Big Issue Ignored

How can it be that we have a provincial election with a myriad of political parties represented and the world’s number one great issue isn’t meaningfully discussed, or even mentioned? Human-induced environmental destabilization is already affecting us with strange and extreme weather and, due to global warming, will only greatly increase with time as we pump more green house gases into our atmosphere. But that is merely one paramount issue ignored during the election. Few people realize that habitat and species loss are presently creating an extinction event, the Anthropocene extinction, as severe as the famous asteroid event that extinguished the dinosaurs.

The insidious nature of such events as global warming and species extinction are barely noticeable on the human timescale, thus they are ignored. If humanity could envision the reality of our present situation, such as seeing a giant boulder from space aiming toward the earth similar to that which obliterated the dinosaurs; rationally, societies would rapidly collaborate to mobilize all resources in order to save ourselves.

Our jobs are obviously important, but shouldn’t we also be concerned about our children and grandchildren, their lives and their jobs, such as, with some vision, a struggle for new sustainable jobs in clean energy? If we devastate our environment today with our unsustainable carbon-based economy, their future is in doubt. Our politicians must show some leadership and make environmental destabilization a major, or the major, issue of the day. We need politicians who are leaders, not merely followers. Leaders who take on difficult issues, educate their constituents, and address issues that extend beyond their short-term electoral mandate.

Ed Shields