20 May 2010

Climate change is a sideshow

The Prime Minister has spoken. Climate change is a sideshow. At a recent event on Parliament Hill, PM Stephen Harper, addressing host Senator Mike Duffy, said, "Everything else that also gets so much attention from your former media colleagues, Mike, these are sideshows. The economy is what matters." So there you have it. According to our leader, global warming and all that stuff is a mere distraction.

Personally, I find the Prime Minister's inability to grasp the seriousness of climate change, in effect to grasp reality, frightening. The environment does not need our economy. Indeed, it would be vastly better off without it, but our economy must have the environment. It is utterly dependent on it. Any talk, therefore, of putting the economy first is dangerous nonsense. Nor should we be talking about balancing the two. The only sensible approach is to design an economy that fits the environment, that sustains and enhances it, because only then can we sustain and enhance our civilization.

The failure to recognize this has, throughout history, been a major cause of the collapse of civilizations. Civilizations that put their economy first tended to exhaust their environment. As a result, they could no longer sustain themselves and they fell into ruin. If our leaders don't recognize this and act accordingly our civilization, too, will collapse, only this time the collapse won't be one civilization, it will be global. And that, global civilization, is what is at risk, nothing less. Sadly, our leader seems as oblivious to history as he is to the environment.


  1. When you're committed to the idea that the end of the world is nigh, nothing matters but keeping your damn job!

  2. Bill, Harper is not alone. He's merely the worst of a bad bunch. Ignatieff continues to be a flag waver for the Tar Sands, paying lip service to the notion of environmental remediation. Dion's "Green Shift" while horribly botched in execution was and is the only viable approach for the industrialized West. When Goldman Sachs dominates carbon trading that's about all you need to know about cap and trade policies.

    We're lucky Bill. You and I are old enough that we'll miss most of what's coming but our children and our grandchildren certainly won't.

    With Harper and his ilk thwarting any meaningful action, even James Lovelock has given up. He has now concluded "it's over" and counsels that we might as well live it up because there's nothing left to lose.

    NOAA's Hansen says pretty much the same thing. His latest research concludes if we don't decarbonize our economies and our societies by 2030 we will certainly reach the tipping points of uncontrollable, runaway global warming.

    Despite the growing and alarming scientific consensus we have two leaders capable of forming a government, both of whom see Canada's future as a fossil fuel superpower. They're both disgusting.