We have to change our ways, and fast, and yet our politicians are still smiling for the cameras and pushing fracking and LNG plants; in faraway offices behind closed doors they’re still approving oil and bitumen pipelines that traverse vast stretches of land, up and down mountain ranges, in an active earthquake zone, pipelines that are bound for coastal tankers which will then navigate rugged BC fjords during winter storms and other extreme weather events, pipelines that are bound for tankers that will go right through the heart of Vancouver’s staggering coastal beauty.
And why are politicians dragging their feet and timidly avoiding the green revolution? Because they want to get re-elected. Because they lack vision and/or courage. Because they put politicking over people, because they don’t want to go anywhere near the touchy subject of structural economic change. Because they don’t want people to panic.
And panic we will—if we don’t start venting, talking about possible scenarios, brainstorming the changes, educating ourselves, and planning for the disruption. Transitioning away from this destructive energy matrix is going to be messy. Oil producers are doing their best/worst to sow discord and fear, anything to hang onto profits and privilege. Fear will make people forget there are better ways to think and better ways to behave. There’s no doubt, we’re fast approaching the wobbly years.
But it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may well be. Other countries, regions and towns are moving aggressively toward green energy solutions, Germany and Denmark for example. Even Uruguay is reported as using 100% renewable energy. Some nations and their leaders are being proactive and smart. They’re going to be selling us the technology we need. And us? We’ll still be those smiling bozos from BC who just don’t get it, we’ll still be hawking logs and poisoning our water supplies so we can sell ‘natural’ gas to Third World despots with even less foresight or vision.
The last time I witnessed (as a sparkle-eyed girl) a societal fissure of such importance it was the late 60s, early 70s, but the ideological backbone of those revolutions was peace and love. This time, the youth aren’t talking about peace and love. They’re impatient for change, they’re savvy and they’re organized. Politicians who ignore and avoid the reality of the green revolution are some new kind of crazy.