Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympics in Canada -- Oh, Climate Change, Oh, Ecological Rights, Oh, Indigenious Rights, Oh, the Poor

Plenty of information on planning web sites and other sites and in articles, both popular and in professional publications, discussing how expensive the Olympics are for any city, whether they be summer or winter. Greece got fleeced. Atlanta lost. Now Vancouver. These are huge public dollar injected events to promote media and corporations alike. In a time of collapsing economies (yes, Greece, now), we might rethink these Olympic Games and the spirit of competition. Up to $5.6 billion will have been spent for these snow less Winter Games, 2010. Here's a great bit below on civil society coming together to protest the said Games. In Vancouver, the city officials and many others feel it is necessary that protesters of many ilks get their say. They pledge not to keep civil protest shuttered away from players, visitors, media and the like. So, below, read the PR message and go to the various web sites for more edification.

"A coalition of environmental activists led by is calling on climate change activists to join the convergence at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

When the 2010 Winter Olympics start a couple of weeks from now in Vancouver, BC the athletes and spectators will be joined by organizations with some of the worst records on climate change.

General Motors is a national partner for the games, and one of the leading corporate opponents of effective action on climate change. Only two years ago, a vice-chairman of GM called global warming a "total crock of shit." GM is supplying a large fleet of vehicles for the games, almost all of which are gas-guzzling SUVs.

Petro-Canada, another National Olympic Partner, is the retail arm of the largest extractor of Oil Sands bitumen. The Oil Sands are Canada's biggest ghg emissions point source.

RBC (the Royal Bank of Canada) in addition to being a prominent Olympic sponsor is the largest commercial bank funder of the Oil Sands,. TransCanada pipelines, whose pipelines connect to the Oil Sands, is also an official supplier.

The government of British Columbia is the main funder and promoter of the games. They kicked off a massive plan to add over 1,000 km of new highway lanes (an increase of over 2,000,000 annual tonnes of CO2e emissions ) with the Sea-to-Sky Highway expansion for the Olympics. These plans include the controversial Gateway Program. It continues to heavily subsidize the oil and gas industry which resulted in it being the only Canadian province to see ghg emissions from industrial sources increase in 2008.

The Federal government of Canada which consistently earned "Fossil Awards" at the most recent international climate talks also is a major funder for the Olympics.

These corporations and governments want to fool the world with their claim that these are the "Greenest Games Ever" despite the links to climate change deniers, highway expansion and the Oil Sands."

Convergence Info:

Green Olympic Watch:

Climate Crime Scene:

Or, the homeless in Canada:

Activists in Vancouver are threatening to hand out red tents to street people in the hope of attracting international attention to the problem of homelessness in the city during the Olympics and forcing the federal government to come up with a housing strategy

Read more:

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