Dear Gary Lamphier,
A nerve is always struck when I read articles such as your “Climate jihadists want Canada to be embarrassed, but for what?” article appearing in the Edmonton Journal December 12th, 2009.
My annoyance isn’t related to my agreement or disagreement with some of your points; which as best as I can tell are:
a) the Mayor of Toronto should be more embarrassed about other issues,
b) that Canadians shouldn’t be embarrassed about our environmental issues, and
c) that environmental summits are nothing but glorified holidays paid for by taxpayers.
My issue is with your strategy for making these points.
One wrong is not made right because you have a bigger wrong. Similarly one wrong is not made right because someone else has a bigger wrong. These arguments stopped making sense around the age of 8 for me. So you pointing out that Toronto endured a garbage strike, and that China’s carbon emissions negate any progress we’ll make is irrelevant. That is of course if I’m correct that you’re suggesting we shouldn’t be so embarrassed about our environmental leadership.
I’m also annoyed with your use of buzz words to invoke emotions to your readers. Jihadist? Do you know what this word means? I suspect you do; actually I’m positive you do. But I’m also positive that you know full well what your readers emotional response to a word that’s become so loaded will be. I’ll mention that from my memory of Religious studies 100, “Jihadist” is a term used to describe a Muslim who favors or supports the jihad. Jihad is an Islamic term, to represent a religious duty of Muslims. But for most of us westerners, “Jihadist” = crazy fenatic who fly plains into buildings. I imagine you’ll succeed in engaging readers with your use of this, but I fail to see the logic in comparing David Miller to a jihadist. Maybe this Climate jihadist is a common term that I’m just unfamiliar with. Are you simply saying that his duty is to advance environmental issues?
As an aside, a personal pet peeve is the use of parenthesis to convey sarcasm. So perhaps you’re use of this strategy got me off on the wrong foot.
I guess you’re asking why David Miller is embarrassed. I can’t speak for him or any fellow Canadian, but I can tell you what I’m embarrassed about.
- I’m embarrassed that in 1990 at Kyoto, we set the goal to reduce our emmisions by 6% … but instead … our emmisions have increased 20%.
- I’m embarrassed that I’ve not taken more measures to reduce MY footprint.
And I’m also a little embarrassed to say that I’m from a city where articles like yours make it to press.