22 April 2007

Happy Earth Day, except to the Goddamn Economists!

Canada's favourite homegrown enviro-propagandist, David Suzuki, has some advice to all Canadians:

"First of all, let's stop listening to the goddamn economists," he said. "Twenty per cent of the economy will disappear. It will cost more than World War I and World War II put together. We'll go into a kind of depression we've never, ever had in all of history." The CBC story containing that little ditty leads off:

Canadians are ready to pay a little extra to help deal with climate change, David Suzuki said Friday before a meeting with the federal environment minister. "I think they're willing to suck it in and accept that they're going to have to pay more but they want it to be fair," Suzuki said during a news conference in Ottawa.

Interesting idea, but he's not correct. Check out the poll over at CTV's website and recall this little ditty that I had up a month ago:

I don't know what is going on with these once-respected public figures, but the hysteria is getting louder by the day and ever-harder to digest rationally. General Canadian interest in "the environment" as an issue is superficial at least and passing at most. They see it on the news all the time, hear the message repeated that it's a pressing concern, and thus respond that it is an issue. It's little different from the turn of the century when "health care" was the dominant issue in multiple elections. Canadians love health care, they list it as a "Canadian value," yet in recent years there has been far less political emphasis on the system despite its continuing shortcomings.

Stephane Dion has referred to the environment issue as one of great urgency and said that every day that Stephen Harper is in office the situation will continue to worsen. You'd think that this would provide him an impetus to make a grab for power and force an election. Yet he and his party faithful are insistent that it is Harper and only Harper that wants an election. Contradictory message to say in the least.

I care about the environment and am regularly disgusted by the volume of litter that clutters the streets and sidewalks of Halifax. I try do my part: I recycle, I use public transit and my own two feet to get around, and I try to use as little electricity as possible (most electricity here in Nova Scotia is coal-generated). My "carbon footprint" (whatever that is) is a fraction of David Suzuki's or Al Gore's. I have political interests that I believe are a higher priority than "the environment," but that doesn't mean I go around tossing garbage in the streets or contributing to the problem. The people who are--self-appointedly--in charge of the environment movement are doing more to alienate regular people than to bring them in the fold with their hystrionics and bad advice.

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