You can't say we haven't been warned - again and again and again. Forces of instability are setting in around the world. You name it. Everything from deforestation; desertification; air/land/water contamination; resource depletion and exhaustion, particularly the freshwater crisis; energy insecurity; severe weather events of increasing frequency and intensity; cyclical droughts and floods, particularly in the world's key agricultural states; species extinctions and migration, especially fisheries collapse; pest and disease migration; sea level rise and ocean acidification; several really active arms races; seismic shifts in world power balances; nuclear proliferation and various security threats including terrorism; overpopulation and population migration due to conflict and climate change. Did I leave anything out? Oh yeah, global warming. These threats are real. Many of them are visible from space.
They might be visible from space but they're seemingly invisible to our all too indifferent elected representatives of every party in the House of Commons, perhaps save one ineffective but well-intentioned lady.
If there was ever anything to legislatively chew on, this is it - a cornucopia of challenges begging for responses but Ottawa - the Harper Cons, the Rae Libs and the Layton Dippers repose in self-serving silence. Daily they expose themselves as little people utterly incapable of rising to great challenges. They're a collective of duds.
No one can expect any of them to solve these problems. Most of them are insoluble. That said, each of them demands a response of some nature whether it be an adaptation strategy or promotion of some international consensus. Perhaps what's holding these guys back is the daunting prospect of acknowledging the common threads that run through these threats and challenges. Those threads challenge our way of life, our global outlook, how we view the world and our place in it. They invoke Einstein's warning that the solution to truly great problems cannot be solved with the same thinking that created them.
What we need so urgently now, today, is true and effective progressive leadership, something a good measure better than anything on the table today. We need a philosophical intellect of the scale of Trudeau and, no, that's not his namesake who is far more Margaret than Pierre. It takes that same sort of disciplined mastery of philosophy to identify the common threads in our net full of predicaments. It takes that same intellect and resolve to generate the leadership we will need to meet these challenges.
And if we don't get that leadership soon, then what? Think Naomi Klein, think Disaster Capitalism, for what could be better suited to these rolling calamities? The Cons are stuck with Harper and the NDP with Layton but the Libs have an opportunity to really scour the country for the sort of leadership we now so badly need.
My nominee? Louise Arbour.