It has been tarnished by the Canadian Government message of ‘Climate Prosperity’. This really disappointed me. I have worked with Canadian Geographic in the past and I feel that they have been compromised while promoting this piece of spin.
You can see the slogan and diagram in question here (on a tar sands funded website), or read Desmogblog for a bit more information on this. Below is my response and letter to the Editor of Canadian Geographic.
1155 Lola Street, Suite 200
Ottawa, Ont. K1K 4C1
Dear Mr. Harris,
As a Canadian photographer who focuses on climate change internationally and whose work has been featured in Canadian Geographic, I congratulate you on your dedication to climate change in the October 2010 issue. However, I was disappointed at the magazine’s choice to promote the industry and government-created slogan of ‘Climate Prosperity’.
The ‘Climate Prosperity’ project publicly states its aims as being to acknowledge the need to adapt to and mitigate climate change, and to profit from this mitigation. However, I believe this slogan is an intentionally manipulative exercise in spin from an industry and government who have no intention of curbing carbon emissions.
The term ‘prosperity’ communicates to the reader that climate change will be overwhelmingly positive for Canada, although your articles and the ‘climate prosperity’ diagram state otherwise. It incorrectly implies that we do not have to act ambitiously to mitigate climate change. And, it ignores the plight of millions around the world adversely affected by climate change.
I was saddened that Canadian Geographic, a respected, politically independent institution, and wonderful work partner, supported the government and oil industry in this instance. Having documented the progress of the UN climate conferences for the last three years leading up to the Copenhagen summit, I can tell you with certainty that our government’s climate policy is abysmal and the most regressive in the world. I believe strongly that this sort of greenwashing and politics does not belong in the pages of Canadian Geographic.
Mr. Harris, thank you for taking the time to read my concerns. I would welcome a response and I hope that we can continue to work together on environmental and climate issues in the future.
Robert van Waarden