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.


  1. Egos rule the roost, Lorne. Critical thinking is a fossil from the past.

    1. And it is the curse of intelligence to bear witness to the ensuing folly, Owen.

  2. I think this public attitude of selfishness and "what's in it for me?" has found purchase in most states and provinces. I've sensed a general apathy toward what our actions portend for future generations even our own grandchildren. Their kids, our great-grandchildren are irrelevant. If the current generations had to experience the consequences of our actions we would behave entirely differently. It's hard to imagine that we can be so callous to nihilism.

    1. I, too, am floored by the egregious narcissism people today are displaying, Mound. it reminds me of something you have talked about on your blog, the lesson of Easter Island. When we consume the very things that make our continued existence possible, it is hard not to believe that the closing curtain is fast being drawn.