Bleakness abounds. Politicians with considerable power turn away. Mammon rules with asymptotically growing crudity, cruelty and excess, even without Trump in “power.” No big surprise that American “democracy” is a crock if one’s eyes are truly open to HRC’s portrayal by Wikileaks. We have learned nothing from the fascism of the past and, ironically, we minions who have benefitted from neocolonial atrocities committed upon others around the globe for over a century will, in turn, be ground under.
So wrong on so many levels.
And, President-Elect Trump, the idea of Greatness in the old-fashioned, Roman sense of economic growth and world dominance, is meaningless. In a finite biosphere, growth, as we have known it, is unsustainable. Get over it.
First: Naomi Klein has laboured for 5 years and come out with a new book called This Changes Everything. I have pre-ordered it from our big Canadian book chain as it comes out soon. Klein was just interviewed about this book by Michael Enright on his great Sunday morning program, The Sunday Edition. You can listen to the podcast here. Klein argues in her book that nothing short of a revolution is needed to remove the current impasse between where we need to be (i.e. in a sustainable biosphere) and where our capitalism-dominated model will inevitably keep us until we run out of oxygen. We could have taken a gradual route to sustainability had we taken action in the late eighties when the problem became obvious to anyone with a brain connected to a heart, but now no gradual options are left. Years ago I used the analogy of putting on the brakes before our runaway species careens into Mother Earth’s equivalent of a brick wall. A gentle slowdown vs flying through the windshield.
Bill Clinton’s America held out for a market-driven solution – LULUCF-based carbon sinks – as the basis for the doomed 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Ironically, after insisting on this complicated approach, they never signed the treaty.
I was saddened to hear that The Sunday Edition has been shortened from three hours to two. I had hoped that the best of CBC radio would somehow escape the partisan, anti-CBC financial butchering performed by Harper’s regime. Michael’s interviews are long enough to intelligently explore an issue. As a result, the 2-hour format limits the program to two in-depth conversations.
Second: I just received this really superb, easy-to-watch, four minute YouTube video produced by the Council of Canadians that efficiently (and charmingly) destroys the idea of building a pipeline to carry DILBIT (diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands) across Canada to our East Coast for export. Among other damning bits of info, the lively artboard presentation points out that the “cleanup” of Enbridge’s 2010 Kalamazoo oil spill is entering its fifth year and has already cost a billion dollars.
So where’s the hope in all that?
Well, I do still believe there is a chance (rapidly diminishing, of course) for humans to avoid being perhaps the first species on the planet to engineer its own extinction. The intelligent presentations about these two, related, huge and urgent issues I witnessed this week have combined to nudge me ever so slightly above my normal bed of depression and despair.
We are not faced by a dilemma – to shit or get off the pot. We are left with this single choice: to get off the pot, and fast.
David Suzuki’s insightful piece says that rail vs pipeline is the wrong question.
He focuses on real, simple, economic questions and asks rather, “Why?” or, at least, “Why Now.”
He includes links to support his point and allow the reader to read more if he/she wishes.
He stays away from the issue of dishonouring our promises made to our First Nations and the poisoning of their water, air, soil and people because, I assume, the arguments he makes stand strongly on their own.
Winning the political battle will not be easy without the involvement and courageous resistance of our First Nations, however, as FN lawyer, Pamela Palmater has argued strongly. I have summarized her position, and the full-blown attempt by Stephen Harper to wipe out their culture, here.
We accept it as normal that people who have never been on the land, who have no history or connection to the country, may legally secure the right to come in and (…) leave in their wake a cultural and physical landscape utterly transformed and desecrated
Wade Davis has a unique perspective on the issues brought to the fore in the challenge put to Stephen Harper’s blatantly aggressive attack on Canada’s sacred wilderness and the First Nations way of life.
I recommend this TED talk by way of introduction to his genius and passion.