Hoping Santa Won’t Find Himself in Cold Water
2011/12/21 Leave a comment
Normally at this time of year I would be asking you for a few modest gifts – perhaps a new Ferrari or a winning lottery ticket.
However, this Christmas I am hoping that you can find time to intervene in the wacky world of politics.
I’ll start with a self-centred, small request from Muskoka. Using your well-known magical powers, please find a way to make all of Muskoka’s 51 politicians understand that if they rowed in the same direction the good ship Muskoka might be able to better navigate the onslaught of problems it faces and avoid an expensive capsize.
That sounds simple, but after many attempts (some half-hearted) at reform the status quo remains. Seven inefficient municipal silos laden with political puffery and property taxes through the roof tends to take some of the joy out of Christmas.
Please Santa, try to bend some of the entrenched, myopic political viewpoints of our local politicians so they will give some thought to ending the bizarre and expensive bureaucratic duplications the good people of Muskoka currently pay for.
Then, when you finish with that very selfish and comparatively insignificant request please turn your attention to Prime Minister Harper.
In a stunning lapse of cerebral acumen he, along with his government, is withdrawing Canada from the original Kyoto Accord. Now even the most casual of observers would have to concede that agreement was terribly lacking in many respects. But jumping ship without even a life-preserver is hardly the answer. It’s more like capitulation.
Harper actually stood in the House of Commons and declared the Kyoto objectives as “stupid targets.” Rome burned while Nero fiddled.
But, despite its perceived and real weaknesses, the Kyoto Accord has stood as a symbol – recognition that the world as we know it cannot continue on its present warming trajectory without hitting the wall of disaster.
Not too long ago many politicians and corporate tin gods dismissed the concept of global warming as little more than misguided fantasy.
But the scientific community has continued to gather more and more empirical evidence showing that it is not a figment of some mad scientist’s overactive imagination. The train is gathering speed. The tracks are running out.
This is very serious stuff and as Christmas approaches I have come to the realization that you, Mrs. Claus and all your North Pole workers are the ones who may truly find your selves literally in very cold water.
You and yours are facing imminent danger. If the polar ice cap melts away as a consequence of global warming you will lose your home and your icy workshop. And I cannot for a moment imagine what will happen to Rudolph and his four-legged followers.
Santa, I know you can do a lot of things such as forcing your significant girth down very small chimneys and visiting millions of households all in one night. However, maintaining a workshop under water may be too much, even for you.
So I’m asking that when you visit the Harper’s home on Christmas Eve you leave more than just a lump of coal in the PM’s stocking.
I am mentioning coal not in relation to some Grinch-like behaviour, rather as the symbol of an era of energy production and consumption that must, if the world as we know it is to survive, go the way of the Dodo bird. Hanging our economic hats on Alberta oil sands does not bode well for the future.
Please wrap the coal in a note letting Harper know that if Canada took a more realistic position on global warming it might influence other countries and world leaders to finally come to grips with this pressing problem.
Plead with him that future generations of boys and girls cannot, in good conscience, be ignored. He is, after all, a father. You would think he’d get it.
Santa, I know I’ve dumped a lot on your old shoulders. In my own defence, as previously noted, I dropped any expectations of a Ferrari or winning lottery ticket. I’m trying to do my bit.
Please keep in mind that you will always be welcomed at Santa’s Village, your summer home in Muskoka. Obviously, if your toy factory at the North Pole sinks beneath the waves, you may have to re-locate your headquarters to Bracebridge. Bracebridge seems to always have an unused factory or two available.
Merry Christmas Santa and please say hi to Mrs. Claus.
Robert C. Henry