This is a message for all Canadian conservatives, including those who now pass themselves off as Liberals. In fact, it's a message to every rank Petro-pol, Oilhead and Tar Sander on Parliament Hill.
It's not my message. No, I'm merely relaying a message from a Conservative, a true Conservative by the name of Paul Foote who explains why, if protecting the environment isn't your priority, you're not a decent conservative:
As the grandfather of modern conservative political thinking, Edmund Burke, put it: we are " temporary possessors or life renters" of this world and have a moral obligation not to squander our natural inheritance, lest we ""leave to those who come after … a ruin instead of a habitation." Respect for the past and responsibility to future generations creates a duty to conserve our resources and protect the environment.
The actions now required to protect the future also have more immediate benefits. It supports our national security. A shift to decentralised, renewable energy sources makes the UK less dependent on foreign countries and less susceptible to the changes in energy markets. It is a self-sufficiency that would undoubtedly appeal to the conservative.
A shift to greener energy sources also creates big opportunities for business. This year, for the first time, investment in renewable energy outstripped investment in conventional energy. Our economic competitiveness is bound to our ability to become leaders in green technologies. The green agenda is the growth agenda.
For centuries, political momentum has been primarily concerned with raising people's standard of living, which has focused overwhelmingly on material advantage. We have come to a point in history where we can no longer view the good life so narrowly. Protecting the environment is about protecting and improving the quality of people's lives. This task not only includes defending ourselves against global threats like climate change, it also means taking responsibility for more local environmental problems such as flood risk, graffiti and litter.
Everything Foote is saying you would have heard a century ago from another true conservative - Teddy Roosevelt. But conservatism is no longer conservatism, it's corporatism and to corporatism environmentalism is an unwanted fetter on the bottom line. As we've seen in America's bought and paid for Congress and in our own Parliament, the stooges of corporatism sit on both sides of the aisle.