Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What If?

Last evening, I was watching the 6o'c lock news, distracted and perturbed by the howling winds (up to 100 kms. per hour) buffeting our windows. Here in Southern Ontario, about 100 kilometres from the snowstorm that has devasted Buffalo, I can perhaps be forgiven for feeling especially sensitive to increasingly frequent bouts of extreme weather linked to climate change.

Then I was overcome with a real anger whose origin I couldn't immediately identify. But as I thought about it, I realized that it was in part related to the prospect of a power outage, something we seem to experience here at least three or four times a year. There is nothing like a power outage to reduce us to an almost primal state, a state in which our facade of mastery of the universe is brutally stripped away. It is always a sobering and humbling opportunity to realize that, vis-à-vis nature, we are nothing.

Then I realized the real basis for my anger: all of the corporate and federal poltical hostility to taking meaningful action to try to keep the global rise in temperatures within 2 degrees Celsius, the uppermost limit that science tells us might prevent runaway and irreversible climate change.

While our overlords may safely (but temporarily) ensconce themselves as the worst comes to pass, the rest of us will be left to contemd with an increasingly harsh environment, all so that corporate entities can continue to amass record profits, taking all they can before the world as we know it disappears.

Then a thought occurred to me. The Salamander has frequently commented on how we need some powerful symbols, metaphors, and imagery around which opposition to the Harper agenda can coalesce. What if, for all the increasingly volatile weather, for all of the power outages, for all of the floods, for all of the "100-year storms," and for all of the other frequent natural disasters we are facing, Canadians place the blame where it belongs: let us affix pictures in our public consciousness (and in our advertising) that expose the corporate giants and their chief Canadian aider and abettor, Stephen Harper, for what they are: Protectors of a monied status quo that is dooming the rest of us to a life soon to become nasty, brutish, and perhaps short.

What if, when the next wallop of nature visits us, we think of it this way:

This storm is brought to you by Stephen Harper, who refuses to lift a finger to mitigate climate change.

Just a thought.


  1. I have already come to imagine them for what they are - criminals, predators - who construct a smokescreen of unfounded beliefs behind which they prey on the country, our people and generations to come. These aren't people who sense wrong or right, they have atrophied consciences. They're monsters and we're only just beginning to experience the absolute hell they're putting in store for our Canada.

    1. The more who can think of your description when they think of the Harper regime, Mound, the better.

    2. Lorne - Finally a blog entry that just doesn't bemoan the state we are in but also suggests a tool to use to fight back. Not in 2020 but could be used right now. It is up to all of us to suggest and act on small and large instraments, anything that will belittle the Harper Cons, lead by a coward in a closet is a step in the right direction

    3. You are absolutely correct, Norm. We all have a part to play fif we are to have any hope for the future.

  2. Here is an example (American) of how this could work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efAUCG9oTb8#t=145