Monday, February 12, 2007


Having just read the email from caucus about our new "tough" greenhouse emissions policies, forgive me if I'm not impressed. You should know that Tony Blair brought in a "tough" greenhouse emissions policy in 1996 that promised to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% over 10 years. After 10 years emissions actually rose by 3%. Why? While individual cars and individual plants spewed out fewer noxious gases under Blair's tough restrictions, the NUMBER of cars and plants increased over that same decade thanks to a growing economy fuelled by a growing population. So the gains from emission controls were wiped out by growth. Noting that, 80 British MPs declared that climate change could only be defeated if we abandoned the paradigm of Economic Growth.
The NDP, like all the other parties, is committed to Economic Growth. Calling it "managed" growth, or "sustainable growth" or "smart growth" as your resident idiot caucus colleague Mr. Simpson does, does not disguise the fact that it is still growth. It is what will thwart all soft-green remedies to fight climate change and it is what is killing biodiversity everywhere on the planet. You cannot graft a Green Agenda on a political party committed to Economic Growth. Oxymorons will not suffice to dismiss the contradictions. The NDP, both nationally and provincially, likes to present itself as being on the cutting edge of change, but its core attachment is to an obsolete and lethal model of economic (dis)organization. Re-distributing income equitably within this model does not rescue it from needed abandonment. We can't make social justice our priority anymore. We're talking about saving the friggin’ environment that keeps us alive.
As far as my apparent obsession with Mr. Simpson goes, it's like this. Suppose the NDP critic for the Ministry of Children and Families were to tell me to my face that we could take a "balanced" approach to child-rearing. That is, parents could both "love" their children and have them horse-whipped at the same time. How would you expect me to react? If the Attorney-General critic or the MLA in charge of corrections made a statement in favour of corporal punishment for children, I would be very surprised , but if it came from you I would be appalled and outraged. When Mr. Simpson speaks to me of " managed growth" he is talking the same kind of outrageous double-talk. I just can't get over the fact that he is leader Carol James' idea of an Environment critic.

I have said enough to you on this subject, no doubt you are tired of reading it, if indeed you do. Given your crushing work schedule and travel obligations, I don't expect a reply. I'll treat this as just another exercise in therapeutic catharsis

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