Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Go (anywhere but) west, my son.

Sometimes I think to myself, things aren't so bad here.  Mostly I think that when I come out of meetings with the small collectives of progessive, open-minded people who are taking an active interest in reource management and planning.  Then, I read the paper.  Or the latest National Geographic, for that matter.

The first jolt came to me as I attended a Calgary Regional Partnership symposium last a few weeks ago.  Ted Morton, our Minister of Sustainable Energy, tried to cover up the fact that he had, that very morning, whittled a $2 billion regional transit fund (enough to start thinking about regional light/hevay rail transit) down to $50 million (not enough to do anything more substantial than buy some more buses).  He did this using jokes about his age and inaptitude with technology, neglecting to mention exactly how much he had cut the budget by, also neglecting to mention that the government was still leaving a $2 billion carbon sequestration plan intact.  That's right - a plan that targets the source of emission-demand was scrapped in favour for a quick-fix that might not even work.  Wtfbruger?

Then yesterday, I read that province is providing an extra $3.31 billion in tax breaks to the oil industry.  In 15 years this province is going to look the Rust Belt in the states - a string of former boom towns that have become large slums.  Mortgage rates will climb and then drop as our oil supplies run out (our conventional supplies are already WAY over peak), leaving people owing more on their houses than their houses are worth.  Oh right, and we aren't collecting any taxes from the driver of our province's economy, so we really have no way of implementing our grand plans for the future.

After graduation I'll be on the first flight out of this town.  I'll be headed to place where people understand what the consequences of deregulation, bling idolatry and ignorance are.  Ugh.

Things keeping me from smashing my head through the computer screen I'm currently looking at: Genghis Tron - Board Up the House, Frank Miller - Ronin, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!, Swans - Cop, Godflesh - Streetcleaner, Phillip K. Dick - The Man in the High Castle, 'cheap and cheerful' Spanish wine.

No comments:

Post a Comment