Dear future Prime Minister

Here's how to solve our most urgent environmental problems

Dear future Prime Minister,
We know, we know. Green politics can be risky. While Stéphane Dion’s Green Shift plan got the happy dance from environmentalists, he bombed at the polls. But, if we may be so bold, the risks of not doing anything about the environment are greater. Plus, you just might win the next federal election—Gordon Campbell, for example, became the first B.C. premier in 26 years to win a third term in an election widely viewed as a test of his carbon tax. Just take a look at what’s going on in Canada’s environment: warmer winters have aggravated a pine beetle infestation in British Columbia and cost the province’s forestry industry millions. In the summer of 2007, the Northwest Passage was ice-free for the first time. And, while pushing us all to use compact fluorescent bulbs and turn down the AC is important (Canadians have among the heaviest carbon footprints in the world), industry remains the biggest source of emissions and requires vigilant government regulation to fall into eco-line. We need a man or woman with a plan to get this country on the right environmental path.

Here, five of the most pressing environmental issues, and what you, our next fearless leader, should do about them.

This article first appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of Green Living magazine. Read the whole issue here.