A letter to my Grandkids…
This is an important article to review if you haven’t already done so.
You have probably already read part of this before, but I wanted it to be kept available a little longer so I decided I would incorporate some more of my thoughts in this chapter in my Editorialog that brings this entire article to the fore.
As I have said on more than one occasion, I have tried to read Mark’s book because, as one who teaches applied ethics it seemed to me it should be a good read. That I am finding it more befuddling that even Marx’ or some of the German philosophers I was asked to read in Grad School, says to me that this article in response to Mark’s book is required reading. I fear for you my grandkids because you well may be about to inherit a world of excruciating debt, burdened by impossible political leadership, striving for unbelievable social goals and wondering just what was wrong with your parents (and more importantly, your grand-parents) that we unleased Mark and his gang unchallenged on the world. If we think Covid was a lockdown, try to imagine what their new green world will be where the vast majority of you have no money to enable you to leave your modest huts (having had your indebted houses expropriated by the mortgage lenders)…
I am glad my Great Uncle Will, who was leader of the Ontario Liberals in the thirties, was a friend of MacKenzie King, sat at his dining table in Ottawa, helped Sam McLaughlin put together GM Canada, is not here to see what his Liberal party has devolved to…
As that old Chinese expansion reminds us: may we live in interesting times… oh, by the way, when you get a chance, watch The Big Short followed by Margin Call…
But I want to say a bit more than simply ask you to think carefully about the new pseudo-moralists like Mark Carney. I need you to ponder the current fad (or maybe rage is a better term) to tear down statues of former leaders who now appear to be out of step with the latest societal angst. Let me give you one really ironic move:
The City Council in Charlottetown has voted unanimously to take down a statue of Sir John A MacDonald, Canada’s First Prime Minister. The very man who more than anyone gave PEI its outsized role in the Canadian Parliament. Currently that province of perhaps 150,000 people (the size of Kingston Ontario, smaller than Kelowna BC) has four seats in the Canadian Senate and has four seats in the House of Commons. If Sir John A is so bad (his critics assail him because he was in favour of Indian Residential Schools, modeled at the time after British private schools which delivered a better brand of schooling than the public system) then obviously any deals he made with the prospective provinces should now be rigorously reviewed & rescinded. My recommendation: apply the representation by population generally accepted democratic norm to PEI, as it is to the rest of the country – perhaps with the exception that they get at least one member of the House of Commons. As for the senate, they can begin to share in an allocation for the Maritimes as an entire entity.
Why do I think you should think about this? Well even in the USA, little Rhode Island’s two senators is due to a formula that every State gets two Senators. It isn’t an anomaly. You could write to the above-mentioned city council and request that they not stop with their recent motion but show consistent leadership by requesting a constitutional reform that reduces the Sir John A brokered agreement that brought PEI into Canada to one that more appropriately mirrors the rest of the country. Start the conversation. You are young. You may not be listened to, but indicate you are about the same age at Greta from Sweden, and you are no less concerned about the future.
Here are some other ideas to consider:
Start asking for more balanced coverage in the media about the plight of 2 billion families who, because they have no access to any power grid, cook their food over fires using wood or dung or other flammable wastes. Along with this, ask Mark Carney or either the Prime Minister or the President, what they plan to do about this terrible health issue that impacts a major swath of humanity. Again, push them and if they don’t answer send a copy of your letter to major newspapers and other media outlets.
Ask also, based on the recent Texas power outage issue involving renewable energy, what is going to be the back-up plan when the sun doesn’t shine when obscured by volcanic debris and the wind doesn’t blow because weather patterns shift. Be persistent. It’s your world and your future that we are messing with.
I also encourage you to be more up front with scientists. I know some very bright scientists. They don’t always agree on the state of the world – they don’t even agree sometimes on how we have arrived at where we are. Therefore whenever you meet one that individual needs to be asked continually, how is s/he so certain about the road ahead? And if they say that climate change is the most serious threat we are facing, then ask them if they have sold their car, moved all their extended family into a single house that is emitting zero-carbon dioxide (and only uses power that comes from renewable energy sources), and have they given away all their things made from petroleum products? If they have not, then it isn’t likely the catastrophe that is being predicted.
Furthermore, keep pressing your local politicians to explain what they are doing to make their decisions transparent. You may not be all that turned on by politics and I’m not expecting you to run for office (although that isn’t a bad option). But it is your future that politicians are playing with and if they are doing it in secret they are not doing you any favours.
Finally (at least for the moment) take voting seriously. It may seem like you only have one vote and what does it matter. Well, we are where we are these days because many people have stayed home on voting days. I have been in countries where people really don’t have a choice when they vote (if they even have an opportunity to vote). Trust me that they are envious of us in North America. So get up to speed on whatever election you find yourself in and get educated on what each politician is saying (and check out the records of each, whether they have held office before or not). And be very leery of anyone who is promising you gifts in some form of money – remember they aren’t spending their money, they are spending yours…
Be alert and be cool… you are a special gift to the world…