Sunday, February 10, 2008


They talk about “balance”. Ah yes "balance". Lets balance the
> rights of smokers and non-smokers in restaurants and theatres. Lets
> balance my right to vent my anger at my wife by
> punching out her lights with her right to security of person. Lets
> balance my right to blast my boom box with your right to a peaceful
> enjoyment of your backyard. Lets balance my right to run amuck with an
> ATV in a serene forest with your right to the recreational pleasure of
> tranquil respite from the city. Yes, surely as reasonable people we
> can strike some "balance" here, can't we? What kind of an extremist
> are you to assert your rights over mine? We must indeed strike a
> balance between economic growth on the one hand, and the environment
> on the other . Lets leave the tumour that lies in that quadrant of
> your body go unmolested. The rest of your body is not involved. That
> surely is a fair compromise. Balance.
> Now a word about "compromise". Here is how that works. You are the
> Malthusian and you are sharing an apartment with a Growthist, a
> developer in fact. There is a chocolate cake on the kitchen counter,
> and you mutually agree that neither one of you should touch it until
> morning, when you will then share it. During the night, however, while
> you are asleep, the developer gets up and raids the refrigerator. When
> morning breaks you open the door and find that three-quarters of the
> cake is gone. You take the remainder to the kitchen table and proceed
> to eat it.
> Suddenly the developer appears and protests, "What are you doing? We
> agreed to share that cake. Lets cut that portion in two."
> This is what developers, logging companies, mining companies and
> growthists mean by "compromise" and "sharing the resource". They have
> already raided the refrigerator while we were sleeping and despoiled
> most of the environment by subdividing farmland, clear-cutting,
> strip-mining and polluting, and having done that, they have the gall
> to demand that we share what little they have left us. Some
> environmental NGOs like the Sierra Club comply with their "reasonable"
> demands, while those who don't, like the Western Canada Wilderness
> Committee (WCWC) are branded as "militants" and "extremists".
> Sometimes phony corporate fronts like "Share BC", a coalition of
> logging companies, loggers and citizen groups are set up in opposition
> to groups like WCWC to make them look unreasonable. The "London Growth
> Coalition" of London, Ontario follows the same template. The developers
> establish a political action coalition with trade union and citizen
> representation to make it seem that it is not their narrow self-interest that is being served but a philanthropic endeavour on a par with Albert Schweitzer's mission.
"Balance". "Compromise". "Sharing". The vocabulary of corporate

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