Sunday, October 30, 2016
Is There Anybody In the Wheelhouse?
It was quite a week. We got the latest report, Living Planet 2016, that warned two-thirds of the planet's wildlife could be gone by 2020. That will mark a half century of environmental destruction by our growth obsessed global civilization. This has all been accomplished since 1970, a blink in the 12,000 year history of human civilization.
Here's something to think about. Nobody is really sure where the tipping point is. How much of this wildlife kill-off can we inflict before it starts killing us off, if it hasn't already begun. Where does man's resilience break down?
Then, of course, there was the new scandal/non-scandal about Hillary's emails revealed by the FBI director with a general election less than two weeks off. That sure got a lot of people going on both sides, Hillary's and Trump's. The story seemed to eclipse everything else.
We did learn, however, of the subjugation of those obstreperous Walloons who had been blocking the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. Prime minister Trudeau must have had his overnight bag packed and ready judging by the speed by which he got aboard a gub'mint jet to Europe to ink the deal (that happened this morning).
What else? Oh yeah, there's this intriguing animation from NASA depicting the vanishing Arctic sea ice. This one's way better than a lot of the stuff released before. Make that way worse, I suppose.
So we've got a political scandal - maybe/maybe not - that's captured everyone's attention south of the border (and a good bit north of the border too). We've got a trade deal that has the attention of our own government (I wonder if Trudeau will praise Harper for making this possible?). And, lastly, we've got the world going all to hell. When you look at it that way...
Of the three, one of them will be lost to the public consciousness before the coming week is out. One of them will be well and truly flushed down the Memory Hole. Oddly enough, it's the same one that threatens our survival as a species, almost all life on Earth.
Oh, I know, I know. We're going to have carbon pricing pretty soon. It'll be enough to really piss off Brad Wall and most of the Tories running for their party's leadership. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that pissing them off is a bad thing. What I'm saying is that carbon pricing isn't going to do anything genuinely effective. Not today, not now, not for the next generation. It's gestural at best. That much is obvious from the "revenue neutral" aspect of it. Whatever the feds collect in a province is turned over to the provincial government - no strings attached.
Is this really the net sum of the Trudeau government's environmental plan? Is this the best response our government can come up with in the face of what is a truly existential threat?
They all want to be the skipper. They all want the keys to the wheelhouse. Then, when you need them at the helm to navigate our way through the shoals ahead you find them, instead, down in the wardroom besotted on pusser's rum. Brace for collision.