Monday, July 13, 2015

Sure We Have to Get Rid of Harper But Why Stop There?

I haven't heard the NDP's shining star, Rachel Notley, say they're wrong. I haven't heard Trudeau the Lesser or Tommy Angry Beard say they're wrong. I certainly haven't heard those premiers scheming behind closed doors to expedite the production, transportation and export of Athabasca tar sand by, among other things, sweeping aside regulatory protections, say they're wrong either, not one of them.

I find it goddamned curious that not one of the mainstream party leaders, not one of our premiers disputes the warning of the scientific community that, globally, at least 80 per cent of known fossil fuels and, in particular, 100% of high-carbon fossil fuels must be left in the ground if mankind is to have a snowball's chance of remaining within the highly optimistic 2 degree Celsius target for global warming and thereby (with a lot of luck) avoid truly catastrophic, potentially existential climate change.

This is cognitive dissonance at the very highest levels of Canadian political leadership.  They're not even going to try to deny the warning of the scientific community.  They're simply going to ignore it.

I know it's going to irk you true believers but it's there in front of your eyes.  The Conservatives, the Liberals and the New Democrats are all on the same page when it comes to bitumen trafficking.  You like to pretend - no, you probably need to pretend - that your team is really different, better - yet on the most fundamental issue of our day, of the entire history of mankind, they're not.

I've had it up to the tits with your endless blathering about "strategic voting." Libs and Dems have to cooperate on a riding by riding basis, yada, yada, yada. Some of you have even suggested that the Greens need to stand down for the good of the country, sit this one out and wait for future elections. You people have been on the crack pipe way too long.  You see, to me "strategic voting" means getting every vote I possibly can, whether it's favouring the Cons, the Libs or the Dippers, to go Green.  Why ?  Because that's what "for the good of the country" really means.

Then again maybe you don't care about the science all that much either when it comes to the electoral fortunes of your favourite flavour of Petro-Pol.  Just don't delude yourself that you can support the petro-state, in any political permutation, at this critical moment for mankind and still claim to be progressive.


Anonymous said...

Most of the resources of the Green party were invested in getting Elizabeth May a seat in the House of Commons in 2011. This was not a bad thing, but electing a Green leader decimated the Green efforts and resources in the rest of the country.

Maybe things will change, and the Green party will blossom throughout the land. Who knows

But I agree with Chris Hedges. Real change will only come from popular movements outside of the political sphere.

Northern PoV said...

Show me a party in power (or in a realistic position to gain power) anywhere in the world that meets your standards.

Only ex-Pols dare to call it like it is.

just sayin'

The Mound of Sound said...

You first, NPoV. Show me a time in the history of mankind when our civilization has faced such a potentially catastrophic challenge. It's the threat that defines the standards, not me. We have the science that warns us, we have the knowledge. Decarbonizing, while urgent, is not an insurmountable hurdle. To the contrary we could have a better economy and a better standard of living if we get beyond the carbon society. I'll bet you understand that. History is rich with accounts of societies that don't respond to their environmental challenges and it always winds up in collapse.

Dana said...

I'll be voting for the Green candidate in North Vancouver who also happens to be one of the kids from the choir in Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall'. Claire Martin.

Yet I'm under no delusions that electing a Green candidate in North Vancouver is going to make much of a real world difference.

I'm very afraid that all we have left are symbolic gestures now.

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm concerned, Dana, that you see voting Green as a symbolic gesture as though it's an exercise in futility. Is supporting what you believe in futile just because it may not translate into a seat in Parliament?

Notice all this "strategic voting" palaver carries the implied undertaking of "you do this here for us and we'll do this here for you"? They at least inject into it an element of quid pro quo. Do you see any commensurate vote swap on offer for the Greens? Of course not.

Any Green vote that is strategically switched to the NDP will not be recognized as anything other than an NDP vote. Same same for the Libs. And, afterwards, they'll point to the strategically emaciated Green vote and claim the Greens don't really matter, just look how few supported them.

This is one of those "you play ball with me and I'll stick the bat all the way up your ass" ploys.

It's perhaps easier for me because I can't and won't support any of the mainstream parties. They all share the same support of bitumen extraction, processing, transport and export even as it is known and understood that we don't have a chance if we don't leave the highest-carbon fossil fuels in the ground, untouched. They don't even argue with that much less try to come up with any evidence to refute it (because that evidence doesn't exist).

They simply look the other way and why would anyone with kids or grandkids or concern for generations as yet unborn endorse that by voting for them, for strategic reasons or otherwise?

Francis said this is a moral issue and it is. It is an ethical issue akin in magnitude to what civilized nations experienced in rejecting slavery. The mere mention of that drives Dippers absolutely spare and I'm pretty sure that's because they know it's true.

It's no longer Harper versus "our team." Just as I parted company with the Libs, I'm now severing ties with all of them who encourage bitumen trafficking. For that reason I'm voting Green and that's a far cry from a symbolic gesture.

Purple library guy said...

Whatever. Not going to happen, doubt your efforts will do much harm either, so knock yourself out.

Purple library guy said...

It may be that some new party will arise a la Podemos and suddenly sweep to popularity, some party that unites the best of NDP, further left, and Green notions with a deeply populist, grassroots democracy appeal. But the Greens are not that party. They're going nowhere.

(The only thing that might give them the sliver of a chance at serious growth would be proportional representation. And the only thing that will give them proportional representation with which to grow would be an NDP victory)

The Mound of Sound said...

Well, PLG, you may be right about the future of the Greens but you've said nothing remotely relevant to my decision.

It comes down to this. Do you accept the science that the fate of our civilization hangs in the balance of whether we leave high-carbon fossil fuels in the ground? You either accept it or you don't.

If you accept the science ask yourself why you would back a party that doesn't or at least isn't prepared to act on it?

The best scientific opinion holds we are virtually out of time to act. We have to slash our carbon emissions dramatically beginning now.

There may be another party that comes along 10 or 20-years from now but we have to go with what we've got now and, on that basis, the only option is the Green party. I realize how challenging that is for you. It must be very hard, if you accept the science, to reconcile that with the party you support. As you say, "knock yourself out." I expect you'll be doing a lot of that.

thwap said...


Anonymous said...

The Greens are actually, the only alternative to what is and wanting to run this country at the moment. As for the Premiers not taking up the fight well, you aren't going to hear anything from the East...the true East as in the Maritimes and NL for this reason..."The Halifax-based company won a $25-billion contract to build ships for the Canadian Navy.

Irving Shipbuilding Inc, recently held a job fair in Fort Mcmurray and is seeking 200 trades people.

The work will begin in September and is expected to last for the next 30 years." No doubt there will be a few oil tankers. Irving supplies New England with earth energy as well. Submitted....Anyong

Anonymous said...

Irving is actually and oil based company. Anyong

The Mound of Sound said...

Reduced to that now, are you Thwap? I suppose that's all you have left although there's nothing surprising in that.

thwap said...


Well Sirrah, what, ah say, what else can you expect me to say? Ah hahdly think you could see ya'll way through to supportin' mah evil hopes of seein' your grandchildren forced to tread rising sea water for thar short, miserable lives.

But that's no reason why we cannot speak as gentlemen on other matters. Come up to the mansion some nice spring evening. We'll sit on the porch and discuss the other affairs of the world. Mah slaves whip up a mean mint julep!

Good day to you Sirrah!

The Mound of Sound said...

Is that all you've got? Really? Kind of sad, don't you think?

thwap said...


What Sir? You think your blathering deserves more?

Dana said...

Mound, thwap lives in a schoolyard remember.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yeah, I forgot.

thwap said...


I didn't know you had shit for brains!

Dana said...

Yeah I do but it's really good shit. You couldn't afford it kid.

And it's certainly better than the nothing you've got.