What is Harper afraid of?

By Franke James

Hey Mr Prime Minister What are You Afraid ofAre you afraid of rivers that turn black and run into the sea, writing and illustration by Franke JamesAre you afraid of birds falling from a heavy sky, writing and illustration by Franke JamesAre you afraid of people fleeing from a toxic land, writing and illustration by Franke JamesOr are you most afraid of Alberta tar sands oil being labeled dirty, writing and illustration by Franke JamesI can tell you what I am afraid of, writing and type-illustration by Franke James, photo by Ian McAllister, Pacific WildI am afraid of your plans to build the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline through the Rocky Mountains, writing and type-illustration by Franke James, photo by Ian McAllister, Pacific WildAnd the Great Bear Rainforest, writing and type-illustration by Franke James, photo by Ian McAllister, Pacific WildDoes that make me a radical? No way, writing and type-illustration by Franke James, photo by Ian McAllister, Pacific WildBut Joe Oliver says anyone who questions the pipeline is a radical. That is radical, writing and type-illustration by Franke James, Scan of Joe Oliver flyerFear not! I did not take that name-calling to heart. I sent Joe a Valentine asking for a meeting. On March 3rd my husband and I met with Joe, Valentine illustration by Franke James, Photo of Joe Oliver by Franke James, photo of Franke by Billiam JamesI asked Joe a Fundamental question, what bothers your green conscience, Photo-illustration of Joe Oliver by Franke JamesJoe said 'I don't think in those terms. My impact as the Minister of Natural Resources is much bigger than as an individual, Photo-illustration of Joe Oliver by Franke JamesWhich is Exactly what I am afraid of, Writing and illustration by Franke JamesWith all the changes you're making, list of changes, Writing and illustration by Franke JamesWe could be hit with some major environmental catastrophes, Writing and Black Swan Canada Flag illustration by Franke JamesIt is like you have declared war on Mother Nature, Writing and Harper Oil Barrel War on Nature illustration by Franke JamesIt is like you have declared war on Mother Nature, Writing and Harper Oil Barrel War on Nature illustration by Franke JamesJoe told me, 'I am someone who likes to gather the facts, Joe Oliver Facts illustration by Franke JamesJoe told me, 'I am influenced by what objective scientists have to say, and you know government policy has to be grounded in a factual basis'; Quote from March 3, 2012 meeting, Joe Oliver Facts illustration by Franke JamesWhich all sounds great but then why is the Harper Government muzzling scientists, Muzzled scientists illustration by Franke James

Joe says he likes facts, so I shared some facts with him --- like how the B.C. coastline has had a 40 year ban on tankers because the waters are so treacherous; writing and type-illustration by Franke James, photo by Ian McAllister, Pacific WildAnd how the tankers are as long as the Empire State Building is tall.; writing and type-illustration by Franke James, photo of Empire State Building by Daniel Schwen via WikimediaAnd how the route to Kitimat is very skinny with many hairpin turns which are tricky for big tankers; Living Oceans Map of Tanker route to Kitimat; writing and type by Franke James, map illustration by Living Oceans
Map in detail
And Joe replied, 'I don’t know the answers to that question. I’m not a scientist, so that’s why we’re getting an independent evaluation.'; Quote from March 3, 2012 meeting, Joe Oliver illustration by Franke JamesThe independent evaluation sounded good -- but since then you've squashed their power.; Alice illustration and writing by Franke JamesAnd now Joe and your cabinet are making the final decision; Harper with cabinet illustration by Franke JamesBut Joe is not qualified to decide; Joe Oliver and Alice illustration by Franke JamesEverything you discuss in cabinet is SECRET; Secret cabinet illustration by Franke JamesAlberta and Big Oil will be making trillions; Harper Dirty Oil illustration by Franke James, Photo Syncrude 2007 -12 Photo © 2007 David Dodge, CPAWSBut B.C. will be facing huge risks; type illustration by Franke James, photo of Great Bear Rainforest Fog by Ian McAllister, Pacific WildOne big spill could wipe out B.C.’s entire tax revenue of $1.2 billion -- which is forecast over 30 years; writing by Franke James; Dogwood Initiative 'No Tankers Loonie Decal'; Photo of tshirt with Sinking Feeling About Enbridge courtesy Living Oceans OrgOne big spill could wipe out B.C.’s entire tax revenue of $1.2 billion -- which is forecast over 30 years; writing by Franke James; Dogwood Initiative 'No Tankers Loonie Decal'; Photo 'Ultimately, US citizens ended up paying the additional costs.' source: What’s at Stake? the Cost of Oil on British Columbia’s Priceless Coast; Raincoast Conservation Foundation. 2010.Queen of the North illustration by Franke James based on archival photographsAnd the real truth is... clean up costs cannot bring the birds, fish and whales back to life. Writing Franke James; Photo of oiled Birds killed as a result of oil from the Exxon Valdez spill. Photo courtesy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council; Wikimedia.Or the Spirit Bear who is dependent on the salmon; type and fish illustration by Franke James, photo of Spirit Bear by Ian McAllister, Pacific WildThere's a whole circle of life that includes people.; Circle of Life illustration by Franke James, Photo Wikimedia NOAA Oil Sheen From Valdez Spill So, here's a question for you... Would you let your family eat the fish or drink the water from the Athabasca River? Illustration by Franke JamesWhen I asked Joe, he told me, 'I do not know enough about the Athabasca River. I would want to know from the government whether it is safe to do that.' Quote from March 3, 2012 meeting, Joe Oliver illustration by Franke JamesIsnt it Joes responsibility as the Minister in charge of the oil sands mining to know if his oil sands are polluting the air, land or water?; Alice illustration by Franke JamesHow Can Joe Not Know Photo-Illustration features Alice illustration by Franke James with photo of Suncor upgrader complex adjacent to the Athabasca River © 2002 Chris Evans, Pembina InstituteTake a look at this Environment Canada report on the oil sands pollution. It’s labeled 'secret'; Alice illustration by Franke James
Link to secret report
When I showed it to Joe, he said, 'Its secret to me too.' At first Joe said it must have come out before he was appointed. And then he said, 'Its not my Ministry.' Quote from March 3, 2012 meeting, Joe Oliver illustration by Franke JamesSo I reminded him that the news of the contaminated fish was reported in 2010. And then Joe admitted, 'Yeah, yeah Ive heard something.' Quote from March 3, 2012 meeting, Joe Oliver riding a fish illustration by Franke James. Fish photo research archive David SchindlerIn 2010, Dr. David Schindler presented evidence of deformed fish. Schindler told me he would NOT drink the Athabasca River water near the tar sands. Photo of Dr David Schindler by Ed Kaiser, Edmonton JournalThe internal government report says, 'Contamination of the Athabasca River is a high-profile concern... elevated levels of pollutants near mining sites raise questions about possible effects on health of wildlife and downstream communities.' photo-illustration by Franke JamesMr. Prime Minister, This is a BIG problem. And this secret report shows that Environment Canada KNOWS it is a big problem; photo-illustration by Franke JamesJust recently, a BBC news article reported that the Cree Lake Nation are taking fish out of the water that have cancerous tumors on them; photo-illustration by Franke JamesIt seems that the government has been hiding from the truth; photo-illustration by Franke James, Tar Sands photo background: Syncrude 2007 -12 Photo copyright 2007 David Dodge, CPAWSThe fact is, you’ve got people who are eating contaminated fish. And that’s wrong; photo-illustration by Franke JamesThe fact is, you’ve got people who are eating contaminated fish. And that’s wrong; photo-illustration by Franke JamesMr Harper I know what you are really afraid of; photo-illustration by Franke James, Tar Sands photo background: Syncrude oil sands plant at night; Photo copyright 2005 David Dodge, The Pembina InstituteYou’re afraid of dead ducks -- illustration by Franke James You are afraid of spirit bears because they inspire everyone to care about Canada's wilderness. (And say no to the pipeline.); Spirit Bear illustration by Franke Jamesyou are afraid of killer whales because First Nations are asserting their rights to protect their land, water and way of life; Killer Whale illustration by Franke James. Photo of First Nations protest courtesy Living Oceans OrgBut you’re most afraid of beavers. (that's us hard working Canadians who are toiling away like busy beavers). Because we are waking up... Harper Dirty Oil and Busy beaver illustration by Franke JamesBut you are most afraid of beavers. (that's us hard working Canadians who are toiling away like busy beavers). Because we are waking up... Harper Dirty Oil and Busy beaver illustration by Franke JamesPlease Mr Harper Don't Put the Pipeline Through the Great Bear Rainforest. Photo Ian McAllister, Pacific Wild, type illustration by Franke JamesPlease Mr Harper Stop Polluting the Pond. Photo David Dodge, type illustration by Franke James

Make Harper really afraid, illustration by Franke JamesCall your Member of Parliment! illustration by Franke James

Visual Essay Credits

“Hey Mister Prime Minister, What are You Afraid Of?” © 2012 Franke James
Writing and illustration by Franke James (see additional photo credits below).
Transcript: Features quotes from Franke James’ March 3, 2012 interview with Joe Oliver, Federal Minister of Natural Resources.

Franke James is an award-winning artist whose illustrated essays on environmental and social issues have been reviewed and showcased around the world. In November 2011, James’ art show “Banned on the Hill” appeared in Ottawa, around the corner from Parliament Hill. The crowd-funded billboard show protested the silencing of environmental voices by the Harper Government. James is the author of the illustrated book, Bothered by My Green Conscience, and a member of the Writers Union of Canada, PEN Canada and CARFAC. She has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and lives in Toronto. For more information see: https://www.frankejames.com. Franke on Twitter: http://twitter.com/frankejames

TAKE ACTION:

The Green Party of Canada: Sign the Petition to Stop Bill C-38
Lead Now: Tell Finance Minister Jim Flaherty: Stop the Budget Bill from Selling Out Canada’s Natural Heritage and Economy
Dogwood Initiative: Sign the No Tankers Petition
Avaaz Petition: No Enbridge Tankers/Pipeline in BC Great Bear Rainforest!
Support Environmental Groups: Blackout Speakout on June 4th
Pacific Wild’s Action Tips: Writing Letters to Local and National Newspapers

Thank you to the following organizations for photos and resources:

Pacific Wild
All Great Bear Rainforest photos © Ian McAllister, Pacific Wild

How did they vote?
Member of Parliament “look up” API technology: How did they vote?

Living Oceans Society
Living Oceans photo: T-Shirt with “I have this Sinking Feeling about Enbridge”
Living Oceans photo of First Nations “We say no to Enbridge” protest
Living Oceans Map of Proposed Tanker Route to Kitimat

Pembina Institute
Tar Sands Mining Photo: © David Dodge, Pembina Institute
Photo: Suncor upgrader complex adjacent to Athabasca River © 2002 Chris Evans, Pembina

Dogwood Initiative: No-Tankers Loonie decal

Additional photos used with permission
Dr David Schindler photo: Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal
Syncrude 2007 -12 photo © 2007 David Dodge, CPAWS
Empire State Building photo © Daniel Schwen, 2008, Wikimedia
Oil Sheen From Valdez Spill photo Wikimedia © NOAA
Dead Oil Covered Birds Photo © Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council; Wikimedia.

Selected Background Research:

Oil Sands Pollution, Pipelines and Tankers:

Silencing the Scientists (The Shortlist)

Silencing Franke James

RESEARCH, NEWS AND REPORTS:

2012:

2010 News:

How Green is Google Plus?

illustration of G+ by Franke James with collaged elements

Google+ is moving fast, and so are some very entrepreneurial folks who are not affiliated with Google.

Google has a reputation for being Super Green.

So, when I got onto G+, I was hoping I could hang out with Green Googlers and learn tons of stuff about all the cool green things they’re doing. Maybe even soak up some clean green energy tips from Sergey and Larry. And even Eric.

But getting my daily dose of greens on G+ required some work by me.

On July 11th I tweeted:
I love Google+ but it's missing something important -- my green friends! Tweet or DM so we can connect on G+. #climate #sustainability

My call for green friends was quickly amplified on Twitter.

Brad Johnson (@climatebrad) ThinkProgress’s Green Editor at the Center for American Progress quickly retweeted it.

climatebrad RT @frankejames: I love Google+ but it's missing something important -- my green friends! Tweet or DM so we can connect on G+. #climate

Green friends are easy to find on Twitter. I have lists and lists and more lists that tell me who is green, and what is the latest news on all environmental issues.

But replicating that deep greenness on Google+ requires some searching.

my green circle

Probably because G+ is still in beta-mode, and there are issues with privacy, Google hasn’t made it easy. To find greens on G+ I entered in search terms like “green” and got pages and pages of results of very green people. But they were green in name only (surname). A few people who are real green leaders came up but not that many.

So, I searched for “environment” and found lots of people who are using that as a synonym for workplace. Thanks, but that’s not the ‘environment’ I’m looking for! Planet didn’t turn up much either.

The best results were when I searched for the names of eNGO’s and green businesses I follow on Twitter. That’s when I hit the motherlode. Lots and lots of green people from eNGO’s and green businesses are on Google+, like WWF, 350.org, Grist, Mother Jones, Greenpeace, David Suzuki Foundation, Fresh Energy, Think Progress and more.

UPDATE: JULY 13TH
But that manual approach is pretty tedious, enter…

Google Plus Search, Google Plus Directory | Find People on Plus:
Browse for People on Plus:

(Thnx Chris Brogan for the tip!)

So, how green is Google Plus?

That depends totally on you. Even though Google is green by reputation, Google Plus is color-blind. G+ is all about making your experience as individual as you are. What color will your G+ be? You can make it whatever color in the rainbow you want.

Are you wondering who I have in my green+ circle?

Well, if you share my passion for all things green and sustainable — and want to discuss the latest environmental news — I’d love to bring you into my circle. Please join me on Google+. You can find me by searching for “Franke James” (artist and author).

I’m happy that I have a Green Circle on Google Plus now and that it’s attracting green thinkers, leaders, movers and shakers.

Join me, so we can make the most important circle, Our Planet, Greener together.

planet circle by franke james