|As I predicted, the new right-wing minority Prime Minister has moved quickly to abandon environmental protection in Canada and to try to force-feed Canadians his long-held neocon ideology.
One of Harper’s first moves was to renege on Canada’s commitment to Kyoto, and he did so in the typical neocon weaselly way: Rather than withdrawing, he simply announced that the extremely modest baby-step Kyoto targets to stem global warming were ‘completely unattainable’, and so his government would not even try to meet those targets. Fifteen Kyoto programs that were in place have already been scrapped by the new government. A scientist who has written a novel on the dangers of global warming was prohibited by Harper from launching it, because he works for the Department of the Environment. Gag rule.
Instead, Harper has joined a toady US/corporatist group which promotes technology-change-only solutions — in other words, pollute all you want until someone comes up with a better pollution control technology, and then adopt it voluntarily. This is not only irresponsible, it is inconsistent with his party’s election platform. The lies have begun.
While Harper fiddles, critical environmental issues in Canada keep burning, and are now likely to be ignored completely. As I’ve reported before, the Alberta Tar Sands project is nothing less than an environmental holocaust, and is almost entirely ‘self-regulated’ by the Big Oil companies clearcutting huge swaths of Northern Alberta forests and leaving behind toxic swamps. Regulations over forestry in all five Canadian provinces with significant forestry industries are woefully inadequate. Last week the Sierra Legal Defence Fund published the results of its survey of municipal sewage treatment — Montreal and Vancouver, two of Canada’s three largest cities, are decades away from proper treatment, and Victoria & St. John’s, at opposite ends of the country, continue to have no treatment at all, dumping a combined 67 billion litres per year of raw sewage into the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans respectively.
A recent special study covered extensively last week in the Toronto star showed the average Canadian has in their body 28 carcinogens, 24 hormone disruptors, 18 respiratory toxins and 46 reproductive and developmental toxins, in quantities significant enough to have an adverse effect on health. Most of the test subjects in the study had no known work-related exposures to these toxins — this chemical soup is in all our bodies.
And don’t even get me started (again) on Canada’s disgraceful animal welfare, hunting and fishing laws and regulations.
As the environment and public health are abandoned, Harper instead is dutifully doing the bidding of the Bush neocons, introducing new ‘protocols’ even before he starts enacting regressive legislation. In his most shameful act, Harper has prohibited government buildings from lowering flags to half-mast when Canadians are killed in the futile war in Afghanistan, and has prohibited the media from attending or reporting on military funerals. The Canadian media, not used to strongarm tactics from our governments, are likely to meekly obey the new restrictions. They have already acceded to the new, more restrictive, formal, ‘spin’-focused contact protocols Harper has mandated between media and federal ministers. “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” if and when we have something to tell you, is the message.
And, also as I predicted, with each new bill he introduces (starting, of course, with tax cuts) Harper is openly daring the opposition to bring down his minority government, in the hopes that Canadians, fed up with too many recent elections, would give him a majority if they were forced to the polls again. He is wrong. Unfortunately the leaderless opposition Liberals are in such disarray that they are likely to allow Harper to continue this brinkmanship politics to introduce more and more neocon ‘protocols’, deficit-producing handouts to rich friends, and non-enforcement of regulations (you know, the Bush way), until the Liberals’ leadership convention in December.
An ideological extremist, even with a minority government, can do a lot of irreparable damage in six months.Oh Canada, what have you done?
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My Bio, Contact Info, Signature PostsAbout the Author (2016)
--- My Best 100 Posts --
Preparing for Civilization's End:
What Would Net-Zero Emissions Look Like?
Why Economic Collapse Will Precede Climate Collapse
Being Adaptable: A Reminder List
A Culture of Fear
What Will It Take?
A Future Without Us
Dean Walker Interview (video)
The Mushroom at the End of the World
What Would It Take To Live Sustainably?
The New Political Map (Poster)
Complexity and Collapse
Save the World Reading List
What a Desolated Earth Looks Like
Giving Up on Environmentalism
The Dark & Gathering Sameness of the World
The End of Philosophy
The Boiling Frog
What to Believe Now?
Conversation & Silence
The Language of Our Eyes
Cultural Acedia: When We Can No Longer Care
Several Short Sentences About Learning
Why I Don't Want to Hear Your Story
A Harvest of Myths
The Qualities of a Great Story
The Trouble With Stories
A Model of Identity & Community
Not Ready to Do What's Needed
A Culture of Dependence
So What's Next
Ten Things to Do When You're Feeling Hopeless
No Use to the World Broken
Living in Another World
Does Language Restrict What We Can Think?
The Value of Conversation Manifesto Nobody Knows Anything
If I Only Had 37 Days
The Only Life We Know
A Long Way Down
No Noble Savages
Figments of Reality
Too Far Ahead
The Rogue Animal
How the World Really Works:
If You Wanted to Sabotage the Elections
Collective Intelligence & Complexity
Ten Things I Wish I'd Learned Earlier
The Problem With Systems
Against Hope (Video)
The Admission of Necessary Ignorance
Several Short Sentences About Jellyfish
A Synopsis of 'Finding the Sweet Spot'
Learning from Indigenous Cultures
The Gift Economy
The Job of the Media
The Wal-Mart Dilemma
The Illusion of the Separate Self:
Did Early Humans Have Selves?
Nothing On Offer Here
Even Simpler and More Hopeless Than That
What Happens in Vagus
We Have No Choice
Never Comfortable in the Skin of Self
Letting Go of the Story of Me
All There Is, Is This
A Theory of No Mind
The Ever-Stranger (Poem)
The Fortune Teller (Short Story)
Non-Duality Dude (Play)
Your Self: An Owner's Manual (Satire)
All the Things I Thought I Knew (Short Story)
On the Shoulders of Giants (Short Story)
Calling the Cage Freedom (Short Story)
Only This (Poem)
The Other Extinction (Short Story)
Disruption (Short Story)
A Thought-Less Experiment (Poem)
Speaking Grosbeak (Short Story)
The Only Way There (Short Story)
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The Opposite of Presence (Satire)
How to Make Love Last (Poem)
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