Monday, July 19, 2010

The Age of Stupid

I managed to catch the Pete Postelthwaite documentary, The Age of Stupid, last night. It's a four-year epic from director Franny Armstrong. It's powerful. It's compelling. It's hard to watch without getting furious at the hustlers, poseurs and flacks who pass for political leadership in Canada.

Scientists interviewed in Age of Stupid make the same point as leading climate scientists such as James Hansen - we have until around 2015, just five years, to stabilize manmade greenhouse gas emissions. Five years. And if we don't do that we're running a grave risk of triggering runaway global warming - earthmade global warming that we will not be able to control. These are the "tipping points," the absolute limits of man's ability to prevent catastrophic global warming. Once we reach one or more tipping points, the future is entirely out of our own hands. We're just along for a horrible ride that didn't have to be.

So what are we to make of politicians who proclaim the Tar Sands the beating heart of our country, who pay mere lip service to notions of greenhouse gases and environmental responsibility? What are we to make of these dim-visioned, second-rate minds? And, yes, I am describing the Harvard schoolboy with his arts funding fetish. Harper and Ignatieff, the Bert and Ernie of bitumen, champion the Age of Stupid.

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