There was a glaring omission in yesterday's Throne Speech. One word that never crossed Ms. Payette's lips - "emergency." Isn't that curious? Like a growing number of nations, our government just a matter of months ago proclaimed a climate emergency to exist in Canada.
Emergency is a word that conveys something dire, an urgent threat. Emergencies go to the very top of the priority list. That's because they're emergencies. When your house catches fire that becomes more important than mopping the floors or washing the car or cutting the lawn. When you're in an emergency you do what you must, not what you may or may not feel like, but what the emergency demands. The fire sets your agenda, not the weeds in the flower beds.
So, what about our emergency? What emergency? What would be the logical measures we might expect if our government considered climate change an emergency threatening Canada and the Canadian people?
Would the government, already running substantial deficits, be promising tax breaks? Who cuts taxes in a period of emergency? No, of course not. In an emergency you marshal your resources, you mobilize your people, you harness your industry to do what you must.
In an emergency you try to avoid doing things that make matters worse. You don't squander your resources on annual subsidies to the world's most profitable industries, the fossil energy giants. You don't pretend to cut emissions at home while doing your utmost to ramp up emissions overseas. That's what you call counter-intuitive. The more vulgar of us have a different term - horse shit.
...while the Government takes strong action to fight climate change, it will also work just as hard to get Canadian resources to new markets, and offer unwavering support to the hardworking women and men in Canada’s natural resources sectorsI don't dispute that we're in a grave emergency. That much is unquestionable. While it obviously has made no impression on our government, the latest report from the Potsdam boys - Rockstrom, Schellnhuber, et al - was jarring. They warned that we have probably already triggered six or more major climate tipping points. We have awakened the Sleeping Giant, nature itself. Now nature is actively adding its considerable heft to man-made climate change and its just getting started. We used to have a term for that. What was it? Oh yeah, we called it "runaway climate change." Runaway as in beyond our control, irreversible. Emergency.
Mr. Trudeau has declared, promised, vowed that Canada will be carbon-neutral by 2050. As if. One thing this prime minister has demonstrated is that he's a windbag, a regular Janus. He's a man not to be taken at his word.