Thursday, June 28, 2018

She Stands By Her Man

When we talk on the phone, my good friend Dave in Winnipeg often talks about the twin 'curse' of intelligence and education. Life would be so much easier, he says sardonically, without them.

I was thinking about Dave last night as I watched an NBC News report detailing the actions of one of Trump's legion. As a group, those people are indefatigable, and, to use a word favoured by the religiously insane, 'convicted' in Trump. And it becomes immediately apparent that the woman in the following video has 'escaped' the curses Dave speaks of.

Viewer Advisory: Do not watch if you have just eaten.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Neoliberal Friends With Benefits



Kinder Morgan couldn't have a better friend than Justin Trudeau:
Texas-based Kinder Morgan made a seven-fold return on the sale of its Trans Mountain pipeline system to Canada's federal government, according to a new report that also warns the federal budget deficit could jump by 36 per cent because of the purchase.

The project has an estimated $7.4 billion price tag, of which Kinder Morgan says it has already spent about $1 billion. But the IEEFA report estimates that the company has only put about $600 million into the project so far. It estimates the company will make a 637-per-cent gain on the $4.5-billion sale.

The federal government is on the hook for about $11.5 billion in costs, including both the purchase and the remaining cost of construction, the report estimates.

"This transaction and the cost of further planning and construction could add a $6.5 billion unplanned expenditure to Canada's budget during (fiscal year) 2019," the report stated. "This would increase Canada's projected deficit of $18.1 billion by 36 per cent. to $24.6 billion."
The magnitude of Liberal ineptitude is stunning:
"There is every indication that the Canadian government has bought the pipeline at a high price and is likely to resell it for far less than it will pay to build it," Tom Sanzillo, the institute's [Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis] director of finance, said in a statement.

"Canada is weakening its finances by taking on unlimited costs to buy an unneeded pipeline with an uncertain future and giving an unusual profit to a U.S. company," he added.
But hey. That's what happens when you elect a neoliberal government. But Justin still has nice hair.

Signs Of The Times



Monday, June 25, 2018

Trump's Amerika: "A Toxic Mix Of Senseless Cruelty And Corporate Greed"

The private-prison industry stands to make a fortune from Trump's immigration crackdown. This toxic mix of senseless cruelty and corporate greed means big profits.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Truth About Carbon Pricing

The taxation levels for carbon set by the federal government will likely prove wholly inadequate in getting people to modify their behaviour to combat climate change. However, given the exit of Ontario from its cap-and-trade program by the incoming populist and reactionary Doug Ford, the truth is, it's better than nothing:



This Star letter-writer, I think, has the correct perspective, one that should give us all pause:
Think of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions in terms of a leaky roof, with each country responsible for fixing its portion. Canada, with only 1/200th of the world’s population, has to fix only that little patch of roof.

However, the average Canadian emits about 20 tonnes of GHGs per year, compared to 6.9 tonnes in Europe on average, 7.7 tonnes in China, and 1.9 tonnes in India. That means Canada’s share of the roof is leaking three times as fast as Europe’s and 10 times faster than India’s!

Ford’s elimination of the price on carbon, the one tool proven effective in controlling emissions, is irresponsible.

We are all under the same roof, and we all have to do our part.

Alan Slavin, Otonabee, Ont.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Is This Really Something To Be Proud Of?



I find myself these days thinking about the beasts that have been unleashed upon society. In the United States, of course, it is Donald Trump who has made it acceptable to openly hate, mock, exclude and even kill. In Ontario, citizens have selected Doug Ford as their new premier. While both Trump and Ford masquerade as "for the people," they are really devoted only is unleashing the beast that resides in all of us, the most selfish and destructive aspects of humanity, for their own gain. All they have to do, as time goes on, is to find new targets for their diabolical agenda.

I was out walking, and a question occurred to me: What is it that people feel when they have had ample opportunity to spew their bile, vent their prejudices, vituperate a particular group or cause, or given the middle finger to succeeding generations by vociferously opposing any measures that might help mitigate the climate change that is quickly overtaking all of us? At least when we do something positive, whether it be a contribution to a cause, support for an issue, a personal kindness or gesture that recognizes and acknowledges our shared humanity, we are left at least a little enlarged, a little bigger inside for what we have attempted, maybe even a little more fulfilled.

What do those who choose to embrace the darkest paths feel?

Perhaps an appropriate frame, if not an answer, can be found from an episode of Breaking Bad, a series about a high school chemistry teacher who turns his resentments and the fact that he is dying into a crystal meth empire, one that ultimately costs countless lives. It was a show I was addicted to (no pun intended, well, okay, maybe a small one) despite the fact that it was the darkest meditation on human nature I have ever seen.

In the following scene, Jesse Pinkman, seduced into the crystal meth business by his former teacher, Walter White, have a discussion:
And this is where Jesse now found himself. Sat in his partner's living room, trying to set himself free from the life he could no longer be a part of, with Mr White not willing to allow him to go.

Finally, Walt spoke up again, his words hard and determined. And upon hearing them, Jesse knew he was fighting a battle he couldn't win.

"Jesse, you once asked me if I was in the meth business or the money business.” Walt looked up from his glass, and eyed Jesse. “I'm in the empire business.”

Jesse gaped back at him, and managed a small shake of his head. Bringing a hand up to cover his ever worsening head ache, he replied, “I don't know, Mr White. Is a meth empire really something to be that proud of?”
And that is the same question I pose here, in this later part of my life, looking at a world gone mad:

Is your embrace of a darkness that does nothing other than to weaken and to destroy really something to be proud of?

Friday, June 22, 2018

This Is What They Are Fleeing

While Trump and his apostles demonize the migrant families seeking sanctuary in the U.S. as rapists and drug dealers, here is a part of their reality the profoundly intolerant choose to ignore:

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Distemper Of Our Times



For one who naturally inclines toward dark brooding, these are not good times. But then, if people follow the news and keep themselves reasonably well-informed about our headlong plunge toward environmental and climate disaster, I cannot imagine too many being in a celebratory mood. Except perhaps in Ontario, where the populace turned its back on anything resembling responsible and mature government by electing Doug Ford and his 'Progressive' Conservatives.

Now they are starting to get what they paid for, although the long-term cost may ultimately lead them to buyer's regret. As Martin Regg Cohn reports,
The premier-in-waiting has declared an end to carbon pricing in Ontario — no cap and trade, no carbon tax, no fuss, no muss, no nothing. No matter.

Never mind Earth’s rising temperatures. Ontario’s gas prices are coming down, and that’s a Ford promise (forget rising world oil prices).

Ford vowed in the campaign that he is “for the people.” His victory surely proves his grasp of the political environment — if not the planetary one.
Populist that he is, he seems quite happy for citizens to pay upwards of $30 million in a Supreme Court battle against a federally-imposed carbon tax:
Win or lose, he triumphs either way. If the federal carbon tax is upheld and imposed in Ontario, Ford will earnestly claim that the devil (the Supreme Court) made him impose the carbon tax dreamed up by that other devil (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau). The Thirty Million Dollar Man will cast himself as the Thirty Million Dollar Martyr.
And what about the money from the cap-and-trade that was used to combat climate change? Gone.
The program’s website was been reduced to one page Tuesday. Under the headline “The following programs are closed,” the site now lists everything from residential solar, window and insulation rebates to smart thermostats and programs for businesses.
Also about to be terminated are the rebates for buying electric vehicles, which paid out as much as $14,000 to defray consumer costs and encourage non-polluting transportation.

Of course, some might argue that Ford Nation and the other quislings who voted for Dougie and his brood are simply taking their inspiration from the United States, which shows no signs of retreating from its own madness under Trump. The Hill reports the following:
President Trump is repealing a controversial executive order drafted by former President Obama that was meant to protect the Great Lakes and the oceans bordering the United States.

In his own executive order signed late Tuesday, Trump put a new emphasis on industries that use the oceans, particularly oil and natural gas drilling, while also mentioning environmental stewardship.

The order encourages more drilling and other industrial uses of the oceans and Great Lakes.

The order stands in contrast to Obama’s policy, which focused heavily on conservation and climate change. His policy was written in 2010, shortly after the deadly BP Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling explosion and 87-day oil spill.
As my literary hero Hamlet said, "The time is out of joint." Too bad so many are busy worshiping the golden calf to notice.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Days Like This

There are many days when I think that words no longer fork any lightning, and this blog would be more useful if I simply aggregated, without commentary, news items that seem important to me. This is one of those days.



Should you wish to read about this dreadful desecration, please click here.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

This, From The 'Greatest Country On Earth'

I guess when you live in that bastion of democracy, the United States of America, you must be mindful, shall we say, of an unwritten set of rules:
Rob Rogers has been working as the editorial cartoonist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for the past 25 years. On Thursday, he was fired.

A little less than two weeks ago, the The Inquirer ran a story about how the Post-Gazette had been shutting down Rogers’ cartoons since March, when Keith Burris took over as editorial director in a merger with the Toledo Blade.

It is unusual for a staff cartoonist to have an entire week’s worth of political cartoons spiked. Signe Wilkinson, the Inquirer and Daily News’ Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, said she has had just one cartoon killed in her tenure — a drawing that was spiked from the Inquirer but ran in the Daily News.

Rogers’ cartoons were replaced in print by the work of syndicated artists and three cartoons by Toledo Blade staff cartoonist Kirk Walters. In last Tuesday’s paper, under a cartoon about gun control by syndicated cartoonist Robert Ariail, Rogers was listed as having “the day off.”

What was wrong with Roberts’ cartoons? He posted them to his Twitter account. Maybe we can find a pattern?







I guess Rogers did not get the memo that freedom of speech is not absolute, especially when it comes to holding 'Dear Leader' to account.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Short-Term Gain For Long, Long-Term Pain



I will readily admit to readers that I am not by nature one who sees the glass as half-full; however, since the June 7th provincial election of Doug Ford, which revealed that far too many of my fellow-citizens are quite happy to enter into Faustian pacts, my natural tendency toward brooding pessimism has intensified.

And With Good Reason.

A post-election analysis reveals how debased the electorate has become:
Ontarians handed Doug Ford a strong Progressive Conservative majority because they feel he best understands their pocketbook struggles and trust him to take quick action on excess government spending, says a revealing post-vote study by Navigator Ltd.

“If on the first day he calls in the auditors and cuts 10 cents off the gas tax he’ll be off to a very good start,” said Jaime Watt.
Despite the kind of magical thinking his promises require, voters responded with enthusiasm to Ford's vows to offer an array of money-saving schemes with no plan to pay for them, other than a promised $6 billion in efficiencies, code for massive cuts that those with even a mdicum of critical-thinking skills understand.

But probably the most depressing aspect of the Navigator study is that Ford supporters don't really give a damn about anyone but themselves:
Voters were less concerned with longer-term issues like infrastructure, pharmacare and anything aimed at the next generation — a factor that could have implications for upcoming municipal and federal election campaigns...

With an attitude like that, Ford Nation will be in its glory, at least for the short-term. At the start of July, Ford intends to recall the legislature to end the York University strike and
implement his planned 10-cents-per-litre reduction in gas prices.

He is hoping to achieve that by cutting the provincial excise tax and scrapping Ontario’s cap-and-trade program with Quebec and California.

While withdrawing from the climate change pact could take 18 months, Tories believe the taxes can be cut before Ontario exits the greenhouse-gas reduction program.
Turning his back on climate change abatement and adaptation will undoubtedly elicit paroxysms of joy, but, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for:
Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting at a rapidly increasing rate, now pouring more than 180 billion tonnes of ice into the ocean annually and raising sea levels a half-millimetre every year, a team of 80 scientists reported Wednesday.

The melt rate has tripled in the past decade, the study concluded. If the acceleration continues, some of scientists’ worst fears about rising oceans could be realized, leaving low-lying cities and communities with less time to prepare than they had hoped.
But what do facts mean to the people devoted to a provincial Wizard of Oz? Probably as much as they do to those who see no paradox in a prime minister who says that we can meet our climate-change goals at the same time we buy up and expand pipelines to extract more bitumen from the tar sands of Alberta.

Clearly, we are no longer in Kansas.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

How Do You Get In A Fight With Canada?

So asks Seth Myers. To which he answers, "That's like holding a grudge against a Golden Retriever puppy."



Or, to put it even more succinctly,

Monday, June 11, 2018

First-Past-The-Post: An Ontario Horror Story



Has Justin Trudeau not betrayed his promise of electoral reform, perhaps all provinces would be seriously considering it for their own jurisdictions, not just British Columbia and Quebec.

And now Ontario is about to reap the full horror of the first-past-the-post system: a clown (no doubt accompanied by seltzer bottle and whoopee cushion) about to plant himself in the premier's chair. Despite that province having rejected an opportunity for reform in 2007, The Star's Mitch Potter suggests that result could have an impacct on people's thinking:
Thursday’s outcome in Ontario — with the clear majority of voters, nearly 60 per cent, now on the outside, looking in — makes the province prime hunting ground for activists now looking to enlist the province in the reform momentum taking hold elsewhere in Canada.

“We see a shining silver lining in this terrible mood in Ontario, where you now have a government most of the people don’t want that will be doing things that most of the people don’t want,” said Réal Lavergne, president of Fair Vote Canada, a grassroots organization of 70,000 people coast-to-coast that advocates for proportional representation.

“We don’t wish that upon the people of Ontario, but we will hit the ground running, we will parlay it. There’s an opportunity to help people better understand how the status quo distorts the ideal of equal and effective votes for all.”

Fair Vote Canada held its annual general meeting in Ottawa on Saturday, poring over the entrails of the Ontario results. The organization itemized the shortcomings, noting that 52 per cent of Ontario voters essentially elected no one at all.
Such widespread disenfranchisement, and its resulting effect of voter alienation, does nothing for the health of a democracy.
And finally, it is clear that Ontario's dire state, laid bare by a bit of numbers-crunching by letter-writer Tony D’Andrea of Toronto, cries out for remediation.
Albert Einstein, who knew something about time and place, said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

So, welcome to electoral insanity — the Ford Nation brought to Ontario by its first-past-the-post style of democracy. Thus Premier-designate Ford, who was just elected by 40 per cent of voters who didn’t care that he doesn’t have a plan, has now been empowered to reverse or nullify the progressive plans of the 58 per cent who voted for Ontario to not become the populist regressive Nation of Ford.

Such is the sorry state of politics in Ontario. Once again, the legitimate power to rule determined by FPTP means that there is a disconnect between a majority government and its corresponding match with actual Ontarians.

Actually, since only 58 per cent of the eligible individuals cast their votes, it means that just 23 per cent of them voted for Ford. Consequently, his victory is representative of less than a quarter of the population. Yet Ford has a mandate to do whatever he politically chooses to do. And, although this is not illegal, it most certainly doesn’t add up democratically.

There is an urgency for the public to hurry up and discover that the math governing our elections makes a travesty of our democratic principles.
As one can see, not all horror stories are confined to the realm of fiction.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Vox Populi

While many will be fixated on the latest soap-opera installments that politics now regularly yields, such as the outrageous behaviour of Trump at the G6+1, or the strange elevation to power of Doug Ford in Ontario, others are not so easily diverted, as these letter-writers demonstrate:


As an atmospheric physicist and an active climate-change researcher, I find the conduct of the Justin Trudeau government in this regard disgusting and appalling. If we are looking for a visionary leader who would lead us from a fossil-fuel-based (and environmentally destructive) economy to a sustainable and clean low-carbon economy in Canada, then Trudeau is not that person.

When Trudeau was elected, there was a sense of hope in doing our part as a nation to really start reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I have followed the United Nations’ COP meetings with a great deal of interest, and Canada promised achievable objectives in the Paris Agreement. These objectives do not seem achievable now.

Kaz Higuchi, environmental studies professor, York University, Toronto

I find it appalling that the government is using taxpayers’ money to benefit a corporation. This makes me realize how influential the corporations really are and how insignificant are the voices of Indigenous people and the thousands of others opposing this pipeline.

How can the government turn a blind eye to the harmful effects this pipeline may pose? Oil spills are an inevitable consequence.

I wish there were some mechanism to determine how I want my taxes used. I am definitely not paying them so a corporation can build an oil pipeline to endanger the environment of a province with some of the most beautiful coastlines in the country.

Sneha Singh, Mississauga

Pierre Berton’s The Last Spike captured a moment when the Canadian government was in the railroad- building business. Now, Ottawa has entered its pipeline era. Will, at some point, Berton’s book get a sequel, perhaps The Last Spill?

Ken Luckhardt, Etobicoke

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Golem Of Ontario



I just finished reading a book by Jordan Tannahill, entitled Liminal. Here is an excerpt that, given the Ontario election results, seems an appropriate parable. I offer it without further commentary:
He mentioned being totally transfixed by an old Yiddish story about the Clay Boy, a variation of the golem, in which a lonely elderly couple made a little boy out of clay. Much to their delight, the clay boy came to life and the couple treated him as their real child. But the clay boy didn't stop growing. He ate all of their food, their animals, and eventually the elderly couple too, before rampaging through the village.
Thus endeth the lesson.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Note To Justin

Because it is 2018, instead of buying leaky pipelines on the taxpayer's dime, maybe you should enter the modern era and emulate China:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

His Hypocrisy Is Breathtaking



Perhaps he is counting on a fawning international press and a somnolent Canadian public. Perhaps he is counting on those who put partisan loyalties above all else. Or maybe he thinks his dazzling smile will continue to beguile. It may be any or all of these that are leading the Prime Minister to believe that his arrant hypocrisy on climate change will go unnoticed. Whatever it is, one thing is undeniable: Justin Trudeau has absolutely no shame.

As reported by The Globe and Mail (article not available online unless you subscribe or have access to the digital replica through your public library), Canada's leader plans to tell the rest of the G7 at the upcoming summit to step up their game on climate-change mitigation:
The G7 leaders are being urged to accelerate action on climate change, given that current commitments under the Paris accord are insufficient to meet the goal of limiting the increase in average global temperatures to less than 2-degrees Celsius.

However, Mr. Trudeau’s climate leadership credentials are under attack after last week’s pipeline deal, which aims to bolster the fortunes of the emissionsintensive oil sands sector.

Canadian environmentalists argue the Liberal government’s support for the Trans Mountain pipeline and growth in the oil sands is inconsistent with its international commitments on climate change.
Yanick Touchette, a policy adviser with the International Institute for Sustainable Development co-authored a report assessing the level of subsidies given by G7 governments to the fossil fuel industry. Although it was written before before the Trudeau-Morneau acquisition of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the ugly truth is that the
Canadian government support for the oil and gas industry is the highest in the G7, when measured by size of the economy...
“It’s all the more reason to provide more transparency regarding the overall picture of support to the oil and gas industry … and come up with a plan how Canada plans to meet its commitments to remove inefficient [fossil-fuel] subsidies.”
Not of this is escaping the notice of some very influential forces:
A group of international investors – including some prominent Canadian institutions – are calling on the G7 leaders to increase their efforts – “with utmost urgency” – to reduce carbon emissions and encourage investment in low-carbon energy sources in order to meet Paris targets.
Ceres, an American non-profit that contributed to crafting the statement on behalf of institutional investors, is led by Mindy Lubber:
Ms. Lubber suggested that Mr. Trudeau’s support for the oil sands pipeline is misguided both financially and from an environmental perspective.

...she argued the government-backed pipeline could become a money-losing venture in the long term as the world moves to reduce its use of fossil fuels.

“We are convinced that more money put into the oil sands, in the tens of billions of dollars, are very likely to become stranded assets,” she said in an interview.
All the signs are pointing in a direction opposite to what Mr. Trudeau's braintrust has told him is a viable path forward. Like Icarus flying too close to the sun, this decision, and the one who made it, appear headed for disaster.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Another Protest Against Kinder Morgan Pipeline

This time, it is in front of the constituency of Trudeau's Justice Minister and Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould:


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Our Naked Prime Minister



Disingenuous, Dishonest, Cynical. Calculating. Choose any or all of those adjectives, and you will have an apt assessment of Justin Trudeau and his decision to nationalize the Kinder Morgan pipeline that will ultimately see an almost tripling of bitumen transported to Canada's West Coast. It is a move that does not well with either Thomas Homer-Dixon or Yonatan Strauch. Neither is afraid to declare that the emperor has no clothes.

Their argument is compelling:
Continued investment in the oil sands generally, and in the Trans Mountain pipeline specifically, means Canada is doubling down on a no-win bet. We’re betting that the world will fail to meet the reduction targets in the Paris Climate Agreement, thus needing more and more oil, including our expensive and polluting bitumen. We’re betting, in other words, on climate disaster. If, however, the world finally gets its act together and significantly cuts emissions, then Canada will lose much of its investment in the oil sands and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, because the first oil to be cut will be higher-cost oil such as ours.

Heads or tails, we lose. That’s the idiocy of it. We can’t have our lucrative oil sands profits and a safe climate, too.
Both Homer-Dixon and Strauch see through Trudeau's lie than we can have our climate cake and eat it too:
Canada has no plan to meet its 2030 Paris Agreement emission targets, because it’s virtually impossible to do so if the oil sands’ output rises to Alberta’s cap of 100 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year....Scenarios to limit warming to 2 degrees, the Paris Agreement’s bottom-line target, clearly show that oil demand must decline.
When considered against rapidly-rising world temperatures, Trudeau's crime has a magnitude that puts him beyond even a modicum of sympathy:
We’ve already jumped from an equilibrium climate – the benign and largely stable climate that allowed our species to propagate and prosper over thousands of years – to a climate regime that’s constantly on the move, with temperatures shooting inexorably upward.

The German climatologist and oceanographer Stefan Rahmstorf puts it bluntly: “We are catapulting ourselves way out of the Holocene.” If humanity stays on its current climate trajectory, he goes on, “we will not recognize our Earth by the end of this century.”
It will become a world in which any efforts at adaptation will be puny and pitiable:
... adaptation measures such as better flood protection or a little economic tinkering at the edges, such as a modest carbon tax, don’t remotely cut it. We face an implacable imperative: Humanity either undertakes fast and deep cuts in its carbon emissions or, some time later this century, civilization starts to unravel.
The prognosis is grim. It is time for all who care about succeeding generations and the radically-changed existence they will inherit to see Trudeau for what he ultimately is: an enemy of the planet.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled: The Reverend Jim Bakker Has Your Back

Worried, my friends, about the coming Apocalypse? Cast the devil of doubt out. Banish those fears. The Reverend Jim Bakker shows you how:

Live: Pipeline Protest From Whistler

Clearly, Mr. Trudeau's "sunny ways" do not dazzle everyone.

Justin Trudeau: A Reality Check



While Canadians are rightfully applauding the retaliatory tariffs the Trudeau government will be imposing on the United States, my concern is that distraction will diminish the outrage that same government's nationalization of the Kinder Morgan pipeline has engendered. Far too many people, it seems, are incapable or unwilling to hold two conflicting opinions simultaneously, our preference for absolutist thinking often winning out.

Solid journalism and astute letter-writers, it is hoped, will keep the climate-change betrayal of Justin Trudeau in the public's eye and mind.

Today's Star does its best on several fronts. Here is what a Millenial has to say:
After the crippling rage and ensuing cynicism I’ve harboured since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s callous electoral reform betrayal last year, I didn’t feel anything at all when I found out he was buying a $4.5-billion pipeline.

How silly of me to think that, in 2019, I would finally be able to vote for someone who would take our carbon budget seriously, and have it actually count toward something other than a tally of the other conscious voters who also wasted their ballot.

When Trudeau went to Paris, he made a major commitment to the rest of the world on our behalf. It was a commitment that his Liberals evidently had no intention of keeping (much like electoral reform), as he preached sanctimoniously to other countries of its critical imperative. Trudeau has made self-righteous liars out of all of us, and many don’t seem to care.

How silly of me to think that Canadians would eventually be embarrassed by the global community’s disapproval of our myopic selfishness, as we refuse to even stop growing our oil industry, let alone phase it out.

I am 34 and live in Toronto. A large portion of my meagre paycheque is depleted by riding expensive public transit, buying expensive vegan groceries and renting a tiny, overpriced apartment. But I don’t mind forking over the money because I feel like I am doing my part to help tackle climate change. After all, our governments are busy subsidizing more important things with their share of my cheque, I’m told. How silly of me.

Once a year, I try to take a camping trip to get away from the grind and pretend that I am living in harmony with nature for a few days. This month, I’ll bring my tent to Burnaby Mountain, along with some hard-earned cash that I have set aside to help pay the salaries of those who will arrest and fine me when I get there. At least I can say I helped create jobs, right?

Alykhan Pabani, Toronto
Other writers express similar cynicism and disappointment about a man who promised so much and delivered so little:
Your pro-pipeline editorial states: “To be clear: The new pipeline should be built, or more precisely, expanded.”

I am at a loss as to why the Star would make such a statement when this particular investment in, and expansion of, the Trans Mountain pipeline flies in the face of the Justin Trudeau government’s platform to help Canada (and the world) transition to more of a green-energy economy.

When we expand our investment in fossil fuels by a massive amount, we are obviously moving Canada away from transitioning toward a green economy. Canada has already generously supported the oil industry in a multitude of ways through enormous subsidies, etc. By expanding pipelines and thus promoting the expanded use of fossil fuels, instead of shrinking our dependence on oil, we perpetuate the status quo, which has our planet sitting at the verge of collapse.

If our federal government intended to expand its investment in green technologies and help us transition to a more environmentally feasible energy base, it would not have blown the bank to support this pipeline. Where will the money come from to support green industries and initiatives?

When the sustainability of our planet and our children’s future is at stake, Trudeau’s boldest move should have taken a completely different direction. I am so disappointed.

Fran Bazos, Newmarket

It is no surprise that a deal has been made for a pipeline to transport fossil fuels for financial gain. It seems there is no political party standing the slightest chance of forming a federal government that is prepared to turn its back on the enormous wealth buried below Alberta soil — no one prepared to leave the pristine boreal forests in the ground where they belong.

The resulting toxicity to the land in which we live and breathe, native land rights and the increased world dependence on non-renewable energy sources seem to have no influence on the decision-making process. It’s big business that dictates decisions and the policymakers will ride roughshod over anyone who gets in the way.

Timothy Phillips, Toronto

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has obviously forgotten, or disregarded, what most scientists have preached repeatedly, that keeping fossil fuels in the ground is essential if we are to save our planet. He is planning to ship our dirty oilsands to be burned in Asia, and then claim that Canada is adhering to our commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change. Ethical?

Ross McCallum, Toronto
Finally, Jennifer Wells offers a history lesson on Kinder Morgan and draws this conclusion:
As for history, what it shows is there was a time and place for pipeline talk. The prime minister is gambling on the merits of using the expansion as a bridge to a climate-conscious future. That might have worked decades ago. Today it leaves the young PM sounding very ’80s
.