Mitch Joel WARNING... LONG RANT! It takes a lot for me to both get angry and publish about it. Canada’s…
Gary Gallon, R.I.P.
Gary Thomas Gallon (October 1, 1945 – July 3, 2003) was a Canadian environmental activist and policy advisor.
(Wikipedia) President of the Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment, and editor of The Gallon Environment Letter, Gallon dedicated 30 years to raising environmental awareness among Canadians and inspiring environmentalists worldwide. Gallon’s early forays in environmental activism included helping to found the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC, now one of the oldest environmental organizations in British Columbia) and co-founding Greenpeace. His later moves away from heady activism into the political arena made him an authority on “Green” economics. In the early 1990s he became president of Montreal-based think tank called the Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment (CIBE) “filling” what he called the “knowledge gap” of protecting the environment based on the logic of economics.
On July 3, 2003, Gary Gallon died after a long battle with cancer. He was 58.
Gary Gallon: Citation of Lifetime Achievement, 2003
… When the couple returned to Canada in 1982, Gallon assisted Energy Probe in the creation of Probe International, and shortly after, he began work as an environmental researcher for Ontarioís Liberal opposition. When David Peterson’s government upset the long-time Conservative government in 1985, Gallon was named senior policy adviser to Minister of the Environment Jim Bradley. “Making things happen in government is an endless negotiation,” Gallon says. “But every little bit helps.”
Although party stalwarts urged the political novice to maintain the status quo, Gallon was determined to go after environmental bad guys. He roused the sleeping giant Inco, engaging in a strict negotiation over acid rain; he shoehorned the soft-drink industry into a deal to solve the waste problem with its bottles; and he was instrumental in creating the first North American blue-box program and the goal of diverting some 50 percent of garbage from landfill. “In government,” he says, “you have less room to rail but more power to get things done.”
Following his brush with bureaucracy, Gallon launched a private-sector consulting business in the early 1990s. Environmental Economics International, which advised industry on its environmental rights and responsibilities, reflected Gallon’s determination to fight from within the system. Working with the Canadian Environment Industry Association in the mid-1990s and currently as president of the Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment have provided him a hard-hitting platform from which to promote and develop environmental technologies and business opportunities. A popular speaker and an unstoppable reporter, he publishes The Gallon Environment Letter twice monthly, which is read worldwide by decision-makers in industry, government, NGOs and academia.
Environmental Advocate Gary Gallon Dies in Montreal
July 8, 2003 (ENS) – Gary Gallon, president of the Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment, and editor of “The Gallon Environment Letter,” died after a long battle with cancer on Thursday, July 3. He was 58. A memorial service was held for Gallon this afternoon at the Church of the Advent, Montreal. [One of the hottest days of that summer; Calestous Juma and Elizabeth May both spoke eloquently during the service]
Six weeks ago, on May 23, Gallon was awarded Canada’s Life Time Achievement Citation for his environmental contributions. The award, established in 2002 by “Canadian Geographic” magazine, was presented by Canadian Environment Minister David Anderson at a gala ceremony at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.
Gallon entered the work force on the floor of the Vancouver Stock Exchange in the late 1960s. His days were spent writing investment outlines for natural resource extraction companies, while at night he helped to found the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC), now one of the oldest environmental organizations in British Columbia.
His early campaigns attempted to raise public awareness of the hazards of pesticides and the benefits of household recycling. He worked on oil spill prevention and the protection of wildlife from coal mining.
“Canadian Geographic” quoted him as saying, “I’ve always been bothered by excess consumption and wanton destruction of habitat. Human ethics must allow space for other lifeforms.”
In 1977, Gallon was chosen to be executive director of the Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI) in Nairobi, Kenya, where he served for four years. There he met Janine Ferretti, now Canada’s Chief of Environment for the InterAmerican Development Bank in Washington, DC, who would become his life partner.
Upon Gallon’s return to Canada in 1982, he helped to found Toronto based Probe International, and became an environmental researcher for Ontario’s Liberal Party, then in opposition. When David Peterson’s government came to power in 1985, Gallon was named senior policy adviser to Ontario Environment Minister Jim Bradley.
In the early 1990’s Gallon opened a consulting business, Environmental Economics International, which advised corporations on their environmental rights and responsibilities.
During the 1990s he worked with the Canadian Environment Industry Association, and at the time of his death, Gallon was president of the Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment.
In 1996, Gallon began publishing the “Gallon Environment Letter,” a twice monthly compliation of articles by newswires, service organizations, and other environmental sources, that was widely circulated to media and to the general public.
Gallon leaves his wife, Janine Ferretti, and children Kalifi and Jenika. He leaves his parents Thomas and Marilyn, brother Jack and sister Becky in California.
Greenpeace has learned with great sadness of the passing of Mr Gary Gallon, who was a member of the organisation’s first board of directors.
Mr Gallon had a brilliant career as an environmentalist, with the Society for the Promotion of Environmental Conservation (SPEC), the Environmental Liaison Centre in Nairobi, at Pollution Probe, and later with the Ontario government. He is probably most well known lately for The Gallon Environment Letter, a widely distributed environment and business e-newsletter.
Although Gallon’s formal involvement with Greenpeace was limited to the early days in Vancouver, when he loaned us our first “real” office space, his work and ours overlapped and complemented each other at various points over the years.
In May 2003, Gary Gallon received the Canadian Institute for Business and Environment’s Life Time Achievement Environment Award.