UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

Copenhagen Day Eight

A unique Canadian contribution

By David MacDonald

Canada’s International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) may not be a household word in our country, yet for almost 20 years it has been making a quiet but effective contribution to resolving some of the toughest global environmental problems. Its presence is being felt in Copenhagen.

Each morning, thousands of conference participants are greeted with a four-page newssheet published overnight by IISD. The long time editor (and an old friend of mine) is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI. A onetime professional clown, he came to Canada from Texas. He and I became acquainted more than 20 years ago when he reported on the intricate preparations for the Rio Earth Summit. His news service has had unique and unrestricted access to all the negotiations on climate change for the last two decades.

I went to a IISD reception last night with Moderator Mardi Tindal and author Alanna Mitchell. I was delighted to cross paths with Bill Blaikie, a United Church minister, former long-time member of Parliament and the recently appointed Minister of Conservation for Manitoba, the  province’s minister for environmental issues.

At this same event was Mayor Basil Stewart of Summerside, P.E.I., president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, who is among a number of mayors and provincial leaders who have come to Copenhagen. Shawn Atleo, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and other First Nations and Inuit leaders are also present. That is important because all three levels of government and civil society need to represent Canada at a conference as crucial as this.

During the day on Monday a number of ocean experts from around the world shared their research. For many years, experts have been preoccupied with what has been happening to the atmosphere, However, it now appears that even more serious disruptions are affecting the oceans. This first Oceans Day at a climate conference was a wakeup call. In May of next year it will be the focus of a special UN meeting in Paris.

All in all, Monday was a good day.

Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image


David Wilson%


by David Wilson

If statues could talk

Promotional Image


ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

by Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

Promotional Image


July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots


June 2017

A suitcase for Cuba

by Christopher Levan

You’ll find more than giveaway toiletries and hand-me-downs in the writer's luggage. Each carefully chosen gift offers a glimpse into the lives of Cubans today.


June 2017


by Kristy Woudstra

Up to half a million people are living in Canada without official status. The ‘sanctuary city’ movement is growing, but the fear of deportation persists.


June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.


April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart


March 2017

Called to resist

by Paul Wilson

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

Promotional Image