Cherish your suffering, Ontario; Premier Wynne’s green gods know of your sacrifice
Itc an not have escaped the attention of many that Ontario is most unsettled thesedays. That its industries are anxious, its debt colossal, its citizens not in a pleasant mood. Ontario is in a lot of pain. But letme assure readers outside Ontario that it has not all been for nothing. Thereare rewards. They are subtle, intangible, but they a re real. Let me explain.
Those who share the faith and endorse the morality of global warming derive very much the same satisfactions that attended fidelity to the less demanding dog mas of earlier and less ambitious creeds. The carbon regime, tax hike son gasoline, failed or failing long-term-contracts, fearandtrembling in the manufacturing sector, the gnashing of teeth in poorer( and now cold er) households, Ontario Hydro’ s everswelling levi es, the despoliation of rural vistas by towers of whirling, bird-b ashing wind mills: These, each in itself, and all in combination are the acknowledged costs of the Great Greening.
Those outside the faith, and mere loitering agnostics, see nothing here but a catalogue of burdens. Shackles of an alien god. But to those with in the covenant, they are the way stations on the hard and stony path to delicious rewards reserved for the elect. Thisis the true chemistry of belief. What appearas obstacles to heretics, appear to believers as smooth escalators to a higher state. Accepting, embracing what must bed one supplies them with a sense of inner sanction, endows them with that peace of mind which a lesser scripture records, rather churlishly, as passing all understanding.
It has always been thus. Think of those Lenten pilgrims of old scuttling from hamlets allover Europeto visit Jerusalem for a glance at the bone splinters of someof the lesser saints. The “ways [were] deep and the weather sharp” but the end transmuted the journey into something sweet and fine. Soit is now.
I see them ages of Queen’ s Park, shivering inthe polls, stripped of their popularity, the scorn of so many who once strew palm son University Avenue at their approach, I see them now embracing all that misery. For the cause is just and the cost therefore simply cannot be too high. What is a blizzardof swollen light bills and a hash of inflated power contracts to them? For is it not their pride tohave done their bit to def er an apocalypse?
And so, if they raise their eyes and see that last year carbon dioxide molecules were, say ,387 parts per million in the atmosphere of our planet, and now– as a mere cost of billions and utter depression in their electoral prospects, it is, say, 386oreven385 parts per million – Ontario, they cry, has done its bit. Abit, after all, being all that Ontario cando.
What other gains for all that pain? There is the near-irresistible rapture of those whole ada government casting it as a moral exemplar. In the early days of the faith the apostle Dalton made no pret en se that Ontario’ s actions could in anyway truly alter the balance of the earth and atmosphere. If this world was heading toward a sweltering finale Ontario alone, whatever it could do, would not save it. But that was never the thought. The burden stake non so glorious ly by the green clerics of Queens Park were not meant for effect. They were example only.
In his familiar Lincoln esque manner McGuinty promoted the Green Plan as “placing Ontario in the forefront as a leader in the fight against globalwarming.” Ms. Wynne, as faithful to the doctrine of the founder, works out of the same catechism. Ontario is merely, and this is no small merely, leading theway. Ontario’s example shall – would I could find a happier verb – fire the planet. Energy policy as moral contagion sum sit up.
The dream was, I suppose, that the Kazakhstanis, and Burundians, the Chinese and Peruvians, all in their several dominions, taking themorning beverage to begin theday, would pause and remark to the neighbors, “Those Ontarians. They’re leading the fight against globalwarming. Whata people.” Then, instantly, a world wide flight to turn off the space heaters, shutdown the factories, jail the coal miners, andt urn out the lights. In24 hours the only place left on the planet that still had the lights on would be a mansion in Tennessee.
Because as we know, when Ontario sets the pace, the world follows.
I suppose this to be the kind of conversation Ms. Wynne and Mr. McGuinty designed Ontario’ s energy policy to provoke, int he McGuinty case burning a billion dollars just to shutdown a gas plant to ensure.
So was all the pain worth it? Mr. Trudeau thinks so. For he has the same plan. And some of the same planners. So far, though, that’s the whole parade.