And now I'm going to launch into a rant. I woke up this morning with Rick Mercer's voice in my head, and the radio wasn't even on in the background. So here goes.
Truth be told, I had no idea there was a United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (http://www.unccd.int/en/Pages/default.aspx), and that every country in the world supported its efforts at finding out about why drought occurs and how to not have so many drought areas.
But now that Prime Minister Harper has ordered his environment and international minions - er ministers - to take Canada off the list of signatories, I know that this undertaking must be something really important and positive as far as environment issues goes ... and something I'm going to pay attention to.
There'll be a big conference April 9 -19 in Germany on the topic of combating desertification and at that conference the attendees are supposed to come with (or maybe it's supposed to have supplied ahead of time) their country's statistics about poverty and areas of land where there's drought, or threat of drought, or more drought than there used to me.
Because that's what "desertification" is really about. It doesn't mean that a country has a desert and that desert is getting bigger. No, it means that in an area where water has been available, something in the environment has changed and there is less water going to the land and the entire ecosystem is being changed and conditions in the area are become like a desert.
Another thing I haven't done the research about - because I haven't time! and wish I had time! - is whether Canada has areas where this is happening. Where aquifers are being messed up because of changes in climate (increased erratic weather) or because of a big project that is polluting a lot of water and somehow making it unavailable to the land and therefore to every living plant and animal that depends on it. Doesn't that sound like a situation to call a desert?
Wait a minute! What's that big project out in Alberta? The one the Harperites and the oil industry don't like calling the tar sands? Yeah, the oil sands. That massive project to dredge up sludge that has oil mixed into the soil. That massive project that has toxic holding ponds covering acres and acres of land. That massive extraction project that uses huge amounts of water from the local rivers and watersheds to perform the chemical magic that takes the oil out of the sludge.
Whether the science is complete on how the watersheds are affected, enough data is in, and enough people just know from their experience, that bad change is happening out there.
Sounds close enough to desertification for me.
And who lives in that zone? What are their incomes? There's gonna be some poverty too.
Maybe the tar sands is something the "Harper government" doesn't want to report to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. It's the sort of story likely to make the news, and show yet another way that they're trying to destroy the sciences in Canada and deny climate change.
Maybe that's what's behind the Harper government's withdrawal from the UN.
Steaming through my ears,
p.s. And I bet Steve's office won't be having an event for on June 17, the world day to combat desertification
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
The Conference (has long title) The Third Special Session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S-3) with the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought and the Eleventh Session of the Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 11) will take place from 9-19 April 2013, at the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany. http://www.unccd.int/en/media-center/MediaNews/Pages/highlightdetail.aspx?HighlightID=178
Canada quietly pulls out of anti-drought convention. CBC report, March 28, 2013
World Day to Combat Desertification, Monday June 17, 2013