No, my greatest anger is reserved for two groups, one of them being the politicians and their well-heeled enablers who facilitate either outright climate-change denial or, even more insidiously, now acknowledge it but doubt that it is caused by human activity. Hence, no need to change our reliance on fossil fuels or anything else about our earth-altering habits - it's out of our hands, goes the messaging.
The second target for my deep anger is the rest of us. Sure, as a society we may express concern, but as soon as measures are proposed that would constitute concrete action against ever-rising temperatures, outrage ensues. Consider the glee with which Conservative MP Michelle Rempel pounced on Linda McQuaig's recent assertion that much of the tarsands oil may have to be left in the ground if we are to keep the rise in global temperatures under two degrees Celsius. Rempel's Dark Lord and Master, Stephen Harper, quickly joined in the pile-on, saying such a statement shows that the NDP will “wreck our economy” and should never come to power.
But why do you think their triumphalism is so nakedly and unapologetically on offer? It's because they know that whatever veneer of noble intent and purpose we have can be easily pierced by raising the spectre of job loss, tax increases, and disruption of our profligate lifestyles, this, of course, despite the fact that those consequences, and much worse, are coming our way as runaway climate change takes hold.
That is also why people like Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau limit their references to climate change to platitudinous generalities.
Said Mr. Mulcair recently:
At a time when world leaders are negotiating new targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Mr. Mulcair said he wants to represent Canada in December when decisions are made in Paris.Note the similar stance taken by Trudeau:
“Nothing would make me more proud than to be there in December, as Prime Minister of Canada, to participate in the conference on climate change, to declare loud and clear that Canada will work with the world and not against the planet,” he said.
He would take the premiers with him to the Paris climate-change summit in December. By April 2016, he would hold a first minister’s conference to forge a consensus on emissions-reduction targets. He would commit “targeted federal funding” to help provinces reduce their emissions.Their timidity, of course, is predicated on the same boldness that galvanizes the Harperites: the knowledge that people are all for addressing climate change, as long as it doesn't impinge upon their lifestyle choices and economic statuses.
In the days of widespread church attendance, Sundays were devoted to uplifting messages, and in that regard my post falls far short. However, I will end on a positive note. One of the few things that keeps me from complete despair is the knowledge that there are those among us who are willing to put everything at risk, even their very lives, in service of their fellow humans. The above-mentioned firefighters are sterling proof of that. Now, if only the rest of us could awaken that noble potential ....