Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Steve Harper's Betrayal of Canada

David Suzuki is credited with pointing out that you cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy biosphere.   The first is utterly dependent on the second.

A corollary.  If you're damaging the environment in order to inflate profits, you're actually damaging the economy also.

Suzuki's warning came to mind in a piece in today's Guardian:

In recent weeks a slew of stories has hit the news about the soaring price of food, petrol and household energy – and the financial pressure this is putting on cash-strapped households. But as politicians scrabble around for the best short-term fix, a fundamental cause underpinning much of these economic woes is often overlooked. Under the bonnet, there's something big going on: we're damaging the planet and draining its resources, and it's starting to cost us big time.

With growing confidence scientists are linking climate change to the increasingly freakish weather around the globe which is causing food prices to rise. Earlier this month the National Farmers' Union predicted more price rises when it revealed that wet weather had cut UK wheat yields by 15%.

Natural resources are not infinite and with developing economies growing fast, we're beginning to discover that there are not enough to go round...

But faced with all the evidence, no one on the political scene is showing the kind of leadership required. They prefer to squabble about short-term sticking-plaster policies, like the perennial scrap about a few pence on or off fuel duty...

The biggest problem is the chancellor, who doesn't seem to understand that in the long term you simply can't have a healthy economy without a healthy environment. By pitting the two against each other, he ignores not just the CBI – which says green and growth must go together – but cold, hard, economic reality. In claiming, contrary to the evidence, that "gas is cheap", George Osborne has become a modern day King Cnut, attempting to turn back the tide of evidence on the rising price of gas by flat out denying it – and, indeed, pushing to keep the economy hooked on the stuff. This is especially galling from a man who reportedly accuses environmental advocates of acting like the Taliban. If anything it's Osborne, with his reckless dash for gas, who wants to keep us in the dark ages.

The writing has been on the wall for years – indeed some enlightened parts of the business community have even helped write it. It's more than a decade since the Association of British Insurers warned of the impact of more frequent and more severe flooding as a result of climate change.

Bad as Britain's Conservative government is, Canada's Conservative government is an order of magnitude worse still.  As eastern Canada gets hit by this megastorm and America lays pummeled, Steve Harper is in India drumming up orders for massive amounts of Athabasca bitumen.   Steve couldn't care less about all the floods and the droughts and the storms.   His prime directive is to push the sale and consumption of the filthiest fossil fuels on the planet.   His cabinet tolerates it, so does his caucus and so does the Canadian public.   Never has Canada been more degraded and debased.

Stephen Harper doesn't care about building a healthy Canadian economy.   His sole interest is to build a fossil fuel economy for Alberta and bugger the rest of the country and its economy; bugger the world for that matter.   Our kids will pay dearly for this fiend's perfidy.


lungta said...

in about the 80s
i noticed that
if you actually had to restore most resource development
back to a benign workable status
there never would be any profit
a healthy restoreable economy is achievable
just not under predatory capitalistic rules

Beijing York said...

"The report also notes there has been a 35% increase in the number of households using the emergency food bank service each month since 2008 and that the number has remained relatively stable. That's disturbing because typically, there are peaks and valleys when it comes to food bank usage."


All under Steve "the Economist" Harper's watch.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ lungta. There's no doubt we're propping up fiascoes like the Tar Sands by cooking the books. We use a confusing mix of subsidies, deferred taxes and postponed royalties coupled with letting industry duck the full costs of the resources they consume, particularly water, their carbon emissions and the site degradation that'll leave in their wake when they're done and gone. If one was to put these ventures on a real, pay as you go, basis, they would fold.

This screams of the ascendancy of a corporatist petro-parliament in Ottawa. It's mind-boggling really.

Hey, BY. We seem to be sliding back into a genuinely Dickensian world.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mound,

Just wanted to say your blog rocks! It is my favourite one and I pass it on continually. This country is under assault from the treasonous chubby nerd -- hateful of all that is Canada and decent. He's so bereft of humanity. Your blogs keep me and all I know very informed. Many many thanks! Merci Beaucoup!!

Together we must purge this country of this conservative menace. Nov. 11th is around the corner and this China treaty is a slap in the face for democracy and all the lives lost in pursuit. Yet, the chubby one will be up there exploiting it.

The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks for the kind words, Anon, and I hope you and your friends will stand behind the fight to come.

Few of my fellow BC'ers are aware of the China trade deal and almost none grasp what Harper has done to British Columbia.

The deal Harper inked gives Beijing the right to sue anyone, including any province, that stands in the way of the Northern Gateway and coastal supertanker traffic. Stephen Harper has loaded the pistol, put it into Beijing's hand and invited them to hold it to British Columbia's head. The Chinese Communists will, in effect, do Harper's dirty work for him.

Who would have imagined a few years back that the Conservative Party of Canada would unite with the Communist Party of China to beat British Columbia bloody and senseless until it capitulates to their shared interests?

If the rest of Canada goes along with that it sure sounds like grounds for divorce to me. Harper is transforming Confederation into a curse.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% -- B.C. may just have to vote oui and leave the disaster of Hapergedon behind -- Quebec would join B.C.. It'd be the coolest country full of progressives. All the nasty Clarke Socreds and Harpercons could leave for their tribes in Alberta.

This is serious stuff and imo treason. I cried my eyes out when that evil menace won the country but even I could not imagine the utter hatred he has for the country to sell it out from under us to the worst regime imaginable. He's hoping to render the next NDP BC government powerless but he is ignorant to the storm he will unleash in B.C..

He underestimates the fierce devotion B.C.'ers have to their beautiful environment. How would he know he's not even human and feels nothing but hatred. I'd pity a person like that if they weren't destroying my beloved country. It's all very sad and distressing and too many are complacent.

Keep up the great work on your blogs -- it gives me comfort to hear shared thoughts and sentiments and anger. Some days I think I'm just 'mad' as it seems so obvious the path forward and this isn't it. It's the path of insanity but I've always thought the creep was a sociopath and worse.

bcwaterboy said...

harper may have given BC the finger, but we mustn't forget that a great many votes for his reform band of idiots came from here. We tend to vote for people who go against our interests and particularly in the interior, other political parties don't stand a chance.