Since the Viet Nam war, Canadians (and some Americans) have been sewing Canadian flag patches on their backpacks when they travel to distinguish themselves from their neighbours. But they will be ripping them off soon, as the country becomes an international pariah for its behaviour on the climate change issue. George Monbiot is pulling no punches:
So here I am, watching the astonishing spectacle of a beautiful, cultured nation turning itself into a corrupt petro-state. Canada is slipping down the development ladder, retreating from a complex, diverse economy towards dependence on a single primary resource, which happens to be the dirtiest commodity known to man. The price of this transition is the brutalisation of the country, and a government campaign against multilateralism as savage as any waged by George Bush.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper sings and plays "I get high with a little help from my friends" with the National Arts Centre Orchestra
He doesn't stop there:
In Copenhagen next week, this country will do everything in its power to wreck the talks. The rest of the world must do everything in its power to stop it. But such is the fragile nature of climate agreements that one rich nation - especially a member of the G8, the Commonwealth and the Kyoto group of industrialised countries - could scupper the treaty. Canada now threatens the wellbeing of the world.
He complains about our other mis-steps, but concludes:
This is much worse, as it affects the whole world. The government's scheming at the climate talks is doing for its national image what whaling has done for Japan.
um, note to ed.- can you change my location to Buffalo?