When it comes to the recent 2010 Winter Olympics, the United States and Canada have much to be proud of. Each ranked first in a medal category with Canada winning 14 gold medals and the U.S. securing 15 silver medals. This is an impressive but unsurprising performance for two of the top three economies in the Western Hemisphere. (Snowless Brazil won no medals.) Less impressive is that the U.S. and Canada are peak performers in the category of climate change causation. These two have done little to reduce their high scores in per capita emissions. Both rank in the world's top 10 emitters at nearly 20 tons per person per year. Compare this with China's 4 tons per person and India's 1 ton per person.
For the U.S. and Canada, or any country, to continue participating in the Winter Olympics, they must commit to a greener performance — a reality brought into question by Vancouver's lack of snow, which was a consequence of a changing climate. The reality is that while Olympic competitiveness is a priority for both nations, green competitiveness is not.