Jagmeet Singh Won't Comment On BC LNG Project

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Mighty Middle
Jagmeet Singh Won't Comment On BC LNG Project

Asked repeatedly on CBC and CTV if he still supports LNG, Singh replied that this project is on the Provincial level, and his focus is on Federal issues and projects like Trans Mountain. Saying if people want to talk about TMX, he'd be happy to do so. But LNG is on a different level of government, so it has nothing to do with him. Video below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XvRBP7aL9c

R.E.Wood

Here's a transcript of the interview in this CBC article. All Singh gives - when clearly asked three times to state whether or not he approves of the BC LNG project - is a jumble of word salad, topic change, and refusal to answer. Singh, once again, shows his is an inept politician, and the NDP slide continues...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/powerandpolitics/jagmeet-singh-lng-natu...

Pondering

Wow, Singh avoided a gottcha question on a project he has no power over. He should have been doing that sooner but better late than never. Personally I would like the NDP to win at the federal level so it makes sense to focus on issues at the federal level rather than at the provincial level. 

Mighty Middle

Pondering wrote:

Wow, Singh avoided a gottcha question on a project he has no power over. He should have been doing that sooner but better late than never. Personally I would like the NDP to win at the federal level so it makes sense to focus on issues at the federal level rather than at the provincial level. 

That is NOT a gotcha question as Federal politician talk about what is going on provincially all the time. Case in point, all of the cutting Doug Ford is doing in Ontario. I don't think Jagmeet Singh can get away with saying "This is a provincial matter, therfore has nothing to do with Federal politics" about Fords cuts.

R.E.Wood

Pondering wrote:

Wow, Singh avoided a gottcha question on a project he has no power over. He should have been doing that sooner but better late than never. Personally I would like the NDP to win at the federal level so it makes sense to focus on issues at the federal level rather than at the provincial level. 

Singh was perfectly happy commenting on the LNG project before -- when he supported it and was on-side with Horgan's NDP -- but now the federal Green threat is stronger he does nothing but obfuscate and divert. Not excusable, yet utterly predictable for him based on his history during the leadership campaign and since. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

R.E.Wood wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Wow, Singh avoided a gottcha question on a project he has no power over. He should have been doing that sooner but better late than never. Personally I would like the NDP to win at the federal level so it makes sense to focus on issues at the federal level rather than at the provincial level. 

Singh was perfectly happy commenting on the LNG project before -- when he supported it and was on-side with Horgan's NDP -- but now the federal Green threat is stronger he does nothing but obfuscate and divert. Not excusable, yet utterly predictable for him based on his history during the leadership campaign and since. 

Either the NDP believes that there is a climate emergency or they are just playing games. If they actually believe in immediate action then they should be condemning all oil and gas projects and subsidies. They now just look like hypocrites. He could also have spoke about the indigenous rights of the people trying to stop this project from going across their territory. But he did neither so he gets zero credibility on either issue.

Pondering

They are trying to win an election so I guess playing games because that is what it tales to win an election. I understand that formally he supported LNG in the recent past. So now he appears agnostic on the topic. That's a step forward. Perfect shouldn't be the enemy of good. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering wrote:

They are trying to win an election so I guess playing games because that is what it tales to win an election. I understand that formally he supported LNG in the recent past. So now he appears agnostic on the topic. That's a step forward. Perfect shouldn't be the enemy of good. 

Climate chaos isn't going to wait for another few elections cycles and then get cured by incrementalism. The Motion on declaring an emergency because of climate change was a very good thing to do. Not condemning all fossil fuel expansion equally only sends the signal to the people who really care about the issue that you are not the party to vote for.

Mighty Middle

kropotkin1951 wrote:

 If they actually believe in immediate action then they should be condemning all oil and gas projects and subsidies.

Serious question, what about the Union vote that Singh risks by taking this stand? I assume that is why he is sitting on the fence, as he doesn't want to be off-side with the Unionist movement.

Pondering

Mighty Middle wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

 If they actually believe in immediate action then they should be condemning all oil and gas projects and subsidies.

Serious question, what about the Union vote that Singh risks by taking this stand? I assume that is why he is sitting on the fence, as he doesn't want to be off-side with the Unionist movement.

He is already at loggerheads with Notley. Now you demand he also stand against Horgan. He isn't an environmental activist. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mighty Middle wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

 If they actually believe in immediate action then they should be condemning all oil and gas projects and subsidies.

Serious question, what about the Union vote that Singh risks by taking this stand? I assume that is why he is sitting on the fence, as he doesn't want to be off-side with the Unionist movement.

I think that is a bogyman. The "union" vote is a small part of the NDP vote and in most of the urban ridings it is an almost irrelevant consideration. Capital cities are the exceptions because they are highly unionized but they are more likely to want immediate action on climate change and not some short term construction jobs.

In other words, if your image of a typical union member is a cigar smoking, big guy, think again.  Today, union members are more likely to be women working in the public sector.  The big challenge for unions has, for a couple of decades now, been to find ways to build support in the private service sector, where they have traditionally not fared well in organizing new members.  Check out the following union density rates by industry as of 2003:

http://lawofwork.ca/?p=52

Also many unions including some construction unions on both side of the border support a Green New Deal.

The electrician's union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, sees alternative energy as a field that will provide more jobs in the future. The union focuses primarily on the construction and manufacturing industries for its job growth and development. Recently, because of outsourcing and the decline of the auto industry, the union has seen a decrease in available jobs for its members.

http://www.energyrefuge.com/archives/electricians_find_alternative_energ...

https://canadianlabour.ca/canadas-unions-call-for-just-transition-and-am...

There is no substantive vote to be lost especially since most construction workers in BC and Alberta are not unionized and even the ones that are by and large don't vote for the NDP in the first place.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Wow, Singh avoided a gottcha question on a project he has no power over. He should have been doing that sooner but better late than never. Personally I would like the NDP to win at the federal level so it makes sense to focus on issues at the federal level rather than at the provincial level. 

I don’t think the Greens are going to afford the NDP that luxury.

Pondering

JKR wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Wow, Singh avoided a gottcha question on a project he has no power over. He should have been doing that sooner but better late than never. Personally I would like the NDP to win at the federal level so it makes sense to focus on issues at the federal level rather than at the provincial level. 

I don’t think the Greens are going to afford the NDP that luxury.

You are probably right. The NDP is going to have to choose. I wish federal and provincial parties were completely disassociated. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
They are trying to win an election so I guess playing games because that is what it tales to win an election. I understand that formally he supported LNG in the recent past. So now he appears agnostic on the topic. That's a step forward. Perfect shouldn't be the enemy of good.

Resource development is a key issue within the NDP, and Singh has been all over this issue and back again. Just go where the wind blows, no need to actually inform yourself about the issues.

I actually have more trust and respect for Harper on this issue than I do Singh. Yes, I vehemently disagreed with Harper's approach to energy development, but at least he was clear about what he wanted to do and why, and that takes a certain amount of guts in the face of the overhwelming opposition that he faced. If Singh changes his position this much before a campaign, what's to say he won't completely capitulate to fossil fuel industry demands once elected.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
They are trying to win an election so I guess playing games because that is what it tales to win an election. I understand that formally he supported LNG in the recent past. So now he appears agnostic on the topic. That's a step forward. Perfect shouldn't be the enemy of good.

Resource development is a key issue within the NDP, and Singh has been all over this issue and back again. Just go where the wind blows, no need to actually inform yourself about the issues.

I actually have more trust and respect for Harper on this issue than I do Singh. Yes, I vehemently disagreed with Harper's approach to energy development, but at least he was clear about what he wanted to do and why, and that takes a certain amount of guts in the face of the overhwelming opposition that he faced. If Singh changes his position this much before a campaign, what's to say he won't completely capitulate to fossil fuel industry demands once elected.

The last thing in the world I want is a politician dedicated to their own ideology. I want a politician who will represent all the people of Canada, not just me, and not themselves. 

I don't see Singh's willingness to change position as a negative. I see it as adjusting to what Canadians want. I also believe that politicians should lead but they can only lead where people are willing to go. The trick is figuring how far they are ready to go. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
They are trying to win an election so I guess playing games because that is what it tales to win an election. I understand that formally he supported LNG in the recent past. So now he appears agnostic on the topic. That's a step forward. Perfect shouldn't be the enemy of good.

Resource development is a key issue within the NDP, and Singh has been all over this issue and back again. Just go where the wind blows, no need to actually inform yourself about the issues.

I actually have more trust and respect for Harper on this issue than I do Singh. Yes, I vehemently disagreed with Harper's approach to energy development, but at least he was clear about what he wanted to do and why, and that takes a certain amount of guts in the face of the overhwelming opposition that he faced. If Singh changes his position this much before a campaign, what's to say he won't completely capitulate to fossil fuel industry demands once elected.

The last thing in the world I want is a politician dedicated to their own ideology. I want a politician who will represent all the people of Canada, not just me, and not themselves. 

I don't see Singh's willingness to change position as a negative. I see it as adjusting to what Canadians want. I also believe that politicians should lead but they can only lead where people are willing to go. The trick is figuring how far they are ready to go.

Sometimes a decision is such that there cannot be a compromise position and you simply have to make a decision knowing that somebody is going to be unhappy no matter what you do. Pipelines are a case in point. You either build them or you don't, and people are arguing passionately for both positions. "Dedicated to their own ideology" essentially means that you can make a decision, an important decision, and are prepared to handle the consequences. That's what leadership is. You can trust that someone who behaves in this fashion will do as (s)he says (s)he will do. The other option means a person may say one thing and do something completely different to please others, and is by definition untrustworthy.

Mighty Middle

B.C. union leaders ‘not happy’ with Jagmeet Singh

Union leaders in British Columbia say they are bewildered and disappointed that federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh dialed back his support for natural gas projects that are expected to create thousands of jobs in the province.

Leaders of unions with thousands of jobs at stake in the projects—which have already been approved by governments and regulators—said Wednesday that they feel let down that Singh is backing away from his previous support.

“It hurts. There’s really no other way to explain it,” said Mark Olsen, president of the Local 1611 chapter of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, which expects 1,500 jobs for its members.

“We have the provincial NDP in B.C. supportive, and all of a sudden it appears we don’t have the federal NDP supportive,” Olsen told the Star by phone Wednesday.

“We’re not happy about it at all.”

Patrick Campbell, director of pipeline construction in Canada for the International Union of Operating Engineers, said he is confused and disappointed that Singh would withdraw his support for the 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline, which is expected to create 2,000 to 2,500 jobs for members of his union and millions of dollars in economic activity in northern B.C.

“This is not only a province-building project, it’s what we would consider a nation-building project,” Campbell said.

https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2019/05/15/bc-union-leaders-not...

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sometimes a decision is such that there cannot be a compromise position and you simply have to make a decision knowing that somebody is going to be unhappy no matter what you do. Pipelines are a case in point. You either build them or you don't, and people are arguing passionately for both positions. "Dedicated to their own ideology" essentially means that you can make a decision, an important decision, and are prepared to handle the consequences. That's what leadership is. You can trust that someone who behaves in this fashion will do as (s)he says (s)he will do. The other option means a person may say one thing and do something completely different to please others, and is by definition untrustworthy.

Decisions should never be based on ideology, always on logic preferably specific to the situation.  Having said that I am concerned. He needs to have a reason for changing positions even if it is just to become more neutral. 

We are still using fossil fuels so there needs to be a reason beyond "climate change".  In the case of Transmountain there is. Bitumen is not like regular oil. The people near the pipeline are against it due to realistic fears that go beyond climate change. 

Tthe LNG plant doesn't present the same environmental threat nor does it cross another province who objects to taking on the threat. 

The use of fossil fuels will probably never stop completely as in 100%. So far it can't be replaced for air travel and even if we cut down enormously we won't stop 100% of air travel. I'm sure there are other applications that can't be met by renewables at this point in time or in the foreseeable future. From what I hear coal is the absolute worst and LNG the best or at least better than oil. That doesn't mean I support LNG. It means the arguments are not as clear cut as they are for bitumen. It means I think the NDP has enough of a fight on its hands without taking on battles that are not under its control or that are theoretical. 

That said I think Singh needs to be more forthcoming and I think he is being damaged by bad advice from within the party. (His responsibility not to take it).  

It is important to be forthright. Changing positions, even a bit, requires an explanation. For example I would be fine with something like:

I've decided to take a neutral stance because there are multiple sides, the arguments are complex and ultimately it is under provincial control. 

If pressed I would add:

I know that climate change activists would like me to take a clearer stance and say no new fossil fuel projects but that is not up to the federal government. Even if it were I owe it to Canadians to evaluate projects on a case by case basis if they fall under federal jurisdiction because I believe that is what Canadians want. 

...or something to that effect. In other words tell the truth or as close to it as you can get. The NDP must be sincere. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering wrote:

Tthe LNG plant doesn't present the same environmental threat nor does it cross another province who objects to taking on the threat.

Classic climate denialism. Yes Fracking is a planet destroying activity and the idea that we are expanding that industry is madness. WTF don't people understand about the urgency of taking real action in exactly the opposite direction. There is no nuanced way of having your LFG plant and being environmentally responsible. The federal NDP is either going to fight and die on that hill or they will become extinct as a political force. The party can only win by attracting people who are passionate about the synergy between a green economy and social justice.

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Tthe LNG plant doesn't present the same environmental threat nor does it cross another province who objects to taking on the threat.

Classic climate denialism. Yes Fracking is a planet destroying activity and the idea that we are expanding that industry is madness. WTF don't people understand about the urgency of taking real action in exactly the opposite direction. There is no nuanced way of having your LFG plant and being environmentally responsible. The federal NDP is either going to fight and die on that hill or they will become extinct as a political force. The party can only win by attracting people who are passionate about the synergy between a green economy and social justice.

Bitumen pipelines are being stopped by the threat bitumen poses to the immediate environment not by the threat of climate change. 

I agree that the situation is urgent. The NDP can do nothing about it without getting elected. If Canadians supported an all out fight against climate change the Greens would have been elected long ago. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Tthe LNG plant doesn't present the same environmental threat nor does it cross another province who objects to taking on the threat.

Classic climate denialism. Yes Fracking is a planet destroying activity and the idea that we are expanding that industry is madness. WTF don't people understand about the urgency of taking real action in exactly the opposite direction. There is no nuanced way of having your LFG plant and being environmentally responsible. The federal NDP is either going to fight and die on that hill or they will become extinct as a political force. The party can only win by attracting people who are passionate about the synergy between a green economy and social justice.

Bitumen pipelines are being stopped by the threat bitumen poses to the immediate environment not by the threat of climate change. 

I agree that the situation is urgent. The NDP can do nothing about it without getting elected. If Canadians supported an all out fight against climate change the Greens would have been elected long ago.

Have you seen how quickly the Greens are rising in the polls nation wide while the NDP is on a downward trend?

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Have you seen how quickly the Greens are rising in the polls nation wide while the NDP is on a downward trend?

I agree the NDP has failed badly on the environment and should have priorized it more long ago. That doesn't mean that taking the most extreme positions now will advance the NDP but I have to admit I am not that familiar with all the ins and outs of the LNG project and how strong the opposition is to it. 

A large part of my position is rooted in thinking that the federal party should be focused on federal issues. The party stands to lose more support than it gains by involving itself in provincial issues it has no control over any way. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

If Singh had voiced support for BC LNG:  "Look, everyone!  The leader of the NDP supports burning fossil fuels and wants to accelerate climate change!"

If Singh had voiced criticism of BC LNG:  "Look, everyone!  The NDP wants us to agree with them at the ballot box but they can't even agree with each other!  Pop some popcorn and watch them fight!"

Mighty Middle

Mr. Magoo wrote:

If Singh had voiced support for BC LNG:  "Look, everyone!  The leader of the NDP supports burning fossil fuels and wants to accelerate climate change!"

If Singh had voiced criticism of BC LNG:  "Look, everyone!  The NDP wants us to agree with them at the ballot box but they can't even agree with each other!  Pop some popcorn and watch them fight!"

Then he needs to pick a side and stick with it.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Or he can say judge him on federal policies. If you have to find something he doesn't have power over to criticize then that shows the weakness of your argument.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Climate change is not fit a provincial or federal issue. If the NDP is not strong in its opposition to all oil and gas expansions it will lose voters to the Greens and none of the oil and gas workers will be convinced to vote for the party.

The reason why the NDP lost the last election is they keep trying to win the middle class vote and we already have a liberal party pandering to that class. It is either going to take on the establishment that is running Canada into the ground or it has no reason to exist.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Climate change is not fit a provincial or federal issue. If the NDP is not strong in its opposition to all oil and gas expansions it will lose voters to the Greens and none of the oil and gas workers will be convinced to vote for the party.

I can remember Layton's position on the Alberta oilsands was shut it down, and the Conservatives never passed up a chance to remind Albertans of that. The NDP went from Jack's first election in 2004 to the idea of an NDP in Alberta being unthinkable to his final election in 2011 electing an NDP MP in Edmonton with over half the vote in her constituency. Shows how you can't win by taking a bold position that challenges the hegemony of the oil and gas companies.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Climate change is not fit a provincial or federal issue.

His opinion on climate change isn't really what he was being asked.  He was being asked whether he does or does not stand with the BC NDP.

One could similarly ask an Ontario union leader whether s/he supports BC unions in their desire for LNG jobs, or wants a healthy planet for our children instead.  It's a bit of a gotcha question.

Mighty Middle

Pogo wrote:

Or he can say judge him on federal policies. If you have to find something he doesn't have power over to criticize then that shows the weakness of your argument.

Then the next time he is asked by reporters about the cuts Doug Ford is making, he should use the same answer he used on LNG. This is a provincial matter and has nothing to do with him. So if that is the case, why does he freely weigh in on the cuts Doug Ford is making?

Mr. Magoo wrote:

One could similarly ask an Ontario union leader whether s/he supports BC unions in their desire for LNG jobs, or wants a healthy planet for our children instead.  It's a bit of a gotcha question.

As Jerry Dias says

"Look, I’m not a champagne socialist. I represent workers and families and some of the most talented energy workers in the world. Our energy sector provides thousands of jobs and helps get needed energy resources to market. We need to do it better and have a national discussion around what that looks like. But it doesn’t mean not doing energy or pipelines. That is ridiculous".

WWWTT

Aristotlided24 wrote

Have you seen how quickly the Greens are rising in the polls nation wide while the NDP is on a downward trend?

Are you sure about that? I’ve seen the greens go up half a dozen points, and more so in PEI. But that’s about it. The NDP has slipped several points for the most part. So the greens are also drawing support elsewhere and not from the NDP alone. 

Ok maybe by some standards this may be considered quick, but for a political party that’s been around for over 20 years?

WWWTT

Mighty Middle wrote:

Pogo wrote:

Or he can say judge him on federal policies. If you have to find something he doesn't have power over to criticize then that shows the weakness of your argument.

Then the next time he is asked by reporters about the cuts Doug Ford is making, he should use the same answer he used on LNG. This is a provincial matter and has nothing to do with him. So if that is the case, why does he freely weigh in on the cuts Doug Ford is making?

Mr. Magoo wrote:

One could similarly ask an Ontario union leader whether s/he supports BC unions in their desire for LNG jobs, or wants a healthy planet for our children instead.  It's a bit of a gotcha question.

As Jerry Dias says

"Look, I’m not a champagne socialist. I represent workers and families and some of the most talented energy workers in the world. Our energy sector provides thousands of jobs and helps get needed energy resources to market. We need to do it better and have a national discussion around what that looks like. But it doesn’t mean not doing energy or pipelines. That is ridiculous".

ICM is only concerned with splitting the NDP/green vote to pave the way for their conservative puppets. 

I don’t think the icm are going to ask Jag any questions that would give him the opportunity to go up against an increasingly unpopular character like Ford. 

WWWTT

Here’s an odd comment from kropotkin 

Climate chaos isn't going to wait for another few elections cycles and then get cured by incrementalism. The Motion on declaring an emergency because of climate change was a very good thing to do. Not condemning all fossil fuel expansion equally only sends the signal to the people who really care about the issue that you are not the party to vote for.

What makes you think democracy is going to save the Earth? I say this because you use the term “election cycles” and “vote”.

The corporations run Canada. If the greens ever got any serious support in an oil energy region or oil using region, the corporations would unleash the icm upon them. Allowing the conservatives to squeak in their pro oil agenda as the imperialists wish it. 

I know you know this kropotkin. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

WWWTT wrote:

Here’s an odd comment from kropotkin 

Climate chaos isn't going to wait for another few elections cycles and then get cured by incrementalism. The Motion on declaring an emergency because of climate change was a very good thing to do. Not condemning all fossil fuel expansion equally only sends the signal to the people who really care about the issue that you are not the party to vote for.

What makes you think democracy is going to save the Earth? I say this because you use the term “election cycles” and “vote”.

WWWTT I think you misunderstood. I was not implying that democracy would save the day I was pointing to the futility of playing a rigged game and not even talking about the real issues because you think that somehow you can eventually win. I think our "democracy" functions exactly as designed so there is little to no chance of getting real change by merely engaging in electoral politics. The only way to get real change is by mass movements and someone speaking the truth from an elected platform can help educate people so that mass movements can form.

Svend went to jail over logging in Clayoquot Sound when the BC NDP was in government because he didn't care that logging is a provincial issue. I worked for the federal NDP as a volunteer to send first Svend and then Bill to Ottawa to speak truth to power because they were both eco-socialists and gay activists. We won every election and some of them were way to close. We had volunteers from all the activist communities working the phones and knocking on doors because both Bill and Svend stood shoulder to shoulder with them and never asked what level of government is your beef with.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

WWWTT

Ok kropotkin 1951, to me it sounds like that you are saying that the NDP’s elected MP’s needs to boldly speak against big oil and carbon emission in general. 

The problem I see is that our political system allows a little more than 1/3 of the voters to dictate who becomes the government. And with the greens gaining, that percentage can actually go down. 

That part isn’t going to change. I’ll concede that for a country filled with materialistic people like Canada, electoral reform may be its best hope. But I don’t see that happening. I don’t see the real enemy, materialism getting singled out and targeted. 

Unless there are any politicians that are speaking out against materialism I’m not aware of?

JKR

I think materialism / greed is probably the root cause of most of our problems, political or otherwise, but I don’t think a campaign to “stop materialism” would be a winner. Unfortunately I think the only electoral system that could help win a “stop materialism” election campaign would be LPTP - last past the post.

I hope I’m not being too cynical.

WWWTT

No not at all JKR. You’re being realistic. 

Perhaps if a Trojan horse can be created to attack materialism? I can’t think of any for the moment?

JKR

Maybe it might take one of or a combination of an economic depression, global war, and an environmental criss to do the trick? We seem to learn mostly from our mistakes and failures!

WWWTT

Unfortunately you could be right JKR. We can learn things the easy way, or the hard way. Not easy when corporations have all the money to brainwash people. 

The funny thing is that if you can give up materialism, the corporations with money lose their power over you  

 

Pondering

Virtually all people are materialistic depending on how you interpret "excessive".  There is nothing inherently wrong with owning stuff, even an excessive amount of stuff. This is a judgemental attitude that makes people think that people on the left want everyone riding around on bicycles wearing hair shirts and hugging each other at stop signs. 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Many studies have shown that happiness increases with material wealth until a person has enough food, clothing, shelter and other necessities to lead a normal life. After that, extra possessions increment happiness only slightly, if at all. It is the triumph of capitalist conditioning, through advertising and sponsored popular culture, that it has convinced most members of western society that if only they had that new Maserati or that villa in Provence, or that vintage cognac they would finally achieve happiness. Totally false, but very widely believed.

Pondering

WWWTT wrote:

Unfortunately you could be right JKR. We can learn things the easy way, or the hard way. Not easy when corporations have all the money to brainwash people. 

The funny thing is that if you can give up materialism, the corporations with money lose their power over you  

And keep their power over the majority. The problem is not corporations it is their power over government that is the problem. That is something we can change. We would have to be willing to make an effort beyond stumping for a political party or going on protests. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Many studies have shown that happiness increases with material wealth until a person has enough food, clothing, shelter and other necessities to lead a normal life. After that, extra possessions increment happiness only slightly, if at all. It is the triumph of capitalist conditioning, through advertising and sponsored popular culture, that it has convinced most members of western society that if only they had that new Maserati or that villa in Provence, or that vintage cognac they would finally achieve happiness. Totally false, but very widely believed.

Which is why I want a party that is devoted to making sure that all people have sufficient means to keep the wolves from the door. That is why I am disappointed in the BC NDP for not raising the minimum wage except in tiny increments. However the Greens wanted even less reform for workers and more protections for small businesses.

The NDP should be running on a "living wage is the minimum wage" and a platform that ensures that all retired people have enough income to buy the necessities of life. Our youth and our seniors are the most economically vulnerable people in our society and they are the ones that need a party to advocate for them not another party dedicated to attracting the middle class consumer.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

WWWTT wrote:

Ok kropotkin 1951, to me it sounds like that you are saying that the NDP’s elected MP’s needs to boldly speak against big oil and carbon emission in general. 

The problem I see is that our political system allows a little more than 1/3 of the voters to dictate who becomes the government. And with the greens gaining, that percentage can actually go down.

First one has to ask what is the point of the exercise. To me it has always been to get my minority views into the MSM by way of MP's who share some or all views. I want to elect people who fit my friend Steve Harvey's description from his tune called"Rabble Rouser's Rag". I do not expect that Canada will ever elect a majority of MP's who self describe as eco-feminist/anarcho-socialist/peacenik/union/pinkos but I would like to see enough real change activists elected to ensure they can't be totally ignored.

WWWTT

Sounds like you’re putting the cart before the horse kropotkin. If more people break free from materialism, come election time, these voters not blinded by selfish greed should be able to break the vicious cycle. And in great enough numbers, make an actual change. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

WWWTT wrote:

Sounds like you’re putting the cart before the horse kropotkin. If more people break free from materialism, come election time, these voters not blinded by selfish greed should be able to break the vicious cycle. And in great enough numbers, make an actual change. 

WWWTT my age, as hinted at by my" name" is 68. I first worked on a political campaign in 1972 because the NDP candidate running was a environmentalist with a background in the fight against acid rain. Unlike most boomers I am one of the minority that belonged to the counter culture not the emerging consumer society. There is no cart or horse there is only the struggle. The struggle takes place on many levels.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Looking only at the Greenhouse issue (and in no way disputing that environment is of paramount importance), natural gas is very different from heavy oil.  Natural gas is used in many instances to replace coal/oil and lowers carbon usage.  Still it is a gas and produces carbon so it isn't a miracle solution, but it may help as we wean off our dependance on oil. 

As state already above the big answer is not finding the right energy source, this is a stop-gap solution. The answer is to stop wasteful consumption. Carbon pricing is an okay first step, but we need to change peoples approaches to life. Getting people out of gas powered cars and into elecrictic vehicles is fine, but we need to get people out of vehicles period.

That is why I am big proponent of moving to a total expenditure/wealth tax system. Allowing a deductible for basic living, we should pay progressively more tax for our expenditures and use a periodic wealth tax to take the governments cut from those who have high savings rates.

Simple living should become a scholarly discipline. It should be taught in school and in the community.

There my Friday rant is over.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Indeed Pogo natural gas is decent environmental choice. Fracking for gas is a planet destoying exeercise. Calling the gas that is meant to be liquified natural is like calling the tar sands gunk light crude.

Fracking has been banned in countries such as France and Germany due to concerns about environmental and social impacts. Both Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have placed a moratorium on fracking until further research is conducted into the consequences of this technology. This raises questions about whether BC should expand fracking activities without further study. Over 6,000 new gas wells could be needed in the Northeast to feed the demand of new LNG export facilities.

http://www.atkinson.cornell.edu/Assets/ACSF/docs/attachments/Howarth-EtA...

Our analysis does not consider the efficiency of final use. If fuels are used togenerate electricity, natural gas gains some advantage over coal because of greater efficiencies of generation (see Electronic Supplemental Materials). However, this does not greatly affect our overall conclusion: the GHG footprint of shale gas ap-proaches or exceeds coal even when used to generate electricity (Table inElectronic Supplemental Materials). Further, shale-gas is promoted for other uses, including asa heating and transportation fuel, where there is little evidence that efficiencies are superior to diesel oil.

http://www.atkinson.cornell.edu/Assets/ACSF/docs/attachments/Howarth-EtA...

 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Virtually all people are materialistic depending on how you interpret "excessive".  There is nothing inherently wrong with owning stuff, even an excessive amount of stuff. This is a judgemental attitude that makes people think that people on the left want everyone riding around on bicycles wearing hair shirts and hugging each other at stop signs. 

I’d agree that there is a difference between “materialism” and “greed.” I think, up to a certain point, material benefits human progress. Everyone in society should have their basic needs met. Unfortunately, currently that is not the case.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Materials are created, need energy to be created. 

Energy usage in general is a problem. 

Materialism is a problem. 

And yes there is an aweful lot of generalization going on  in that syllogism.

Pondering

Energy use is fine as long as it isn't carbon burning (or nuclear). Wind, solar, and geo-thermal are the most obvious but there are others. There is nothing wrong with people having electric cars. There is a lot wrong with disposable clothing and the massive over-packaging people have been complaining about for 40 years. 

Air travel needs to be replaced as much as possible by electric trains. Canada should put in the rail and charge companies for use or nationalize the whole thing. 

People don't need to be deprived for us to deal with climate change or pollution. We need to do things differently. The minute you argue that people must be deprived you lose the argument. 

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