Thursday, June 10, 2010

When Leaders Lose Touch with Reality

It's becoming a recurring theme - top political leaders seriously out of touch with reality. They simply lack the courage to go beyond their established comfort zones and that translates into the enormous disaffection of the voting public with their political leadership.

What party able to wield political clout (sorry Greens) has anything remotely approaching an effective policy to combat global warming? Here's a hint: if they support the expansion of the Athabasca Tar Sands, their eco-chants are just so much greenwash. Imagine our own Canada refusing to become a leader in the fight to save mankind, our civilization and our planet from environmental catastrophe. It's positively mind boggling.

Across the pond, Britain's former chief scientist, Sir David King, has attacked politicians and industry experts for having "their heads in the sand" over the reality of declining oil supplies. From The Guardian:

...King said governments, including the UK's, were too eager to believe the optimistic predictions of economists who tell them that "oil will be squeezed out of the ground pretty much forever".

King, the government's chief scientific adviser from 2000 to 2007, is now director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford.

He said: "That's what governments want to hear and that's what they do hear, and I think the British government as much as many others."

...He said oil demand would overtake production capacity as soon as 2015, which would drive up the price further.

...While transport is seen as the most difficult sector to decarbonise, action needs to be taken immediately to keep people and goods moving while reducing reliance on fossil fuels, he said.

"I can't overemphasise the importance of persuading governments to focus attention on what's going to be a very significant issue as we move into the next decade.

"It is down to government to steer us towards a defossilised economy using the regulatory and financial incentives available.

If you're not convinced Canada's political leadership is out of touch with reality, read Marsden's book, "Stupid to The Last Drop." It's a telling look at Alberta's looming environmental catastrophe at the hands of Big Oil and an indictment of the political leadership, provincial and federal, doing Big Oil's bidding. Once read, you'll be under no illusions about those who proclaim themselves fit to guide our country. Canada, like every other industrialized nation, needs to be working toward decarbonizing our economy and our society even as our political leadership reveal themselves to be devout Fossil Fuellers.

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