This post comes with a rather large forward, which would normally be a footnote but needs to be stated just so I'm perfectly clear.
I'm rather infamous for one thing when it comes to politics in that I don't follow a party conga line. This means I tend to be able to follow one thing - what makes Canada what it is. Rest assured that my opinion does not come from the slant of any one party or from the left or right. Apparently, according to every single political personality test out there, I'm kinda in the middle.
That being said...
Let's talk about that disgusting tweet by Maxime Bernier.
(For those that need a refresher you can find it here: http://bit.ly/wtf-maxime-bernier)
Now that you've come back and had a chance to stop and think about this for a second, let me recap.
We have a grown adult going off the rails against a sixteen year old young woman. Granted, a very level-headed, mature, and intelligent young woman but he has the temerity to call her unstable. Sick. Alarmist.
That, to not sugar-coat it, I have to stoop to his level and point that his viewpoint is so erroneous and it will lead to full on economic disaster, not only environmental or societal, in these terms is enough to make me wonder what our country has come to.
Not one thing -- not a single thing -- his party byline or his "viewpoint", platform, or whatever you want to call it is accurate.
Remember the disclaimer above. I don't usually pick party sides. To me, they're all equally faulty and all equally capable. It's like comparing Windows to Apple. Doesn't really matter what you get. A computer is a computer. Spade is a spade. Political party is... er... you get the point.
But in Bernier's case, and the PPC's case, I make a big exception.
And in his treatment of Greta Thunberg he just showed his true colours.
Let's run this down blow for blow and what stuck out for me.
1 - He calls into question her mental stability as a reason to downplay her voice as being not worth anyone's time.
This is the singularly most dehumanizing thing anyone can do to anyone dealing with mental health. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. The fact that he uses that as a reason to render her voice as less worthy than his shows us plainly what he thinks about anyone else with mental health issues.
Admitting this will undoubtedly throw me into the same inhuman category he sees her, but those with Asperger's don't need to hear that our voices are worth less simply because we process the same information in a different way.
It doesn't mean that we see 2+2 that we're not going to also land on 4.
We just might see the 1+1+1+1 inside of the 2+2 but we still land on 4.
My voice is just as valid as Bernier's or any one else's, thanks.
2 - He calls into question her age as a reason to invalidate her.
If we're going to call age into question, shall we also remove all of the seniors voices who have moved into long term care? No? In Canada, we let young people the same age as Ms. Thunberg drive cars on major highways.
1000kg bits of metal and glass hurtling along strips of pavement at a posted speed limit of 90km/h.
But yet, somehow, a sixteen year old shouldn't have, or can't have, a valid voice in her world that she needs to live and survive in for the next 70 or so years?
C'mon. Seriously? Do I have to point out the obvious hypocrisy at this?
3 - He tries to tell us that it's not about her, but the lives that will be upended if we listen to her.
What about the lives already upended by ever increasing harsh weather patterns? The mass extinction of entire species? Food shortages? The collapse of economies as the industries and agriculture propping them up collapse under them? The fact that entire countries are disappearing under rising seas?
Just this spring, CTV News covered a story regarding people who have lived close to the St. Lawrence river now having to relocate because of the alarming uptick of severe flooding.
Besides that, there have been numerous stages and shifts forward with our economy. It adapts, and it changes. It is robust... so long as we allow it to change, adapt, and evolve both with emerging technologies but also evolving circumstances.
This is a historical fact.
To cling to something outdated is alarming. It shows a crippling fear of progress.
We're afraid of what will happen if we don't change with the times. We are afraid that our economy will collapse. He assumes (obviously) that those who care about the environment don't understand basic economics.
The fact is that most of us have studied Business, Finance, Economics at both the College level as well as the University level. Some of us call that sector ours.
The changes we're seeing because of climate change are causing major, major issues economically. To ignore "the risk" is to invite disaster.
(Not that he's going to listen to me anyway...)
By far, it's this point that makes me *facepalm* the hardest.
"But the greenies will ruin the economy!"
(And why is he, and his supporters, resorting to dehumanizing name calling again?)
If anything, it's the opposite. Data -- hard data -- shows the more we ignore the problem (what the insurance industry calls "risk", by the way), the worse it will hit us. You don't ignore risk, you:
Either remove it entirely.
Mitigate it so it doesn't hit as hard when it does.
Plan for the eventuality that it will hit (which, by the way, is still not the same as denial... which indicates absolutely zero planning whatsoever)
Insure against it.
I'd hate to point out, as someone in the industry (even if no longer a broker, I am still in the administration side of it), no insurance company would take on the clunker of a risk that Maxime Bernier wants us to choose to ignore.