Letter from federal NDP candidate Shawn Lewis
Just so you know Tim, I have corresponded with Brishen on this issue before and I think you both have raised some excellent points. Like you I am not optimistic that this problem can be solved, I recognize the problem, but we are battling against a human culture that has thousands of years of increasing gluttony into its social history. My goodness, we can barely get wind turbine farms approved because of selfish NIMBYism.
Like both you and Rob, I happily acknowledge the Earth has a finite carrying capacity, I don’t want to get into a numbers game, because frankly I don’t think anyone can fairly say what the optimum capacity is. If we are not already over it, we must be dangerously close.
My primary concern is that a) we cannot address this issue over night, we simply do not live in a culture prepared in any way shape or form to generally acknowledge the problem (though the fact we are having this discussion shows some people are starting to acknowledge it) b) if we rush head long into this we run the dangerous risk of destroying the only viable political party in Canada capable of eventually championing this issue c) we need to be willing to compromise on some shorter term battles in order to continue to build the political credibility needed to start the discussion.
Democracy is great on paper, but it is a slow and messy process in reality.
Anyway, enough for me this evening, I will forward your reply along to Rob.
Let’s review Shawn’s logic:
“My goodness, we can barely get wind turbine farms approved because of selfish NIMBYism.”So it is “selfish” to oppose an energy “solution” that doesn’t solve anything? That is a proven failure because it cannot guarantee the delivery of a consistent and dependable energy flow and must therefore be supplemented by conventional energy sources (nuclear, coal or hydo)? An energy solution that does not address the problem, which is the generation and growth of energy CONSUMPTION? A problem for which social democrats and Greens only prescribe “conservation” as a remedy? In other words, a reduction in PER CAPITA energy consumption. As we are tired of explaining, this kind of constraint is meaningless in the context of unrelenting immigrant-driven population growth. As Brishen Hoff concluded in the spring of 2007, the supply of energy provided by the proposed Sarnia wind farm would be mopped up by just 23 days of business-as-usual immigration.
The only solution to our energy shortfall is a reduction in our TOTAL consumption. This can only involve a sharp reduction in immigration, with conservation and technological efficiencies a complement. Neither Shawn Lewis nor any New Democrat in a leadership position evidences any understanding of this.
“I don’t think anyone can fairly say what the optimum capacity is. If we are not already over it, we must be dangerously close.”
Duh. Shawn presumably has noticed the deforestation of his “Forest City” so that it may accommodate population growth. He has seen the loss of orchards so that people may be housed. Has he is also noticed that now London supermarkets must carry apples imported from Mexico to replace the ones once grown around London? Does he think that those Mexico apples, along with other “exotic” produce, will be available when oil-fuelled transportation networks break down? Is not aware that the GTA, the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan, among other Canadian localities, have also fallen prey to sprawl? Is this predicament of losing our food security “optimum” for Canada? Ontario alone is losing 60,000 acres a year of its prime farmland to population growth. At what point would Shawn Lewis and his New Democratic colleagues decide that we are “dangerously close” to our carrying capacity? After we have made this country into the image of NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow’s hometown?
The NDP, like the Greens and the Liberals, want to see immigration intakes at least a third HIGHER than what the Harper government has decided to allow this year. From 265,000 per annum to 330,000 plus per annum. Their famous “1%” target. Since none of these “opposition” parties would dismantle the Alberta Tar Sands project, the bald fact is, this “green coalition”, as it was once ready to become, is MORE unfriendly to the environment than the Conservative government. If they won't or can't shut the tar sands down, they could save our food security by shutting down mass immigration with a zero-net-migration policy at the very least. One new applicant comes in the door when one citizen emigrates. Of course, Mr. Lewis would not doubt borrow from the Greenpeace-Sierran-Suzuki-May handbook of pat answers and retort that Greenfield acreage could easily be saved by “smart growth” measures even in the face of our runaway population growth (fastest in the G8). But the fact is, land use planning is a local, not a federal matter. And guess who finances nearly 75% of municipal and city election campaigns? That is right, developers. And in too many Canadian towns, they have the gall to sit in the mayor’s chair. The NDP knows this, as does Green Party leader Elizabeth May. Yet they prescribe rapid population growth as if it were not a reality.
“… we need to be willing to compromise on some shorter term battles in order to continue to build the political credibility needed to start the discussion.”Is that what “credibility” means? Selling out to the enemy so that the media will give you the coveted label of “Moderate”? For me, credibility comes with integrity, and integrity means NOT accepting something that is fundamentally wrong. How is it that our political culture became so decadent that popularity is equated with “credibility”, and that quisling organizations like the Sierra Club advertise themselves as “respectable” simply on the basis that they are respected by the power brokers of growthism?
“if we rush head long into this we run the dangerous risk of destroying the only viable political party in Canada capable of eventually championing this issue.”
Can anyone believe that the NDP will “eventually” champion genuine sustainability, on the basis of the statements made by Jack Layton and Lorne Calvert to the effect that “growth is good” so long as its “benefits” are equitably shared? In other words, that it is OK to cut down an apple orchard outside London if social housing is built in its place? Does the NDP record in government give us cause for optimism? Does the party of Glen Clark, the premier who called those who opposed the clear-cut logging of old growth forests “enemies of BC”, inspire confidence? The same party that made Lorne Calvert its leader and premier for 17 years while GHG emissions went up 60% during his reign? Who looked the other way so he could reap the royalties of uranium mining? The party that rivals the Greens and the Liberals in their shameless advocacy of mass immigration, the key ingredient of our environmental degradation, contributing FOUR TIMES more GHG emissions than the tar sands each year, as well as gobbling up farmland, threatening endangered species with the subdivisions it requires and depressing the wages and displacing the jobs of the Canadian workers it claims to represent? (cf. May 2007 Stats Can report and the 1985 Royal Commission on the impact of immigration on jobs).
I would respectfully suggest that we would be better off if the NDP, the Greens and the environmental NGOs WERE destroyed, for their existence gives too many of us a false sense of security, an unfounded confidence that our GREEN “WATCHDOGS” are faithfully guarding the environment and keeping corporate greed at bay. But the fact is, they are barking at shadows while millions of consumers pour in through the front gate.