This column was originally prepared by the South Eastman Transition Initiative. Go to setimanitoba.org.
By David Dawson
When this column started many years ago it was all about lifestyle, hence the title Rethinking Lifestyles. It was about gardening, recycling, composting, and preserving foods etc – mostly rural activities that were common previously but have been lost through urbanization, supermarkets and cheap factory-made food. Recently the emphasis in our writings has moved more towards climate change issues. It has never been a political column but it is hoped the editors will permit this minor incursion into matters political considering the dire circumstances we are in.
‘Our Conservative Plan’, put out by MP, Mr. Ted Falk, appeared in a recent edition of The Carillon. It talks about balancing the budget, reducing taxes and abolishing the Carbon Tax: it talks about building the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and building a new west to east pipeline (which would be a disaster for Manitoba’s aquifers and has already been rejected). Yet there is absolutely nothing, repeat, nothing in their plan about dealing with global warming and CO2 emissions. The whole thing is a vote-grabbing gimmick aimed at individuals that are attracted to these fancy words as if they were junk food. You cannot balance the budget and reduce taxes without causing huge unemployment. It’s not possible.
At the end of their Plan was an invitation to call Ted Falk’s office, which I did. When I asked why there was nothing in it about cutting greenhouse gas emissions, I was told that the Conservative Party would issue its plan before the parliamentary summer recess. This implies that they currently don’t have a plan and probably never have had one. I asked the man on the phone if he had children, to which he replied, yes. I then asked him what he thought about the young people across the world, including Canada, that are going on school strike to pressure politicians to act. His reply was that kids just wanted a day off school! To me that is a disgusting attitude and so demeaning of the children. Here are school children, who, being powerless without a vote, are fighting and pushing in the only way they can for their own future, yet this man totally dismissed them.
The same Conservative rubbish is in the current May edition of the Dawson Trail Dispatch. However, on the same page there is a first class article by Lee Guetre and well worth reading. One thing he points out is that the costs incurred by the out-of-control forest fires in BC, the devastation of Fort McMurray and the very recent floods in Quebec and New Brunswick far exceed the carbon tax. We have screwed up one planet and going to Mars to screw up another is not an option. We now have the tough job of fixing Earth. Frankly the Conservative plan does nothing towards this and I think it will actually make things worse for our children and grandchildren. We should leave the oil in the ground and spend our money on renewable energy.