13 January 2012

Harper—the prime minister of oil

In the paranoid corridors of Harperworld, opponents of tar sands development are radicals. And the most dangerous among the radicals are those who receive funding from foreigners.

This is a rather curious accusation coming from Stephen Harper. After all, he faithfully serves the oil industry, much of which is foreign-owned. And it was Mr. Harper who insisted we should join the Americans in their invasion of Iraq. I would not pretend to delve into the recesses of the man's mind, but I suspect he supported the U.S. simply because they are our friends and he believes we should always support our friends even when they are invading other countries. At the time, he claimed, "They are our biggest asset in this very dangerous world." But the world wasn't dangerous in the way he thought. He was conned by the claim Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and of course they didn't.

But there is no doubt that climate change is creating a very dangerous world. And "world" is the operative word—pollution cares little for borders. So Americans who believe that tar sands emissions are contributing excessively to climate change are obliged to help those Canadians who are working to reduce the threat. Harper was willing to use taxpayer dollars—your money and mine—to help his American friends, and to risk Canadian lives in the bargain, and he now resents Americans helping their Canadian friends with their own money—the hypocrisy reeks.

Nonetheless, Harper's hostility toward tar sands opponents is perfectly understandable. He is the oil industry's man—the prime minister of oil—and therefore anyone who attacks the oil industry attacks Harper.

Those who recognize the need to put the environment first deserve all the help they can get. They certainly can't expect much from "their" government.

1 comment:

  1. You've set out the case both accurately and concisely. In Harper parlance, it's a "no brainer."