Wednesday, May 01, 2019
What About Those Wonderful "Canadian Values"?
As I look to the east I see nothing but menace. A vast plain controlled by thugs with names like Scheer and Kenney, Moe, Pallister and Ford. A place despoiled in this already dangerous time. I so wish for a wall.
In Westminster today, on the floor of the House of Commons, Jeremy Corbyn has tabled a motion demanding that the government declare a state of environmental and climate emergency, an end to the fossil economy and a rapid implementation of a green industrial revolution. Outside Parliament a people overwhelmingly want nothing less.
Our country, which once stood as an example for the world in so many ways, has turned into a land of petro-pimps, the current government included. No, no, I didn't forget about carbon taxes, a nuisance at best. But do tell me about the significance of a paltry carbon tax for a nation that, despite its tiny population, still ranks within the top ten countries for total greenhouse gas emissions and the top three for per capital greenhouse gas emissions. And tell me about a country that doesn't recognize the dire emergency that demands a global cut in greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030 and in toto by 2050. Tell me about a tiny country that is such a major emitter - overall and per capita - that won't meet even that minimum standard.
This is an existential threat for Christ's sake. It's the gravest threat faced by man in the history of human civilization. Anyone intent on flooding world markets with high-carbon, high-cost, low-value bitumen is nothing less than the enemy of mankind. And it doesn't matter which party they're from.
Today's atmospheric carbon loading is already displacing and killing people around the world and its just getting started. The real die-off will probably set in during the 2020s and it will have Canada's fingerprints plainly on it. Canadians can, at times, become obsessed with punching above our own weight. Well, on this, we really are and in a big way. And, despite the so very urgent need to stop punching now, we too are only getting started.
So, please, spare me the banal jingoism about our "cherished Canadian values." We threw them in the trash a long time ago. What is so wonderful about Canadian values that are so inherently nihilistic?