The Daily Durban: The Blacklisting of Franke James

by Franke James

The Daily Durban covering the UNFCCC Climate Talks in Durban, SA. Daily Kos welcomes, the Global Campaign for Climate Action, Post Carbon Institute, Oxfam, WiserEarth, tcktcktck, Transition US, Ecoequity, and environmental artist Franke James.


November 28, 2011: I want to tell you my personal story as an artist speaking out on climate change. Today, as the 17th round of climate change talks open in Durban, South Africa, my fat cat country is banding together with other rich nations to ensure that no significant global treaty on climate change takes effect until 2020. It is just further confirmation that Canada is working to obstruct action on climate change. Canada’s Environment Minister, Peter Kent, has publicly stated he does not want to honor the Kyoto accord, “However acute the international pressure, we will not agree to taking on a second commitment period target under the Kyoto Protocol.”

Those pesky emissions targets would interfere with Canada realizing its’ goal of becoming an Energy Superpower (and using the sky as a sewer).

But negotiating tactics used in climate talks with other countries take on a much different complexion when they’re aimed at individual citizens. Who would have thought that Canada would be so concerned about controlling the climate message that they would interfere in a private citizen’s business — an artist and author who was working on climate change education??

That can’t be what the UNFCCC intended when they asked governments to educate and inform….

Watch my video about how a dream opportunity — a 20-city solo European art show to educate youth about climate change — faced behind-the-scenes interference by the Canadian Government, and was ironically killed by badmouthing by the Climate Change office in the Department of Foreign Affairs. See how I used social media to fight back and spread the environmental message farther.

Sign the Care2 petition:…

PEN Canada and the Writers’ Union of Canada have expressed their concern over the Government censorship.

“The government of Canada has no right to determine what is an acceptable opinion for an individual citizen, on climate change or any matter of public interest,” said Charlie Foran, President of PEN Canada, “To do so is clearly not in the spirit of the Charter and the long history of freedom of expression in Canada.”

Greg Hollingshead, Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada, “The right to freedom of expression includes freedom from official disapproval, including the sort of bureaucratic interference encountered by Franke James.”

Read more about the blacklisting, including the internal government documents released through an ATIP request.

Banned on the Hill Posters in Canada’s Capital: Ottawa
Dear Prime Minister, Please stop blacklisting our environmental messengers. Artists and scientists are the early warning system. Dear Prime Minister, The Tar Sands is Canada's biggest and fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. Will our kids be angry that Alberta was ravaged? Less than 1% of of the land has been certified as reclaimed. Dear Prime Minister, Canadians Joke about global warming. Is that because the hard truths have been played down? Please stop muzzling our scientists.

Dear Prime Minister, you say that the other parties are 'Dangerous' because they will tax pollution. But if we don't tax pollution who will clean up the mess. Dear Prime Minister, CO2 keeps rising but our leaders keep loafing. Please do something before we are all toast. Dear Prime Minister, Is it right to use the sky as a sewer?

Franke James is an award-winning artist whose visual essays on environmental and social issues have been reviewed and showcased around the world. She is the author of the illustrated book, Bothered by My Green Conscience. Franke has presented her Green Conscience art workshops in Canada and the United States, inspiring students and educators, corporate leaders and NGOs, and even government ministries, to do “the hardest thing first” to save our planet. She is a member of the Writers Union of Canada, PEN Canada and CARFAC. Franke has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria.

The Daily Durban is covering the UNFCCC Climate Talks in Durban, SA. Daily Kos environmental writers welcome collaborators from, the Global Campaign for Climate Action, Post Carbon Institute, Oxfam, WiserEarth, tcktcktck, Transition US, Ecoequity, and environmental artist Franke James. During the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17), Daily Durban will also share content from the People’s Conference C17 and Occupy COP17.

Visit Earthship COPernica for updates, archives, and access to background, edutainment news updates, social media resources, live stream links and video casts throughout the two weeks.


Creative Commons License
The Video “Banned on the Hill (and in Europe!)” by Franke James is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

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