MHA’s com­plaint is short­sighted and self­ish

The Western Star - - EDITORIAL -

Re­cently, a mem­ber of the House of Assem­bly in op­po­si­tion wrote to com­plain about Pre­mier Dwight Ball’s re­luc­tance to come to a hard de­ci­sion against the im­po­si­tion of a car­bon tax on New­found­lan­ders. This is­sue has been in the news for some years, and was the pre­mier rea­son why one MP years ago was not taken se­ri­ously when he ran for the Lib­eral lead­er­ship. He was ahead of his time, but not ahead of ne­ces­sity.

The im­po­si­tion of a car­bon tax is meant to be puni­tive, in or­der to help per­suade the pub­lic to be­gin to wean them­selves off their un­healthy and back­ward reliance on fos­sil fu­els. All of us who have any pow­ers of ob­ser­va­tion and who keep up with sci­en­tific knowl­edge in the me­dia and in the great many stud­ies avail­able in books and mag­a­zine ar­ti­cles know that our global weather pat­terns are bring­ing dis­as­trous storms and “weather events” to ev­ery part of the planet with greater and greater fre­quency. Such floods, fires, droughts, earth­quakes, vol­ca­noes and wind­storms such as hur­ri­canes and tor­na­does, and tidal waves, wip­ing out low-ly­ing com­mu­ni­ties — are oc­cur­ring more and more fre­quently be­cause hu­man (but rarely hu­mane) be­ings opt for de­vel­op­ment of ev­ery re­source in our ge­o­log­i­cal and aquatic ter­rains.

The pres­i­dent of the United States views un­de­vel­oped land in Alaska as a fish­pond for the busi­ness in­ter­ests of peo­ple who have al­ready dam­aged vast ar­eas of the planet, to our great detri­ment. These pre­da­tions have brought eco­nomic pros­per­ity to too few and great hard­ship to hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple to whom the plan­e­tary re­sources be­longed as much as to the en­trepreneur­s amongst us.

These busi­ness in­ter­ests have al­tered the lives and property of hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple, as well as other species, hun­dreds of which an­nu­ally be­come en­dan­gered while others are ex­ter­mi­nated for­ever. Ae­sop should be around now to write about our over-reliance on us­ing up non-re­new­able re­sources, or us­ing pol­lut­ing re­sources such as oil and gas which make our whole planet sick.

The MHA is fo­cus­ing on his own com­fort in the “here and now” and ig­nor­ing the warn­ings. He is en­ti­tled to speak for him­self, and in his at­tack on the pre­mier he is do­ing so.

But he does not have the right to in­sult others who do not agree with his point of view, since those who choose not to con­tinue the un­in­tel­li­gent ex­ploita­tion of non-re­new­able and pol­lut­ing re­sources, and in­stead lis­ten to and read about other op­tions, will be the ones to which fu­ture gen­er­a­tions will owe a vote of thanks. Judy Gibson

St. John’s

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