FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Benefits of Environmental Citizenship

It is not an unreasonable extension of reasoning to argue that the political and social tension wracking Canada today can be traced to orchestrated environmental disarray and a deliberate agenda, now decades in the making, to make sure citizens and scientific evidence and reasoning are kept separate from decision makers and decision making.

This designed divorce of people from the national environmental and energy regulatory processes has bred anger, distrust and suspicion about who is getting more than their share, who is paying more than their share, and who is being left out.

The reality is, and I paraphrase from a 1997 legal review about civil service ministry/agency decision making, that societies can, and I argue governments should (but will only if we force them to) actively engage in building citizenship.

The benefits are never ending;  participation in ministry and agency (like the National Energy Board) decision-making helps produce better citizens by inspiring a sense of civic responsibility.

Participation not only makes for better informed citizens, it also helps develop citizenship, a precondition to (what should be) contemporary agency / Ministry decision making.

Participation is important because it is an “affirmation of belonging”. It makes citizens feel as if they are a part of, and thus helps to encourage membership in, a political community.

Participation “educates individuals how to think publicly as citizens”, inducing us to listen to other people’s positions and, just as importantly, to justify our own”, and Citizenship presupposes that one is able to participate in the decisions that affect oneself and one’s community”

This would not be, or lead to, some miraculous healing or coalescing of citizens – not after decades of gross mismanagement and not without time, but tell me, since when is it too late to turn back from a path wrongly taken?

The root cause of discord in Canada and within provinces – and there is widespread dissatisfaction with public resource (mis)management – take Forest protection and the Forest industry in B.C. as just one example – is successive government failure to elevate environmental management and protection to scientifically sound written standards with legal status.

Lack of federal leadership and absence of dedicated (and legal) effort to harmonize provincial environmental protection standards and practices, including legal mandates for citizen participation in decision making, has not only degraded landscapes and created a biodiversity (fish and wildlife, forests, and range) conservation crisis, it has corrupted democracy and unity, creating extreme and divisive expectations where far too many people think only of their own wallet.

Highly fragmented and meddling approach to economic stimulation in the total absence of high and common environmental protection standards has led to special interests – like oil and gas in Alberta, the timber industry in B.C., and agriculture and livestock industries, along with industrial recreation businesses, across the west , demanding that their interests be granted privilege above the common good and way above landscape and ecosystem viability.

All citizens, from all provinces, both nationally and within a province, playing by the same rules, would set a standard that would “cut off at the knees” todays commonly practice of sneaking through the back door to political and regulatory “friends” in order to get special privilege.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
December 11, 2019
Vijay Prashad
Why the Afghanistan Papers Are an Eerie Reminder of Vietnam
Kenneth Surin
Australia’s Big Smoke
Sameer Dossani
Ideology or Popularity: How Will Britain Vote?
John W. Whitehead
Who Will Protect Us From an Unpatriotic Patriot Act?
Binoy Kampmark
Interference Paranoia: Russia, Reddit and the British Election
Scott Tucker
Sure, Impeach Trump, But Let’s be Honest
Nyla Ali Khan
Homogenizing India: the Citizenship Debate
Thomas Knapp
Congress: The Snail’s Pace Race
Shawn Fremstad
Modern Family Progressivism
Joseph Essertier
Julian Assange, Thanks for Warning Japanese About Washington
William Minter
How Africa Could Power a Green Revolution
December 10, 2019
Tony McKenna
The Demonization of Jeremy Corbyn
John Grant
American Culture Loves a Good Killer
Jacob Hornberger
Afghanistan: a Pentagon Paradise Built on Lies
Nick Licata
Was Trump Looking for Corruption or a Personal Favor?
Thomas M. Magstadt
What’s the Matter With America?
Brian Tokar
Climate Talks in Madrid: What Will It Take to Prevent Climate Collapse?
Ron Jacobs
Where Justice is a Game: Impeachment Hearings Redux
Jack Rasmus
Trump vs. Democracy
Walden Bello
Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics
Binoy Kampmark
A Troubled Family: NATO Turns 70
Brian Horejsi
Citizens Are Never Trusted
Michael Barker
Self-Defense in the Civil Rights Movement: the Lessons of Birmingham, 1963
John Feffer
Soldiers Who Fight War
Howie Wolke
Willingness to Compromise Puts Wilderness at Risk
December 09, 2019
Jefferson Morley
Trump’s Hand-Picked Prosecutor John Durham Cleared the CIA Once, Will He Again?
Kirkpatrick Sale
Political Collapse: The Center Cannot Hold
Ishmael Reed
Bloomberg Condoned Sexual Assault by NYPD 
W. T. Whitney
Hitting at Cuban Doctors and at Human Solidarity
Louisa Willcox
The Grizzly Cost of Coexistence
Thomas Knapp
Meet Virgil Griffith: America’s Newest Political Prisoner
John Feffer
How the New Right Went Global — and How to Stop It
Ralph Nader
Why Not Also Go With “The Kitchen Table” Impeachable Offenses for Removal?
Robert Fisk
Meet the Controversial Actor and Businessman Standing Up Against Egypt’s el-Sisi
M. K. Bhadrakumar
Sri Lanka Continues Its Delicate Dance With India
Dahr Jamail
Savoring What Remains: Dealing With Climate PTSD
George Wuerthner
Bison Slaughter in Yellowstone…Again
Scott Tucker
Premature Democratic Socialists: Reasons for Hope and Change
Julian Rose
Polish Minister of Health Proposes Carcinogenic 5G Emission Levels as National Norm
Dean Baker
Coal and the Regions Left Behind
Robert Koehler
Envisioning a United World
Weekend Edition
December 06, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Eat an Impeachment
Matthew Hoh
Authorizations for Madness; The Effects and Consequences of Congress’ Endless Permissions for War
Jefferson Morley
Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn’t a ‘Managed Massacre’
Andrew Levine
Whatever Happened to the Obama Coalition?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail