Pitting the environment against the economy as a political debate issue is an asinine position to take. Ignorant in the extreme. Fatuous. Disingenuous and just bloody stupid. You have to wonder if those who do (the media, the provincial Liberals and the Conservatives) understand the economy at all. Clearly they have proven they don’t understand the environment to the point that they are killing that which sustains us but it is hard to believe that they could miss two out of two. What nincompoops!
The economy is a concept, a man-made construct. It is the whole of our personal trades and exchanges and it is as much a fantasy construct as say, our forms of entertainment. The economy is not real without people saying it is. The economy is just an agreement.
The environment, on the other hand is real. It exists whether we do or not. The environment is real in a much bigger examination than is the study of the economy. In fact, the economy rises and falls and even collapses now or then based entirely on our collective moods. If we lose confidence in the economy it diminishes and, if we are optimistic, it grows. Could there be a better definition of a fantasy? It’s just like bogey-men in the closet.
Which invites a whole other discussion on bogey-men (like ISIS) but I would digress…
The economy is our collective mindset, our construct. We can change it. In fact, we have changed it from time to time. We had the agrarian-based economy of yesteryear, the industrial-based one that is slowly ebbing and the current information-based global economy already morphing somewhat into the specialty divisions of biology and robotics and God-knows-what-all. Changing the base of the economy is what we do. It is one of the ways we think we grow as a species (the jury is still out on that). Getting off oil is not going to kill us. Difficult? Yes. Unknowable? Yes. Killing? Not so much.
So, really, where is the debate coming from? Why would the media and the politicians make it look like we have to choose between living in a dying world or dying in a living one? What is wrong with their heads?
And, even more to the point: economies in transition are invariably dynamic. Things grow at a rapid-paced level. The so-called economy gets bigger faster and with more surprises. People get rich. Things get better. What is not to like?
The Pope is even now pushing alternative energy – that’s a surprise, out-of-the-blue, spokesman for the GREENing we so desperately need. Obama and Clinton just jumped onto the GREEN bandwagon. Elon Musk has been on that wagon for some time. Finally, the ‘leaders’ are going GREEN. Might be too late but they have come to the party.
Harper is staying home, cleaning his room and washing his hair.
Our leaders are debating whether we should have a robust economy or whether we fret about the spotted owl? And robust – to them – is fossil fuels! Talk about stupid. It would be funny if the media wasn’t giving that topic some credence. They should be ashamed. And we should not tolerate it. If you hear anyone say, “Well, I like marmots as much as the next guy but I gotta feed my kids, eh?”, slap that doofus upside the head and tell him that marmots are better for the real economy than Harper or Clark.
Vote Spotted owl.
The thought that Canada is doomed to be a hinterland providing the raw materials to the industrialized first world and must continue to doing so at the cost of our environment and of our economic future is a ‘paleocon’ construct and dream. For example, the paleocon’s approach favours raw resource export over domestic value-added job creation and foreign sales over domestic resource security.
Unfortunately Canada used to have a well established manufacturing base until “free trade” agreements became the world wide norm. Dont just blame the conservatives, the liberals were in there , thick as theives negotiating as well. And if you think the NDP will be any different lets turn back the clocks shall we……..
Its hard to compete with IKEA, Samsung, Call Centers, Shirt Factories in Bangladesh, etc AND insist that we pay a “livable” minimum wage.
So either we tear up all our trade agreements and start back at zero ( or in this case 1950’s Canada) and begin building mass produced items such as electric motors and furniture and clothing and cars and planes and trains etc. with skilled labour that either doesnt exist or doesnt want to get their hands dirty( “Mom… Dad… I want to be a professional gambler!” ).
Building “widgets” that are competitively priced and we are able to sell world wide( oops, sorry, we tore up all those pesky trade agreements and now the world has slapped tariffs on our manufactured goods because they have jobs to protect too!).
Perhaps we should nationalize Swiss owned Nestles and sell our bottled water for a higher price………
Venezuela tried nationalization to fund a “socialist utopia”. Its people are starving.
And, unfortunately, in the world wide scheme of things, Canada, like Venezuela, is some what irrevant due to our small population our small fiscal size. We are fortunate we have water, wood and fuel to offer.
Otherwise we could be like Uzbekistan and have neverending religous warfare interspersed with military dictatorships.
Cue outraged readers, a one and a two and a three………
I don’t think ‘outrage’ is the response, DC. I think a simple ‘I don’t agree will suffice’. While it is true that we never really had the international -scale of mfg’ing to protect and support and while it is also true that we have an abundance of resources, it does not follow that that is all we have to offer. In fact, we are now exporting/donating whole trees for next to nothing. Soon, LNG. Whether we have the plants, mills and value-added components to bring to bear is not really the point. The point is that only Timberwest benefits from selling raw trees in a world market that actually should leave the trees alone for awhile (we are deforesting faster than Brazil!). We may never compete with the likes of the GIANTS Ikea/GM/GE/andSiemens/Monsanto and Dow but we don’t want to. We want to compete with Whole Foods and Silicon Valley, Hollywood and we want to do so with good transportation and innovative technology. We only have to invest in some mid-level infrastructure to make Canada somewhat more viable and self reliant again. To me, it is NOT either/or. Look at Finland and Nokia. Switzerland with watches and chocolate, South Korea with BIG names as well. Canadians CAN do more than just carry water and hew wood and pump fossil fuels.
Hmmmmm…….paleoCon, eh? Like in prehistoric, dumb-as-sloth, cave-man? ‘Ya eat whacha kill?’ If that is the usage, it seems right on to me. Rape and kill and survive off the fat o’ the land. And we tend to think of politicians as sophisticated in a Machiavellian kind of way when, in fact, it is simply the reptilian in them.
It might be science denialism as a way to avoid dealing with an uncomfortable truth. Bart Simpson type thinking, “Don’t have a cow man!” “I didn’t do it.” Global warming is a myth.
Grandma used to say, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Prescient in economic terms. A diversified Canadian economy is more than aspirational in many parts of Canada, it is a reality. Look to Alberta to further build its high tech sector. Clean energy opportunities abound as do global markets for such innovation. Value added jobs might be added in the resource sectors. In our area a yellow cedar mill cuts premium specialist products for the Japanese market. Our educational system attracts international students world wide. Canada’s human capital is largely under employed or drained away to countries wanting highly educated workers. Perhaps Canadian corporations might consider paying interns living wages.