Canada grows greener, says Fraser Institute
April 26, 2004
VANCOUVER — Canada's environment is markedly healthier
than it was 30 years ago and continues to get cleaner,
the Fraser Institute says.
In an annual study released to coincide with Earth Day,
the laisser-faire-oriented think-tank says 84 per cent
of environmental indicators have improved since the 1970s.
"While we do still have some environmental challenges
to face, such as ozone pollution, coastal water pollution
and fishery protection, we have made spectacular strides
in protecting our environment over the last three decades,"
says Kenneth Green, the institute's director of studies
in risk, regulation and the environment.
"Canadians should be celebrating, not living their
lives in fear of environmental apocalypse."
Among the Fraser Institute's good-news indicators in
Airborne sulphur dioxide decreased by 73 per cent between
1974 and 2001, while levels of particulates declined 54
per cent and carbon monoxide fell 83 per cent, despite
a 30 per cent increase in the number of vehicles.
Levels of lead in the environment fell 94 per cent from
1974 to 1998.
Levels of DDE, a breakdown product of banned pesticide
DDT, decreased about 90 per cent in the Great Lakes between
1974 and 2002, and PCB levels showed similar declines.
The amount of Canadian land set aside for parks and wilderness
areas has grown 163 per cent since 1970.
"Environmental trends across the board are improving
and should continue to improve in coming years,"
says Green, whose study notes that 65 per cent of students
at Fraser Institute seminars think the air is getting
"While environmental alarmists publish a steady
stream of scary reports based on dubious science, all
it takes is a quick look at the data to show that the
reality of environmental progress is overwhelmingly positive."