The most watched spectacle in the world, World Cup 2014 has ended with another piece of history being written as Germany became the first ever European squad to win the title in the Western Hemisphere.
The event will also be remembered for several other interesting stats and features: the highest number of games decided in overtime/penalty shootouts, equaling the record for the highest number of goals scored in a World Cup in addition to spectacular scoring by Lionel Messi and Thomas Mueller among others, and the disastrous showing by the host nation Brazil which led to the firing of manager Luiz Felipe Scolari as soon as the tournament was declared over.
Among all the hype and excitement, the World Cup has stolen a lot of attention from what could otherwise have been a comprehensive discussion on the massive damage inflicted by extreme weather phenomena, both nationally and globally.
We just came out of one of the longest winters in living memory in Canada followed by massive flooding in the prairies with resulting damage said to be in the tune of $200 million. In North America, two successive hurricanes ripped through the United States within a matter of weeks also touching down with less strength in Canada’s Atlantic provinces while Typhoon Neoguri, one of the strongest ever recorded in the Pacific Ocean just passed by Japan without causing much damage.
About seven months ago another typhoon, Haiyan, brought about huge loss of life and massive damage in material terms and was just forgotten about after dropping from the headlines in a matter of weeks.
It should now be obvious to any sane person that the increasingly extreme climate events are the results of human activity due to the fact that we have been upsetting the balance of the nature, polluting the environment and the atmosphere and changing weather patterns.
It is a pity that the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who described the science behind the climate change theories as “crap”, may have to be persuaded to the contrary by the owners of the vineries in his own country who have lost massive plots of land to the global warming where they could previously grow the grapes to produce their world renowned shiraz brands.
In the meantime, our own federal and provincial governments are understood to be playing some dirty tricks behind our backs to allow big oil to make more money while ignoring all the concerns regarding climate change, global warming and environmental pollution, as you can read on page 11 in a column authored by an insider who happens to be knowledgeable about what secret deals are being cooked behind closed doors.
We have to face the fact that Canada has become one of the worst polluters of the environment since the oils sands of Athabasca began to be exploited and unless strict guidelines are put in place, it will only get worse.
The cost of production of one barrel of crude oil is about 50 cents in Saudi Arabia and roughly around $50 in the oil sands area of Athabasca. Big oil is producing bitumen there at this level of cost without having to pay more for the environmental care that is required. Any more restrictions on the environmental pollution levels will mean more expensive production and less profits, which both big oil and our governments hate to see.
Unless we, the electorate, wake up to the facts and stop the victimization of the environment for higher profits from the oil sands, we will have to bear the shame of being collaborators in the process before the generations that will inhabit the earth after us.