A PR rep working for the David Suzuki Foundation contacted me today about an awareness and fund-raising campaign premised on the melting of the North Pole because of climate change. Under this premise, Santa Claus has to relocate. Where will he move to?
I was directed to the fund-raising website, called “Where will Santa Live,” which features an interactive Christmas scene. You click on linkable pictures and up come descriptions of the “green” products to buy in order to contribute money to various DSF-directed lobbying campaigns, ostensibly on behalf of the environment.
The gifts are interesting, if impractical. You can pay $99.99 for “Magic Sleigh Pontoons” made from “100% recycled Canadian Aluminum.” For another $49.99, you get an “Abominable Snowmaker,” which I guess is a… well, a snowmaker. That probably requires energy, probably electricity (it better not be gas-powered). Given David Suzuki’s enthusiastic endorsement of energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs, I’m a bit puzzled by this one. Isn’t a portable snowmaker a needless waste of valuable energy?
Here’s what I wish I could buy from this website: a gift certificate for truly green electricity. If, for example, I—as an Ontario resident and everyday user of Ontario electricity—could buy nuclear- or hydro-generated electricity, or a combination of the two, through an arrangement with my local electricity retailer, I would feel I am doing my bit for the planet.
Surely this is possible. As you can see from the Ontario electricity generation tables (click here), nuclear is the biggest source of electricity in this province; hydro is almost always the second or third-biggest source. My electricity retailer, which is Hydro Ottawa, ought to have no problem making good on such a gift certificate.
And the purchaser of such a gift certificate, if it were sold on a site like the DSF fundraising one mentioned above, would of course be able to buy it at a decent price. Nuclear and hydro are two of the cheapest kinds of electricity in Ontario.
Of course, I’m dreaming. The chance that DSF would offer any kind of support for nuclear power is as good as that of me winning the lottery without buying a ticket. DSF is doctrinally and dogmatically anti-nuclear.
(The link above brings you to a document that lists eight reasons DSF is against nuclear. I sent DSF an email addressing some of these reasons and explaining why I felt they could benefit from a more fact-based second look. That was in June 2010; I am still waiting for a reply.)
What a shame. DSF, which proclaims its dedication to “providing science-based education,” complains about climate change, then asks you to contribute money for a never-ending lobbying campaign to oppose the biggest technological solution to it.
Sadly, I would advise kids and their parents to contribute money elsewhere this Christmas.