Thursday, 1 November 2018

Premier Ford versus the Future

Sometime, I'd guess about 40 years ago, conservatives in general, and Progressive Conservative Party in particular, decided to stop conserving the health and well-being of the environment. (The same goes for 'conservatives' and Republicans in the U.S.)
They claim that their Party and philosophy is to support people's health and well-being. They have repeatedly claimed to want to give people jobs. They repeatedly claim that you want to put money into people's pockets, presumably so they can lead enjoyable lives.
And yet, in the face of reality, they have made a number of ill-conceived decisions that run directly against these goals and against Ontarians short and long-term best interests.
In my world, very educated people who have devoted their lives and careers to the study of climate and economics, people who know much more about these things than the typical voter, are telling us that our sprawl-based, car-dependent lifestyles, which involves paving over, and thus permanently destroying, the finest farmland in Canada, is both untenable and disastrous, both in the near and long-term future. These same experts give us effective means to change this behaviour and still provide for a decent standard of living for the long-term foreseeable future, and yet, for reasons I cannot fathom, they have rejected these entirely out-of-hand, even through they would seem to fit naturally with their often-touted goals and philosophy.
In the last few months they have:
  • Rejected renewable energy. This is a poor decision because cheap, non-renewable energy sources are all in decline and are ceasing to be cheap. Soon they will cease to be available. No energy, dirty or otherwise, will leave Ontario in poverty. Is that their real goal, then, to lord it over a mass of impoverished serfs? According to history, that will not be their fate.
  • Slashed environmental initiatives. We are witnessing increased numbers of intense storms around the planet, exactly according to the predictions made over 100 years ago, and exactly according to detailed studies made in the 1970s. The environment is changing in ways that will make it impossible to do more than just survive in abject poverty like the Easter Islanders. Is that to be their legacy? Perhaps they are comforted by the idea that eventually, no one in the subsistence culture surviving in our ruins will even remember their names or know anything about us, and so escape the censure in the future.
  • Made it free to pollute. Possibly they are imagining some 'good old days' circa 1950 when environmental regulations were not so onerous and conclude that the lack of controls was the cause of this sense of prosperity and expectation? There is a reason why all these environmental regulations came into force to prevent pollution within a decade: because the people who were alive in this purported golden age quickly found themselves dying miserably of pollution after a short time.
  • Fought a national carbon price that would put money in people’s pockets. Possibly they are thinking of the typical Liberal pattern of pretending to do one thing, then producing legislation that does not quite achieve that goal, and which, according to the rule of unintended consequences, produces no real benefit to anyone but their big supporters. Is that why they are opposed to the scheme, because they despise the people who suggest it? So, instead of producing a better one, instead of taking the advice of the world's best economists, they scrap the whole idea in what appears to be a childish fit of pique.

They don't even have the courage to even discuss their point of view. As a general rule, if someone wants to just shut down any opposition, it's because their point of view is, itself, indefensible.

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