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Recently, I was part of a group of youth from across Canada who used the smoke and mirrors of the Internet in order to draw attention to Canada’s abysmal climate record.

We impersonated Environment Canada representatives and announced the re-launch of a nearly two-decade-old climate change education campaign entitled “What a Difference a Degree Makes.” Adorned with images of drowning wheat thrushes and one iconic Earth boy looking sad and dejected on a melted hockey rink, the handout from the program explained the impacts that a one-degree increase in temperature would have on our nation, and asks readers to rethink fossil fuel consumption.

Our actions were condemned by a government spokesperson as “blatant dishonesty and [a] shameful misrepresentation of the Minister to Canadians.”

I’ll be the first own dishonesty. We lied, we hoaxed and then hoaxed again — a hoax within a ruse within a prank; a hoax inception as one supporter chimed in. This required us to do a little more than bend the truth but taken against the lies and misinformation that are spread by the Canadian government our little white lie pales even whiter. Each and every time that the prime minister, the environment minister, or anyone in the Harper government PR machine says that they take climate change seriously they are lying. The simple fact is that their “ambitious plan” to meet emission reduction targets isn’t working.

This leads us to “shameful misrepresentation.”

Our fraudulent announcement quoted Environment Minister Peter Kent as saying that “climate change is the defining issue of our time,” and that “the government of Canada takes the challenges of climate change seriously.” Yes, we misrepresented him but I’ll leave it to you to decide what’s really shameful — our little hoax, or a government that considers it slander to tell the world that our environment minister cares about climate change.

But we’re not unreasonable; we’ll stop spreading our brand of misrepresentation if the government agrees to the same. We can start with their “targets.” If the minister agrees to stop referring to “17 per cent reductions below 2005 levels” and is honest about his ambitious plan to increase emissions in Canada, we’ll stop lying to the world about his commitment to helping us tackle one of the greatest challenges of our generation.

In the end, we’re realists. We know that the Harper government won’t change their climate policy overnight, which is why we decided to start taking matters into our own hands. We’ve launched an ambitious by-youth, for-youth education campaign that aims to connect with over 10,000 youth by early 2012. We want to see our Wings of Change project in classrooms, community halls, backyards, basements and basically anywhere that youth want to learn about climate change, and what they can do to build a just and sustainable future.

We know that two lies don’t make a right but sometimes they even the odds; and it’s hard to fight clean against our government’s dirty agenda when our future is on the line.

Help us make this project a reality.

Cameron Fenton is the National Director of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, an active member of Climate Action Network Canada.