Neolibralism's Chernobyl

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Aristotleded24
Neolibralism's Chernobyl

Courtesy of the Michael Brooks Show

I know I mentioned this piece in a different post, however I think this is such an important point that I think would warrant discussion on its own.

Pondering

That is the point I have been making. Neoliberalism will be and is being rejected by people who don't know the word exists. Covid-19 is exposing what can be acomplished by government. For all the failures in Montreal the Royal Vic is being opened to house homeless people. They won't be able to just kick them back on the street when this is over. The question will be asked why we have to have homeless in the first place when we do have the ability to house them. 

The entire financial system is being upended. If all the workers from the tourist and retail industries were evicted the homeless population would explode. Those jobs aren't all going to come back over the short term. There will be no way for people to "catch up" on their rent or morgage payments.  Where are students going to work this summer? Predictions of the economy magically bouncing back after this is "all over" are ridiculous. This will change things forever just like the Great Depression and WWII.

People are going to expect government to step in. The goal of small government is dead. People want great big government now and want collective not individual action. 

Capitalism isn't going away but the notion that the free market knows best is. We can't, or at least I can't, even imagine the radical changes that are going to occur due to what convid-19 is going to reveal. 

Albertans are going to want government intervention not a free market rodeo and the mega-wealthy are going to have to pay. Wealth tax here we come. 

There is going to be a continuing massive worldwide reduction in pollution to the extent that it would be impossible to model. This is going to provide unimaginable data for scientists to crunch and proof that we can act and that if we do we will see immediate improvement if not in climate change will will see it in air and water quality. 

kropotkin1951

The PM announced today that "essential" workers are the only ones that should be working. That apparently includes transient oil and gas and mining workers. I want to know what fucking isolation procedures are in place for any ot these people both in transit and especially if they are allowed to travel in and out. Are they going through screening procedures that include taking temperatures to get to the camps and what precautions are going to be taken before they are allowed back into the general population. The present model of X days in followed by X days off is a recipe for the spread of any pathogen.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
The PM announced today that "essential" workers are the only ones that should be working. That apparently includes transient oil and gas and mining workers. I want to know what fucking isolation procedures are in place for any ot these people both in transit and especially if they are allowed to travel in and out. Are they going through screening procedures that include taking temperatures to get to the camps and what precautions are going to be taken before they are allowed back into the general population. The present model of X days in followed by X days off is a recipe for the spread of any pathogen.

I could see an argument being that gasoline needs to keep flowing because if we run out, you have situations of ambulances not being able to respond to medical emergencies, fire trucks not being able to respond to fires, and an inability to move food onto our supermarket shelves during this crisis.

Having said that, I agree that without precautions this is a public health disaster waiting to happen. This should be another blow to the idea that moving off fossil fuels is pie-in-the-sky unrealistic thinking. What happens if there is another shut-down, say brought on by a war or a natural disaster? Locally produced energy, even if it's not as much as produced by oil and gas, is much more reliable in a crisis than what we have now.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I could see an argument being that gasoline needs to keep flowing because if we run out, you have situations of ambulances not being able to respond to medical emergencies, fire trucks not being able to respond to fires, and an inability to move food onto our supermarket shelves during this crisis.

So that is why we need to allow Coast gas to build a pipeline to transport fracked gas next year? Before they get to come back from working in their "essential" jobs I want to see these workers quarantined the same as holidaymakers coming off an infected cruise ship.

Pondering

I agree with both of you. Workers going into camps should be checked. Coming out not so much because they have been in isolation.

Transferring to other more local energy sources makes sense on multiple levels as does growing food closer to home. 

Pondering

This could mean the end of the pipelines. At the very least they will be delayed another year. The government cannot be seen to be taking advantage of Covid-19 to push them through while indigenous peoples are battling the virus nor would it work to stop all protests and tiny houses. Aside from that the economic case will have to be re-evaluated. It isn't going to bounce back fast. The other oil nations can easily undercut Alberta. 

Aside from that clean air may increase the clamor for transition through a Green New Deal. 

Change will be turbo-charged. 

JKR

It looks like the price of Western Select oil might sink to below $10. It might even hit $0! The pipelines are going nowhere for the foreseeable future.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I could see an argument being that gasoline needs to keep flowing because if we run out, you have situations of ambulances not being able to respond to medical emergencies, fire trucks not being able to respond to fires, and an inability to move food onto our supermarket shelves during this crisis.

So that is why we need to allow Coast gas to build a pipeline to transport fracked gas next year? Before they get to come back from working in their "essential" jobs I want to see these workers quarantined the same as holidaymakers coming off an infected cruise ship.

That's not what I'm saying. Since that is an export pipeline, that project should absolutely be shelved, even if in the hypothetical case of keeping the gasoline flowing at the pumps in Canada for the reasons I just mentioned. And I agree that precautions need to be taken to protect the health of workers and the community at large.

I'm hoping you'll also agree that this proves why we need more local, renewable energy that is not subject to these kinds of disruptions in the event of a large scale disaster.

Pondering

Even the "right wing" is talking basic income now. 

https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/canada-needs-crisis-basic-income-now/

Ken Boessenkool is a Conservative activist. He has written political platforms for campaigns or leadership races in the federal Conservative Party, the B.C. Liberal Party, the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party and the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. 

An immediate, crisis basic income of $2,000, delivered through the tax system, might be just what Canada needs.

Almost 30 million Canadians filed taxes last year. That covers the vast majority, if not nearly all Canadians who are working. You are not required to file taxes if you don’t owe taxes, but nearly everyone does as it is the best way to claim benefits. The government has the address, and in many cases the bank account numbers, for those Canadians. 

...And it’s working Canadians who are facing the largest cash crunch right now. Canadians on other government programs will see benefits continue. They may have other challenges, but their income and its source is reliable. That’s not the case for Canadian workers. Millions are losing work, can’t get to work, and have to choose between child care and work....

We need to get money to all of them, quickly, efficiently and without worrying too much about either the cost or getting money into some hands that don’t really need it. But governments and policy makers aren’t wired to think this way.

We have spent the last few decades making programs more targeted, less indiscriminate, and less costly. What few broad-based programs exist are clawed back by income. We have greater ability to target specific groups and specific problems with narrowly targeted programs. And our miserly departments of finance across Canada have eliminated most tax-based, open-ended programs in favour of application-based capped and targeted programs.

These have been positive developments, of course. They are a major reason why the deficits that plagued Canada during the late 1980s and early 1990s have been dealt with so effectively since that time. And they are a major reason Canada is so well placed to throw this all out the window when considering what to do during the current crisis.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I'm hoping you'll also agree that this proves why we need more local, renewable energy that is not subject to these kinds of disruptions in the event of a large scale disaster.

Bring on the capital for mid-sized alternate energy sources. That is the future. In my central VI region we have one of the best potential sites for tidal power and inside my own municipality we have geothermal potential. Other places might do better with wind farms and solar banks but it is getting access to capital that is the problem. The oil and gas industry and its banker abetters are calling the shots because that is the system we live under. The criminal part in my opinion is the direct and indirect subsidies we shovel to that sector both before and after COVID.  Our pension plans can invest in oil pipelines for foreign corporations but they don't seem to be able to be mobilized for other things because of the financial laws that bind them.

Pondering

I am hoping covid 19 is going to turn the tide. The oil industry is beginning a permanent decline. They will sell what they have but there wll be few new projects and no need for TM. Russia and Saudi Arabia have proven they will cut prices and increase production to keep market share. Manufacturing and tourism are not going to just bounce back. That will keep gas prices depressed for some time to come. 

This is an unprecedented hit to the economy. Traditionally there is only one solution. Government spending on infrastructure. The obvious answer is green energy, green homes and green cars and public transportation.