Sunday, January 15, 2017

Justin Trudeau's magical thinking about energy. Notice how it ways comes from people who have themselves accomplished nothing productive.

Lorne Gunter: Justin Trudeau's 'phase out' oilsands gaffe a sign of naive, magic-wand thinking

lorne gunter
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Peterborough, Ont. Friday January 13, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
At a town hall meeting in Ontario on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada needs to “phase out” the oilsands. He then slipped into the standard save-the-planet gobbledygook about ending “our dependence on fossil fuels.”

No details. No timeline. No background info of any kind. Just a pledge to shutdown the biggest industry in Alberta offered up as casually as a quip about the weather.

Not surprisingly, this set off a storm in Alberta. In a province where the oil industry is the source of hundreds of thousands of well-paying, middle-class jobs, small businesses, car loans and mortgage payments, tossing off remarks about an end to that income with the flick of a central Canadian Liberal wrist is fighting words.

Alberta’s opposition leader, Brian Jean of the Wildrose party, testily tweeted “@JustinTrudeau, if you want to "phase out" the oil sands, you'll have to go through me and 4 million Albertans first.”

If you think that’s an “unhelpful” overreaction, imagine if a Western-based prime minister had been speaking in Alberta when he offhandedly mentioned that for the good of the planet we need to “phase out” Ontario’s automobile industry or Quebec’s aerospace industry.

No info on retraining all those assembly line workers. No hints at how all those middle-class families would replace all their livelihoods or how the national economy would survive the loss of all those export dollars. Just a nonchalant “by the way, I’m sacrificing all your jobs and factories on the alter of our new Green gods.”

The irony is, Trudeau’s outrage-provoking statement came during one of the first stops on his tour to tamp down public anger over his holiday trip to the Aga Khan’s private Bahamian island. I suppose we taxpayers are now going to have to pay for a second Trudeau tour to undo the mess he is making during his current clean-up-the-mess tour.

That’s going to happen from time-to-time, I suppose, when your strengths are looks and charm rather than policy and intellect. You’re going to add insult to injury, unintentionally, and have to run around posing shirtless with adoring fans while you tousel your mop.

Frankly, if I had to guess, I’d say that Trudeau’s phase-out remarks were largely meaningless and unintentionally maddening. They are merely more of the same naïve, detached, sophomoric “green” thinking that has infected the Ontario government for a decade and is now spreading to Ottawa and Alberta.

I have written many times before about the “magic-wand” thinking indulged in by so many “green” politicians and eco-activists. Magic-wand thinking is the belief that the only obstacles between our current society and a carbon-free future are political will and billions of tax dollars.

The magic-wanders are firmly convinced – even religiously frenzied – that all they have to do is convince government to wave a magic wand and – poof! – the technology will appear to run all our homes, all our vehicles, all our buildings and transit on a permanent (i.e. sustainable), cheap supply of bug burps and sunny ways.

Rather than running our economy and culture into the ground, these wizards of environmentalism believe their “green” schemes will painlessly and seamlessly transition Canada without any noticeable interruption in our lifestyles. That’s how Trudeau can promise to “phase out” the oilsands while not worrying for a second that such a plan will dislocate hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers.

I think the PM’s oilsands remarks are nothing more than a natural extension of his clueless, “green” daydreaming. Such thinking will beggar our economy and diminish our standard of living – as it is doing in Ontario already.

You know what they say about the road to hell …

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