photo by Velcrow Ripper (EvolveLove on Flickr CC)

Canada is famous for ice hockey. That, maple syrup and being a nicer, cleaner version of the United States.

But real, traditional ice hockey, played outdoors on frozen lakes and ponds, may become a thing of the past due to climate change.

Of course, nowadays expensive, energy-consuming technology makes weather obsolete. I mean, even the state of Florida has two ice hockey teams. Winter sports have really taken off in the Sunshine State.

But way up north some traditional winter sports are on thin ice, with winter temperatures in some parts of Canada not allowing sufficient ice formation. And climate change in Canada has been more pronounced than elsewhere. Average temperatures in the country have risen by 2.5C since 1950 – that’s up to three times more global warming than the global average.

From the Guardian:

The ice season has shortened noticeably over the last 50 years, especially in southern British Columbia and Alberta and parts of the prairie provinces, the study in the Institute of Physics’ journal, Environmental Research Letters, says.

All this is happening under a political regime that has broken promises to curb greenhouse gas emissions and been very pro tar sands, a highly polluting form of crude oil.

And when I say ‘pro tar sands’ I mean that Canada’s ruling Conservative Party, led by PM Stephen Harper, has even been accused of some seriously shady tactics including 31,000 reports of harassing and misleading phone calls or ‘robocalls’ during Canada’s last election. That’s 30-60 times more than usual.


While the robocalling scandal was breaking, Harper was in Asia sucking up to the leaders of China, extolling the virtues of Canada’s tar sands and encouraging their investment in Alberta. Harper, acting as front man for the oil patch, is desperate to have China as a customer of our dirty fuel, even if it means strip mining and poisoning all of Alberta to do so.

Reading stuff like that sort of makes Canada look less like the friendly, beer drinking, hockey-mad land of reasonable social welfare programs and expansive nature. It’s looking more and more like a corporate-owned, undemocratic banana republic, whose leaders sell off its natural resources to the highest bidder.

So what’s Canada going to choose: hockey and democracy or climate change and ‘petrotyranny’?

About The Author: Graham Land

Greenfudge editor and London-based writer Graham Land grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene, playing in several bands. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. He has also lived in Japan, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.


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