28 November 2009

Ed Stelmach's "reasonable" world

Premier Ed Stelmach is asking the other provinces to unite with Alberta in adopting “reasonable” greenhouse gas reduction targets. Ed is particularly upset about the strategy recently announced by Quebec which includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, a target similar to the one set by the European Union.

Any target Ed would set would almost certainly be unreasonable, at least if by reasonable we mean avoiding the collapse of civilization, or worse. Global warming is that serious, but Premier Stelmach, like his federal counterparts, doesn't, or perhaps just won't, recognize how serious it is. They continue to talk about balancing the environment and the economy, but the environment cannot be balanced with the economy, the economy must defer to the environment. After all, the environment doesn't need our economy, indeed it would be vastly better off without it, but our economy absolutely must have the environment. The only reasonable goal is to create an economy that fits into a sustainable environment. You don't balance the two because the importance of one overwhelms the importance of the other. You recognize the primacy of the environment, you determine what it needs to remain healthy, and you design an economy which serves that end.

That, and only that, is reasonable.

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