FRANKE JAMES

Dear Prime Minister

by Franke James

drawing by Franke James

Dear Prime Minister, You say a pollution tax would wreak havoc on our economy. You say you are the steady hand to steer us through turbulent economic times. drawing by Franke James

You say the other parties are dangerous because they will tax polluters. But if we don't tax polluters who will pay to clean up the mess? drawing by Franke James

Will my children and yours be paying? drawing by Franke James

drawing by Franke James
drawing by Franke James
drawing by Franke James
drawing by Franke James
drawing by Franke James and featuring oil rigs photo copyright Andrew Penner
drawing by Franke James
drawing by Franke James
drawing by Franke James
drawing by Franke James

“Dear Prime Minister” copyright 2008 Franke James
Photographs, illustrations and writing by Franke James, MFA (except tar sands photo by Andrew Penner)

Background Research & Resources:

Voters Guide to the Climate Crisis Election PDF Sierra Club of Canada [http://sierraclub.ca]

China passes stringent green laws Business Green News

China considers pollution tax Business Green News

China to become world’s largest investor in green energy The Telegraph UK

Taking the Wheel PDF The Pembina Institute [http://www.oilsandswatch.org]

Survey of Albertans on Oil Sands PDF The Pembina Institute [http://www.oilsandswatch.org]

Carbon 2008 PDF Corporate Knights [http://corporateknights.ca]

211 Responses: 97 Comments and 114 Tweets

  • Mary Stevenson says:

    Another amazingly powerful visual essay. The message is so clear with excellent research to back up your statements. The reference to China is especially poignant because it proves that the problem can be remedied – it’s not too late. The weeping tree towards the end of the essay is brilliant. I will also cast my vote for the candidate who believes that it is an inherent obligation to care for the environment for the sake of future generations.

    Well done!!!

  • Elastic Mind says:

    VIA TWITTER:

    A brilliant visual essay. Perhaps you want to share it on David Suzuki’s VoteEnvironment site http://www.voteenvironment2008.ca/

    Tara Joyce

  • Elizabeth Samson says:

    It’s scary that countries are only interested in cleaning up pollution when the rest of the World is watching them. Perhaps when the Olympics come to Vancouver, the politicians here in Canada will be more motivated to fix our environment as well.

    This is an incredible visual essay. Each illustration is so powerful! I too will be voting for the party with the best plan for the environment. Keep up the good work in getting this message out – it is so important to educate people about the consequences of pollution.

  • Martin Edic says:

    These are not taxes, they are investments in the future. Politicians won’t support initiatives that are far-reaching and global in effect because their time frame is the immediate future. Until this changes, nothing will change.
    The problem is that we cannot afford not to change.

  • Franke James says:

    Proof that Canada has some catching up to do:

    Chicago Outlines Climate Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases

    “When I became mayor, ‘climate change’ wasn’t on the radar for most cities, states and nations around the world – or even for most people,” Daley said in a news release. “But I believed then and believe even more deeply today that when you do such things as planting trees and creating open space, when you invest resources to remove pollution from the air and encourage the construction of buildings that are smart for the environment, then you enhance quality of life for all the residents of the city.”

  • VIA TWITTER

    Great. An amazing visual essay you have there. Top quality.

    Fabian Pattberg

  • Julie says:

    Another good one, Franke. (Good as in scary.)

    You got Harper’s Perry Como cardigan down pat. But I think if Perry Como were alive today, he’d be horrified at our prime minister’s lack of soul.

    “I’m not in politics to be loved,” says our prime minister. Well, sir, you’re doing a good job making sure nobody loves you but your oil baron buddies.

    But wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that all the decisions he makes ON OUR BEHALF are because he loves his children? Which he clearly doesn’t or else he would give a damn about their health and their future. He simply will not admit that we can’t eat money. He flatly refuses to see the global climate change planetary emergency we’re in. He obviously isn’t smart enough to grasp the importance of biodiversity, or the connection between global average temperature increases, failing agriculture and the downfall of human civilization.

    Scary times. Where is Churchill when we need him?

    Thanks again, Franke.
    Julie Johnston
    GreenHeart Education

  • Heather says:

    Brilliant Franke! Something is very upside down indeed…

    I especially love the way the visual themes are carried on from your other essays and on into this one. My favourite frame is Alice in front of the oil derrick.

    Thanks so much for sharing your vision!

  • queeny colleny says:

    …….polar bears can only be found on toonie. great line.

  • Mike Soron says:

    VIA TWITTER

    Wonderful visual letter to Harper on economics and the environment in Canada by @frankejames!

    Mike Soron

  • Yule Heibel says:

    VIA TWITTER

    Hey, Canadian voters, read Franke James’s *wow* piece: “Dear Prime Minister” http://tinyurl.com/46eym2 (Great illustrations, too!)…

  • Janet McNeill says:

    This is brilliant, Franke – sooooooo well done!! Insightful & smart & thought-provoking. I love the Alice in Wonderland image……

    I’m going to forward it to my various lists of contacts & some young people I know & ask them to forward it on too.

    Good onya!!

  • New Society says:

    BLOGGED BY NEW SOCIETY

    Dear Prime Minister – New Franke James Essay

    Franke James has posted a brilliant new visual essay, “Dear Prime Minister” to coincide with Canada’s upcoming federal election. Franke is one of our favourite environmental artists, and this thought-provoking essay is another powerful addition to her collection.

    We are excited to be publishing a selection of Franke’s visual essays in our upcoming Spring season – we’ll bring you more information on the project as it unfolds!

  • Mary-Margaret McMahon says:

    FRANKE JAMES FOR PRIME MINISTER!

  • Franke James says:

    Mary-Margaret,

    I laughed!

    Thanks for your support!

    Franke

    P.S. Check out our non-partisan election game, Whack the PM. I’ve whacked too many politicians to ever be one!
    http://www.whackthepm.ca

  • Kim Feraday says:

    Brilliant. Get it on FB!

  • Richard says:

    This is fantastic; Thank you!

    I’ll be adding a link to our Facebook page and our web site.

  • Marcie Goldman says:

    This is a brilliant depiction of the state of our environmental politics. More Canadians need to see this, Get it on TV or on a really big billboard!

  • Mary Ann Grainger says:

    Another great one Franke. Thanks for speaking the truth.

  • VIA TWITTER

    Great visual essay from @frankejames on pollution tax in Canada
    http://twurl.nl/ue64wm

    Sabina Podjed

  • max gladwell says:

    VIA TWITTER

    @frankejames: best post yet http://snurl.com/3t1xj. such a refreshing medium. deserves a blogging Emmy for this one. please retweet.

    max gladwell

  • Ari Herzog says:

    As an American, I admit ignorance about Canada-specific environmental initiatives but I’m aware of the global warming implications via the G-8 and other groups if things are not fixed now.

    I’m haunted by your depiction (and warning) of polar bears on currency and not in the wild…and will be sharing this essay with like-minded individuals.

  • Lindsay Barker says:

    Thank you Franke for succintly pointing out the absolute silliness of politicians pitting the environment against the economy. As long as the powers that be think that the only progress is MORE, MORE, MORE of everything material, the world is at risk.

  • Sanjeev says:

    I had found the 12,000 sitting ducks post a few days back and really enjoyed the creative way of putting across a story.

    But this one hits close to home …its not just a problem with Canadian politicians, its a general malaise that affects powers-that-be everywhere (for the most part!)

    Anyways, you have a unique blog here. Using art to send your message across is so much more effective than preaching, which is a lot of green blogs indulge in (which is fine; only that it is usually to the already converted!)

    Love the blog…hope to come back here often!

    Cheers,

    Sanjeev

  • Sanjeev says:

    just saw that Times (UK) has an enviro-blog. This article there is relevant to your point about economy vs. environment; why the choice?

    No hope for the planet unless we reform economy
    http://timesonline.typepad.com/environment/2008/09/limits-to-growt.html

  • Franke James says:

    Sanjeev,

    Thanks very much for your wonderful comments and the link to the Times Online. It is very relevant.

    Cheers,

    Franke

  • Tom says:

    Like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, Canada is “late for a very important date” with the truth.

    Keep speaking truth to those who distort it to “spin” their way to power.

  • [...] In her most recent blog she takes on the Prime Minister in a way that only Franke could. The essay, entitled Dear Prime Minister, “You say a pollution tax would wreak havoc on our economy”, touches on a number of major issues facing Canadians today. The essay by no means tells you who to vote for, but it will make you think! And that’s the point, especially during this election and especially in these hard times.

    Climate change is a reality, period! And as Franke notes in her essay, why are we being forced to choose between the economy and the environment? We tend to forget that without an environment we would not have an economy, as everything we consume and I mean everything comes from our environment. Food for thought — hopefully.

    To read Franke’s essay click here: http://www.frankejames.com/debate/?p=111, and before you cast your vote — THINK. [...]

  • Ginny says:

    Franke – you have done the job Dion is trying to do. I just wish he could see this. Perhaps it would help him simplify his message so the electorate can understand his Green Shift plan a little better. There’s still time.

    Your visual essays are: Powerful. Stunning. Succinct. I think the sales handle is right there: Why are we being forced to choose between the economy and the environment? It doesn’t have to be that way.

    Thanks Franke for giving us a unique way to look at the issues.

  • You are a modern hero!

    I love your style – and your substance, of course.

    Where can I order my limited edition hard copy?!

  • Franke James says:

    David,

    Well that’s a bright idea! It would be cool to have the essay printed as a short-run book

    Thanks very much for your support (and compliment)!

    I am having a small book of my essays published in the spring by New Society. This one won’t be in it but it’s a very good idea.

    Cheers,

    Franke

  • Annamarie says:

    Listen up Mr. Prime Minister!!

  • Wowzers! This is FANTASTIC. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    It so clearly articulates the risks of NOT acting. Policy analysts struggle to convey what you have so clearly expressed.

    Thank you.

    Elijah van der Giessen
    http://www.DavidSuzuki.org

  • Environmental website encourages strategic voting to stop Tories

    Voteforenvironment.ca aims to avoid vote-splitting among left-of-centre voters, suggesting the divided opposition could help push the Conservatives to another election win. Read CBC article…

  • Kate Harrington says:

    Perfect! How do I send this to Stephen Harper?

  • Franke James says:

    Kate,

    Good question! I’ve been tweeting (http://www.twitter.com/PMharper) but I don’t know if he’s listening…

    Thanks for your support!

    Franke

  • Ken Barth says:

    A great way to educate all the ‘kids’ and ‘bullies’ in Parliament!

    Unfortunately all political parties appear to follow the growth model.

    The word ‘sustainable’ has been made meaningless with all the interpretations!

    I am voting for the lessor evil and in my riding (North Vancouver Island) that is ABC and trying not to split the less evil vote!

    p.s. I used the ‘only polar bear future generations will see is on a coin’ phrase years ago, and I am sure many others have too!, but kudos for the art!

    Here in BC rather than a carbon tax that is revenue neutral, we need a tax that will be used to ‘rehab’ our way of life, to one that can live off the ‘interest’ rather than the ‘principle’ of our ‘earth’ bank account!

    Why are we ‘soiling’ our spaceship earth, when we don’t have another one!?

    Follow the money!

  • Franke James says:

    Ken,

    Thanks for your very positive comment on my Dear Prime Minister letter — wouldn’t it be great if we could educate the ‘kids’ and ‘bullies’ in Parliament? Glad to hear you’re voting ABC.

    I didn’t realize that the polar bear on a toonie was an ‘old’ saying! (What coin is the polar bear on other than the toonie?) But it’s obviously so good, it makes perfect ‘cents’ and we must circulate it more. When I thought of it, I literally ‘hit my forehead’ and felt stupid for not connecting the two ideas before! (Lateral thinking: an idea which appears obvious in hindsight)

    Here is an image from an essay I did in Jan 2007 when the toonie (twoonie) first dropped — you’ll also spot other Canadian icons in A Green Winter: Will Global Warming be Good for Canada?

    polar bear on toonie

    Cheers!

    Franke

  • Franke James says:

    Just noticed my Dear Prime Minister letter got ‘Dugg”!

    http://digg.com/environment/Dear_Prime_Minister_Franke_James

    Please Digg if you agree with my message!

    Thanks!

    Franke

  • CBC story says:

    An Open Letter on Climate Change Science to all Canadian Elected Government Leaders (June 2008)

    Twenty years ago, Canada, as a leader in international environmental issues, hosted a conference in Toronto entitled “Our Changing Atmosphere: Implications for Global Security” The participants concluded that: “Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment, whose ultimate consequences are second only to global nuclear war.”

    Signed by 130 Canadian climate science leaders from the academic, public and private sectors across the country: Canadian Climate Science Leaders

    Read the full story and letter

  • RK says:

    Surprisingly, even though Canada is a net oil exporter, Canada imports almost half our daily oil needs from Iraq, Algeria and other far away countries. World production will soon stop growing. The design of our pipeline and refinery system means that millions of Eastern Canadians cannot access Canadian oil no matter what the circumstances. This leaves millions of Canadians exposed to disruptions on the world oil market.

    The carbon tax is about protecting the economy, not just about pollution. It’s a kick-the-oil-dependency tax that will help us adapt now to rising fuel prices and insecure supplies. Do it now by choice, or later by the market….

  • Daharja says:

    Thanks for another thoughtful and beautiful essay.

    Our world is too precious to trash. There are alternatives, and I know that if I have to live in a shack and have no electricity so that my children can breathe clean air and drink river water straight from the river, then that is what I will do.

    We need to redefine wealth. It is a fool who sells off their inheritance for a few cheap toys.

  • Mariah says:

    Hi Franke,

    I just checked out your Visual Essays and I’m blown away by your art, the clarity and personality of your writing, your directness, and your green-conscious actions. I’m a Visual Recorder and I just started blogging, and I’d love it if you’d look at my blog and give me any feedback, even a pat of the back, or some back talk for that matter.

    You inspired me to think about how my art can be connected with my yearning for environmental action.

    Thank you.

    Mariah

  • BLOGGED

    Vote for the Green Economy

    “Toronto artist Franke James has another brilliant and insightful visual essay about why voting for the environment IS a vote for the economy. There will be no economy in future without a major change of direction to an energy-efficient green economy….

    Stephen Leahy Environmental Journalist

  • lamarguerite says:

    VIA TWITTER

    lamarguerite @frankejames just dugg your visual Dear Prime Minister letter; as usual awesome stuff – you should get into animation

  • Franke James says:

    VIA TWITTER

    frankejames @lamarguerite Thank you! I’ve animated one essay: http://www.frankejames.com/greenwinter.html

    Lots of fun (& lot of work). Plan to do more!

  • Mother Earth says:

    You have ‘given birth’ again Franke. This one equally as significant… I wonder what our world leaders actually see, or what rose colored glasses they are wearing, perhaps they are wearing blinders ?

  • [...] TORONTO, September 30 — Concerned that one day polar bears may only be found on Toonies, and that Canadian voters are wrongly being asked to choose between the economy and the environment on October 14th, Canadian artist Franke James has created a visual letter to Stephen Harper. “Dear Prime Minister, You say a pollution tax would wreak havoc on our economy” See the visual letter [...]

  • I dugg it too. Hope this helps.

    As I stated on Marguerite’s blog I really love your drawings and perspective. I wrote an article on my blog on tar sands and so on. The data is scary.

    Keep up the good work Franke ! :)

  • Franke James says:

    Edouard,

    Thanks for your comment and ‘digging‘ my letter.

    Your site is a wealth of information with excellent articles referenced to back up the validity of concerns about climate change. I encourage people who want a deeper understanding of global warming to read your analysis and the facts you have assembled.

    http://www.elrst.com/

    Franke

  • Lois says:

    GO, Franke!!! And thank you

  • Franke James says:

    In the Globe and Mail today, Gary Mason wrote a column encouraging politicians to rally their green courage before it’s too late. He wrote,

    “A year ago climate change dominated the headlines. There was universal agreement action was needed immediately. And now? Now, it’s like the problem has been solved.”

    The irony I see is that the meltdown on Wall Street is causing extreme panic. While the melting of the polar ice caps is largely ignored.

    But Mother Nature cannot be ‘regulated’ or ‘bailed out’. We must help Canadians to see that the consequences of global warming are having real economic impact now — and will have far more serious impact in the future if we do not act.

    I sent out a press release today that I hope will help politicians to rally their courage.

    “Will our children inherit a Canada where polar bears can only be found on Toonies?”

    Canada Newswire link:
    http://newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2008/30/c9511.html

    Or you can read it on my site with visuals:
    http://www.jamesgang.com/ideas/?p=53

    Please spread the message that the economy and the environment are inseparable. Both Canadians and American are going to the polls shortly. That is our opportunity to vote for politicians who will take real action on climate change and move us towards a robust green economy.

    ~ Franke

  • Frederica says:

    Wow! Very creative and compelling work! I’m sending this around to everyone I know!

    Frederica

  • Tony says:

    Franke,

    This visual essay is fantastic. I am sending it to my daughter’s teachers so that it can be part of their daily discussions. It is important that our kids know what is going on… The quality of your web site and obvious passion is inspirational.

    Thank you so much for everything.

    Tony

  • Alex Corey says:

    I recommend Minqi Li’s article from Monthly Review on the relationship between the economy and environment and solving the climate crisis; it is a text-essay. He examines parameters that connect the economy to the environment (in terms of CO2 production) and what we need to do to bring down CO2.

  • Franke James says:

    Alex,

    Thanks! I hope my visual essays whet people’s appetites for more information. Sir Nicholas Stern’s “Review on the Economics of Climate Change” report from October 2006, recommends taking action on climate change. One recommendation of the Stern Report is to tax carbon pollution. To refrain from taxing — as Canada is doing — is unethical and irresponsible. It merely “passes the trash” onto the next generation — with potentially catastrophic results.

    See: Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change

    Here is an excellent article on taxing pollution — and how effective it can be in changing behavior:

    Toronto Star article “The green shift: Buyer beware.” Reporter Mitch Potter quotes Martin Lidegaard, “Green taxes have one problem — they work. And the more effective they are, the less the government gets.” Lidegaard is chair of the Copenhagen-based think tank Concito.

    Potter concludes, “When you tax income, people have nowhere to hide. But when you tax habits, people tend to change — so much so that eventually, there is no habit left to tax.”

    If our goal is to end our addiction to fossil fuels and provide a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren, carbon pollution taxes are the best way to go.

    Canada will impose carbon taxes eventually. It is the way of the future and is happening around the world. The only question is ‘when’ — and how much damage will have been done in the interim.

    Cheers,

    Franke

  • DeSmogBlog says:

    2008 Health Canada report on climate change

    Although the Conservative government has argued that a critical Health Canada report on climate change impacts is “too large” to be made available online, the DeSmogBlog has sourced a copy that you can now access through these links….

    … The report warns of forest fires, drought, and increased deaths from smog, heat and disease – a grim scenario against which the Conservative government is taking virtually no action. In fact, the Harper government’s principal reaction was to try to suppress the report, now available only by snail mail, with delivery in “two to four weeks.”

    The 500 page “Human Health in a Changing Climate study” was supposed to be released early in 2008, with a coast-to-coast public engagement exercise. Instead the Harper government quietly revealed the document’s existence this summer, canceled the publicity exercise and provided no on-line downloads.

  • EEON says:

    230 Economists write Open Letter to leaders of Canada’s federal political parties

    OTTAWA, Oct. 6 – More than 230 economists teaching in Canadian universities have signed an open letter to federal political leaders calling for economically coherent action on climate change. Among the signatories are some of Canada’s top economists, including current and past presidents of the Canadian Economics Association, and holders of Canada Research Chairs and the Order of Canada.

    “Economists disagree on many things, but on what needs to be done about climate change there is considerable agreement,” explains Ross Finnie, one of the three authors of the letter and an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. “The signatories come from a wide range of political persuasions and will vote for different parties, but we all agree that effective policies for addressing climate change must be based on sound economic principles. Our goal is to help inform public debate on climate change at a time when people are really paying attention to this issue — during the federal election. Our hope is that whichever party forms the next government will act on these principles.”

    “It’s remarkable how much agreement there is among economists on this key point — the best climate change policy is to put a price on carbon,” says Nancy Olewiler, another of the authors and director of SFU’s Public Policy Program. David Green, the third author and professor at UBC, adds “We also want people to be clear that all policies that alter carbon emissions will affect the prices they face — some more than others.”

    Read more…

  • Vote for the environment, top scientists urge

    Canadian Press
    October 7, 2008 at 12:21 PM EDT

    VANCOUVER More than 120 of Canada’s top climate scientists have signed an open letter urging Canadians to vote strategically for the environment in next week’s federal election.

    Andrew Weaver, a lead author with last year’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says global warming is the defining issue of our time.

    But Dr. Weaver says the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has not addressed the “innovative and urgent policies” needed to significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

    The group’s John Stone says this is shaping up to be “the rare election in which the environment is the issue.”

    Read more…

  • Kevin B says:

    Great piece! Important message. I will make sure to forward it around!

  • Margaret in Toronto says:

    That’s super. I shared it with a prof in Fine Art who just happened to be at a meeting today. She was very impressed!

  • David Stevenson's Grade 8 Class - Blessed Sacrament School says:

    The message is thought provoking and powerful. These messages that you have addressed are on our minds on a daily basis. We cannot understand why this is not the key election issue this year. The destruction of our environment affects all of us, but as thirteen year olds it has far more reaching consequences on us than the Prime Minister thinks and believes.

    The art is amazing which helps get the message across much better than a two page essay.

  • Franke James says:

    Thanks to David Stevenson’s Grade 8 class for the great message and wonderful support! It is very touching for me to read your concerns — I too am mystified that the environment has not emerged as the dominant issue.

    The irony is that the meltdown on Wall Street has caused a global panic. While the melting of the polar ice caps is largely ignored. But Mother Nature cannot be ‘regulated’ or ‘bailed out’. We must help Canadians to see that the economic consequences of global warming will be devastating — and that we must take action now.

    But there is still hope. The race is changing daily — and I think there are many people who will vote for the environment and the economy on October 14th. They are inseparable.

    Yesterday I heard Stephane Dion speak at the Canadian Club. He said that he hopes that every voter will look into a child’s eyes after casting their vote and think, “I voted for myself — but I also voted so that you will have a healthy greener future.”

    Again, thanks to all of you for helping spread the word on the importance of the environment to YOU in this election!

    Franke

  • Franke James says:

    LETTER TO THE EDITOR AT THE GLOBE AND MAIL:

    I am puzzled by the Globe’s endorsement of Stephen Harper.

    As an artist, an environmentalist, and a mother, I have three strikes against me in the eyes of the Harper Government.

    As an artist, I am disrespected. Harper has sent me a strong message that the Arts are frivolous and elitist (despite the fact that the cultural sector contributed $46 billion to our GDP in 2007).

    As an environmentalist, I am dismissed. Harper’s inaction on climate change is dangerous and derided around the world. At a time when we should be reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, Harper makes diesel fuel more affordable. The Tar Sands is Canada’s largest and fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution.

    But as a mother, Harper has most dramatically and sadly let me down. He has steadfastly said that a pollution tax would wreak havoc on the economy. But if we don’t tax pollution who is going to pay to clean up the mess? It won’t be the oil industry because Harper is letting them have a free ride. It will be our children and grandchildren who will pay. That is wrong.

    Stephen Harper does not represent my values and he does not have my best interests at heart. Does the Globe?

    See my visual letter to Stephen Harper: “Dear Prime Minister, Why are making us choose between the economy and the environment?”

    Sincerely,

    Franke James, MFA
    http://www.frankejames.com

  • Erik enjoying the Muskoka fall says:

    Franke

    You’ve outdone yourself! Wow! This may be your best yet!

    Enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend!

    Erik

  • Hi Franke

    Absolutely loved it!

    Your “Green Conscience” is a powerful and influential voice against environmental excesses, stupidities, and cowardice.

    Felicitations

    From a “Franke Reader Forever!”

  • Joanne Mills says:

    Franke,
    I loved the visual essay. You put into pictures what I’ve been thinking. Why should we have to choose between the environment and the economy? We shouldn’t. If Harper wants my vote, he needs to be more responsible.

  • VIA TWITTER

    @frankejames you’ve done it again – excellent visual essay that could closely fit the US election perspectives as well http://is.gd/44hz

    LaDonna Coy

  • We voted for the environment.

    “One day after the federal election, it’s clear: Canadians voted for the environment. An overwhelming 62 percent of voters cast their ballots for parties that pledged to reduce greenhouse gases in Canada and combat global warming.

    However, due to Canada’s unusual electoral system, the Conservative party has another minority in the next parliament.

    It is now more important than ever for Sierra Club Canada to be a strong and effective voice for the millions of Canadians who voted for the environment by continuing to push the federal government to take serious action on issues like climate change, water, wild species and spaces, and environmental rights….”

    More

  • [...] could be one of the clean energy leaders, but currently we lack the political will. (See my recent Dear Prime Minister essay to understand what we’re up against. The Conservatives won the recent election, despite [...]

  • Teri says:

    The Prime Minister is in DeNile about climate change, in order to support his oil buddy friends in Alberta. The tar sands are a terrible investment backed by the oil companies that want to keep oil on the market. I could do without the pollution and damage to the environment that oil production causes. Harper is a political patsy and nothing more. If he had any brains, courage or foresight he would be supporting green energy. In comparison President Obama who is more educated, smarter, and is on the right track when it comes to Green Energy. In the long run Obama’s plan will be the future, will produce jobs and a cleaner environment. Our Prime Minister is behind the times, and economically cleaning up the environment and strengthening the economy can be done together. I love this visual essay very much and I hope that Canada can boot out this dummy for someone who has evolved from their own political interests which does harm to the Canadian economy and the health of Canadians and get a Prime Minister that supports the people of Canada – instead of the Oil Companies.

  • [...] the truth about Canada’s footdragging on climate action. And having the audacity to advocate pollution taxes and tougher environmental policies on Alberta’s Tar Sands! (recommendations which are in line [...]

  • Hello,

    The mix of ethics, science and art presented in your work is very interesting. It certainly helps in spreading the message that ecology and economy go hand in hand to build a prosperous society. Should you be around Montreal on Septembre 23rd, try to come to the Science & Policy Exchange 2011 (www.sp-exchange.ca) – we will discuss environmental ethics in the biodiversity panel.

    Cheers,

    Ameur

  • blue dragon says:

    I am your newest, biggest fan…OMG i will show this to everyone I know. Your work is amazing!

  • Hi

    Great photo essay for people running after the almighty $$ to get it before they fill up their gas tank.
    Fat asses need to get off their car seats and on to the lean and mean bike seat to lose their fat ass, save some gas $$, environment and OHIP.

    Are gas companies are getting a free ride? In reality, they are getting B$ in subsidies. Our taxes are used to violate Kyoto and damage the environment. HA! for apathetic Canadians!

    What we need is PROGRESSIVE GAS TAX like we have progressive Income tax [It has been flattened by the conservative & Liberal governments for a while]. Why not?

    Bigger cars consume & pollute more, cause road damage and fatal personal injuries and so should be taxed more. If smart car pays 10% gas tax, then let HUMMERS pay say 100% gas tax. Let progressive gas tax pay for badly needed public transit and bike lanes etc.

    If you are serious email me at just1world@gmail.com.

  • Alan McCreary says:

    Maybe someone can explain to me how Libertarians can align themselves with the Christian Right when this kind of thing happens. Harper belongs to a fundamentalist church – see cmalliance.ca/beliefsc1421​.php, Statement of Faith #4. Statement of Faith #11 would explain why Harper is apathetic about the environment.

  • [...] blacklisted. That’s when I decided I better live up to my reputation and throw Fat Cat Canada and Dear Prime Minister into the mix – and show the full range of issues that I care about as a Canadian citizen. [...]

  • Andrea Sparling says:

    All together we can protect the planet. People want the incentives to reduce pollution.

  • [...] as he used to be Minister of the Environment, coincidentally at the same time my now contentious Dear Prime Minister visual essay was published). “The Writers’ Union of Canada has an interest in ensuring the [...]

  • [...] below are three canvases from Fat Cat Canada’s Giant Litter Box and my 2008 Dear Prime Minister essay. Who knew that asking for polluters to pay would get the Harper Government in such a fury?? [...]

  • [...] you know this lady speaks against the Canadian Government?” The proof given was my Dear Prime Minister essay. The Cultural Officer went on to say that when a senior official Ottawa found out about my [...]

  • [...] “Don’t you know this lady speaks against the Canadian Government?” The proof given was my Dear Prime Minister essay. The Cultural Officer went on to say that when a senior official Ottawa found out about my [...]

  • [...] out the Prime Minister has thin skin. In one of her visual essays, Franke took him to task for Canada’s abysmal environmental record. He was not amused. An invitation to exhibit her work in Croatia was pulled, and she went from [...]

  • [...] Take a look at her art and decide for yourself why the Canadian Government felt it had to “ban” this artist. [...]

  • [...] Dear Prime Minister: Why are you making us choose between the economy and the environment? [...]

  • [...] Loudsauce, in front of “Alice in Hell: The Dirtiest Oil on Earth” from Franke’s Dear Prime Minister visual [...]

  • John says:

    China did not spend $15 billion to clean up the environment. They used it to whitewash the skies during the Olympics just to trick people into thinking they are “clean.”

    The Chinese did not do that out of concern for the environment. They just wanted to look good while the world was watching.

    Putting that as an example of “green” seriously erodes the integrity of the message you are trying to send out.

  • [...] Franke James: Dear Prime Minister [...]

  • [...] creating my stuff. I’d done “Whack the PM,” the online election game, and I’d written a letter to the prime minister, but I had no idea that they’d even noticed my work. So I was shocked to hear that they were [...]

  • [...] the past few years, this is a great way to have several of the back-story essays (including “Dear Prime Minister,” “Fat Cat Canada” and “What Can One Person Do?”) as well as the [...]

  • […] out the Prime Minister has thin skin. In one of her visual essays, Franke took him to task for Canada’s abysmal environmental record. He was not amused. An invitation to exhibit her work in Croatia was pulled, and she went from […]

  • […] James wrote about the attacks on her blog and depicted them in her artwork. She also wrote an illustrated letter to Harper berating him for not charging fossil fuel companies to emit greenhouse gases and pollute the […]

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