Canada is a cultured, peaceful nation, which every so often allows a band of Neanderthals to trample over it. Timber firms were licensed to log the old-growth forest in Clayaquot Sound; fishing companies were permitted to destroy the Grand Banks: in both cases these get-rich-quick schemes impoverished Canada and its reputation. But this is much worse, as it affects the whole world. The government’s scheming at the climate talks is doing for its national image what whaling has done for Japan.
I will not pretend that this country is the only obstacle to an agreement at Copenhagen. But it is the major one. It feels odd to be writing this. The immediate threat to the global effort to sustain a peaceful and stable world comes not from Saudi Arabia or Iran or China. It comes from Canada. How could that be true?
I read Monbiot’s piece last night. This morning, this from an address delivered by Northrop Frye in 1975 to the Royal Society of Canada:
"The older generation to which I have finally become assigned, was brought up to think of Canada as a land of unlimited natural resources, an unloving but rich earth-mother bulging with endless supplies of nickel and asbestos, or, in her softer parts, with the kind of soil that would allow of huge grain and lumber surpluses. The result of such assumptions is that many of our major social problems are those of ecology, the extinction of animal species, the plundering of forests and mines, the pollution of water, as the hundreds of millions of years that nature took to build up our supplies of coal and oil are canceled out in a generation or two… We are the grave robbers of our own resources, and posterity will not be grateful to us."
So now, can anyone come up with a reasonable counter argument to these severe condemnations? An adequate justification for the profits, jobs and taxes that are created and drawn from Canada’s natural resources? If not then it may well be time to remove those maple leaves from the backpack.
Update: Speaking of reasonable: This from a lively comments thread following a story about fake Environment Canada news releases:
Snafu: It becomes reasonable only if you stop using economic reasoning for reasoning.
Canadiankilljoy: lol. Spoken like someone without a job or a family to feed. It’s not ‘economical reasoning’…it’s rational realistic reasoning. You sound like someone giving advice to a burning person: "It’s all in your mind, you aren’t really feeling any pain at all".
Maybe China can stop using economic reasoning as a reason….after all they’re supposed to be the communist ones.