Thursday, June 01, 2017
Maybe George Bush Was Onto Something
Remember how, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then president George w. Bush told the world that, in the fight against terrorism, "you're either with us or you're with the terrorists"? Bush overplayed his hand on that one. Many nations, most in fact, managed to sit out Bush's wars without end in Afghanistan and Iraq while not siding with the terrorists either. It just wasn't their fight.
There is a different fight underway now that has nothing to do with al Qaeda or ISIS, one that affects us all - every nation, every human being - our global civilization. It makes all the terrorism of the past 25 years look almost inconsequential and it's so dangerous that it threatens us and most life on Earth with extinction.
It's the fight against climate change, the fight for a survivable future for our young people and the generations to follow them. It's a fight where you truly are with humanity or against humanity.
Because it's a fight that demands of every nation and every individual positive action, it's a fight that you can't sit out. There is no neutrality in this fight. I wish that wasn't true. I wish there was a way to sit out this one but I can't see how there could be.
We know where the United States of Trump stands. That much was clear when Trump delivered America's Environmental Protection Agency into the hands of its mortal enemy, Scott Pruitt.
Now we've got this Paris climate accord which is really a lot less significant than it seems. In a way it's a lot like that "Purity Ball" thing they do in the States where father and daughter get all dressed up, go to a formal ball at which the daughter vows to her dad that she won't give it up before marriage and old dad pledges that he'll damn well see to that. What's that they say about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions?
Trump is expected to pull America out of the Paris accord today but, so what? Would it be better if Trump said the U.S. would stay in the deal but carried on with his environmental rampage anyway? Hey, we've got a prime minister who says we're committed to the Paris deal and he'll prove it by facilitating the expansion, extraction and export of western bitumen to world markets.
Maybe that's the difference between Trump and Trudeau. Trump won't pretend. He'll be up front about it while Trudeau tells us that the path to a green future for Canada involves massive exports of the highest-carbon ersatz oil to be had. That sure sounds like one of those purity oaths to me.
So where does that leave us whether we're American or Canadian? As I said earlier, this is an issue where you're either with civilization, mankind itself, or against it.
In Canada we've had some real success stories but they're mainly at the provincial and municipal levels. Municipal and some provincial governments are trying to take us in the right direction but Ottawa? They're going even faster in the other direction. The feds can't see Canada as something other than a petro-state just as they can't see a political economy other than neoliberal.
So before you go ballistic on Trump today, take a hard look at what's going on in our own backyard.