Taking Kurt Vonnegut’s famous words, “We could have saved the Earth, but we were too damned cheap,” as an imperative rather than a resigned castigation, Canadian Conservatives have flocked to the board rooms to warn that taking action to avoid the most damaging event in human history could cause two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. A contention for which there is zero evidence, but why let that stand in the way of a good short-term cash grab?
Speaking to a number of business-types who admitted to liking the idea of Miami not flooding in our lifetime, the looming giant of sober second thought that is Ontario Premier Doug Ford, yesterday warned that a Canadian attempt to mitigate climate change could potentially lead our entire nation into a recession. Which is presumably worse than our descendants having to live underground in dark caverns where they watch Baywatch reruns and marvel at how well-fed and non-translucent everyone looks.
“What would our children think?” asked one executive, taking a sarcastic sip of a wry and soda after Ford had left. “Knowing that we may have sacrificed a fraction of a percentage of economic growth to try to leave them a still-recognizable planet? Surely they’d never forgive us.”
But the Ontario Premier is not alone in his assessment that the main problem in addressing cataclysmic climate change, which we have accelerated, is that readjusting our economy from a dependency on burning shit could cause the GDP to fall an amount the measure of which would be made two spaces to the right of a decimal point.
“Life is getting expensive for all Canadians,” the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, and would-be prime minister, Andrew Scheer, has repeatedly stated, without going on to mention that it’s going to get significantly more expensive as forest fires continue to set annual records, 100-year floods occur most seasons, and tropical revolving storms arrive with increasing frequency and strength in decidedly untropical places like Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
(Y’know, for those Canadians who need the problem to directly affect us, rather than be willing to act to help people in other parts of the planet who are watching their nations sink under rising ocean levels, or are experiencing historic droughts.)
But sure. Let’s talk about a recession. That’s what matters here. Two negative quarters of growth, the threat of which Ford entirely made up, in the face of taking a bare minimum step towards not driving off a climate cliff. Rather than stepping on the gas.