Living In The Liberal World: Colour Me Maybe
The headline in the National Geographic was a grabber. “Australia Goes Dry”. The magazine was sitting in a basket at my friends’ home in Toronto, so I decided to leaf through the story, because his daughter and my son were going there shortly. “How bad is it?” I wondered.
I was probably six paragraphs into the story before I noticed the date on the magazine. 2009. In fact, since NatGeo declared Australia parched, the reservoirs have re-filled and the harridans of doom have moved on to to other signs of the apocalypse that can only be averted by their stewardship of the world economy.
Oh wait, here’s what they’re up to in this beastly hot summer of 2018. Our CNN buddy Jake Tapper has kindly tweeted “new scientific research” that indicates unless there are “heavy cuts in carbon emissions, climate change could push (China) “against the boundaries of habitability by 2070.”
Coming from this titan of journalism, only a fool knowing this would ever burn another log or lump of coal, right? Unless he’d found a 2009 NatGeo predicting Australia was being pushed against the boundaries of habitability. Or the litany of other failed predictions that have emerged from the Al Gore Apocalypse Industry since it got really rolling in 1990.
As a small sample, here’s Prince Charles giving the world just 96 months to shape up… in 2009. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Actually, if you’re of a certain age, this dystopian call to save the planet has been around much longer— as I remembered as I cranked up my iTunes on a recent airplane voyage. There was “It’s Nature’s Way” by Spirit circa 1970 warning that “It's nature's way of telling you, soon we'll freeze/ It’s nature's way of telling you, dying trees.”
Or Zager & Evans’ haunting 1969 prediction “In The Year 2525” that “I'm kinda wonderin' if man is gonna be alive/ He's taken everything this old earth can give/ And he ain't put back nothing.”
And don’t forget Marvin Gaye’s 1971 classic Mercy Me (The Ecology) “Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south… oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas… radiation in the underground and in the sky…” (Marvin was a little less worried about fumes when his freebasing career was in full force.)
In short, I have the Towering Inferno T shirt from way back. It’s not that I’m unsympathetic. When the message was about pollution, they had me at Reduce & Recycle. It’s simply that I lost the plot when cleaning the environment suddenly meant shipping billions of dollars to some faceless bureaucrat in Mali. So colour me maybe.
If I were a true friend of planet, I’d be riding my bicycle everywhere. Honestly, I have friends who swear that the solution to Toronto’s traffic woes is for citizens to strap on bike panniers and a helmet every day. Cars verboten on Yonge Street. Especially in January when your face freezes in about 10 minutes of peddling down Pottery Road.
Cyclists are the quintessence of this liberalism. Because they promote a “healthy” 19th century mode of transport, they believe the rules apply to everyone but their own virtuous selves. So stop lights are a suggestion, not a law. Cyclists also believe that no one is allowed into their space— but they’re free to roam on any part of the roadway that captures their fancy.
Like all good liberals, cyclists want to ban things. Such as the cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles and SUVs that currently share the streets with them. They’re also in favour of suppressing the opinions of anyone who questions taking the downtown apart so derailers can go free. (They should have buckets of fun with Doug Ford.)
And cyclists are quintessential liberals because the media love them. But then, the modern media love all primitive technologies. Listen to the radio and you’d swear that Wynne Mills (turbine wind engines), solar panels and water power were touched by God as sacred instruments of energy. Forget that the world would go black if we still used energy sources that don’t work 25 percent of the time.
That skinny guy in the bike shorts blowing through a stop light? He is saving the planet by not consuming precious resources. Cyclists and liberals are big on the Malthusian notion of diminishing resources. Famously, disaster artist Paul Erlich wagered economist Julian Simon in 1980 that five precious commodities were about to disappear. In 1990, Simon received a cheque from Ehrlich, evidence that all five metals hadn’t disappeared but were in fact still in abundance.
Unless you submit to rationing by the cyclists the planet is doomed. Except fracking. And new methods of extracting minerals. And desalinization plants. And trees consuming more CO2 than we imagined. More energy. More food. Better health.
People who understand man’s creativity could make this point, except Jake Tapper and his pals are instead obsessed with banning Starbucks straws to prevent plastic pollution the seas. When North America actually produces five percent of the world’s plastic problem.
But hey, it’s nature’s way of telling you in a song. A billion-dollar song.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the host of the podcast The Full Count with Bruce Dowbiggin on his website is Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). He’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author whose new book Cap In Hand will be available this fall.