Sunday, March 30, 2008

What Is Wrong With You People?

Symbolism aside, probably the most tangible development to come out of this Earth Hour idea, it has reaffirmed, in clear terms, that modern day conservatism is a selfish, primitive thinking ideology. No matter which blog I visit, which online newspaper comment section, there is unanimity amongst Conservatives, and all of it is entirely unattractive. Outright scorn, sarcasm, boycotts, the me first attitude, all congeals to make a stew with a repugnant stench.

You have been revealed. You have shown that you possess no sensibility that can comprehend a world outside of your own small space. You are the people that lack compassion, take no responsbility and then have the audacity to criticize others. You turn a goodwill gesture into a cynical ploy, a conspiracy, you basically shit on good intention. Truth be told, you are a disgrace.

It won't be Conservatives that help make the planet a better place, no they will sit on the sidelines and complain, while people who actually care, try and make a difference. The fact that you can't endorse the simpliest of ideas, the most superficial and least invasive, speaks volumes about your role in society. Parasites may be harsh, but the lack of ownership lends credence.

In the last few days, I've read some truly staggering psychological rationalizations, to the point where some of you actual scare me. You walk amongst us? Comfort yourselves in your mutual selfishness, band together with the other misfits and "belong". You deserve each other, you really do.

30 comments:

Tomm said...

Steve,

I'm shocked you feel so strongly about the earth day hour.

Why is it such a symbol for you?

Tomm

Steve V said...

It's actually not a big deal at all Tomm, which is why I find the resistance so disappointing.

Stephen said...

If Sir John A were alive today, I don't think he would want anything to do with modern-day conservatives.

Northern PoV said...

From the abolition of slavery to the emancipation and enfranchisement of women to the introduction of "Medicare" etc etc etc
The right is always on the wrong (and losing) side.

liberazzi said...

As you have pointed out before, is conservation, less pollutants in the air, reducing the amount going into our landfills, shrinking ice caps, invasive species etc etc not things to worry about, regardless of whether you believe in climate change or not? These issues have a real impact in and of themselves. I am not perfect, but I am conscious of what I am doing and try to reduce my impact as much as possible within reason. This is not a right wing or a left wing thing, its common sense.

daniel said...

As a fiscal conservative and nearly-everything-else-liberal, I have to agree with you, Steve. Conservatism in North America has been taken over by these Coulter-school-of-thought types who seem to have no other motivation than to do the opposite of what those "daym libruls" are doing. These days, I wonder what exactly this new breed of conservatives is trying to "conserve," other than a flightpath to social and economic ruin.

JimmE said...

Steve, If it's any consolation your not alone in your shock. Earth Hour should have been a no brainer, apolitical event.
Given this Post, the previous & others of your recent posts it is perhaps not surprising what you've seen in the Ditto-Head Blogisphere. There is real cognitive dissonance going on the political right in North America. I'm actually surprised that the National Post or the Fraser Institute didn't fund a study to show the extra candles lit on Saturday actually increased CO2 levels. It further convinces me we need tough regulations in conjunction with similar conscience raising events and policies. If I may, let me share a couple of examples of why we need some real "repent-ye-sinners-&-come-to-Jesus-fire-&-brimstone-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse" crash course education & policies.
1) A month ago my sister-in-law sends an EMail to all her contacts telling all about how we need to do our part & participate in Earth Hour, so far so good. But where does Earth Hour find my Bro. & his bride? They got a last minute deal & have spent the last ten day on a Caribbean Cruise! (For those who don't know, Cruises leave the largest Carbon footprint of any mode of transport.)
2) We attended a family birthday party Saturday evening, We brought Candles & mini flashlights as part of our presents. When 8 PM approached the previously agreed upon idea of turning out the lights was met by with such a bitter display of bad feelings & downright rudeness by three of the older knuckle dragging members of the group that in the interest of peace the hostess changed her mind & didn't douse any of the house lights nor did she light any of the planned candles. In fact so bitter was the display that ordinarily the lights in the living room would have been dimmed when the cake was brought into the room, - this was even avoided to prevent another display of knuckle dragging rudeness! (SIGH!)
Your reporting & my experience last evening make me conclude that there are very powerful vested interests who are actively undermining even minor action on climate change & see the issues raised by proposed climate change policies threaten their business-as-usual model. These vested interests (who have a champion in the present Prime Minister) need to be exposed for what they are - impediments to the change that needs to take place. Trouble is, for those Ditto-Heads predisposed to the conservative POV it's very compelling to accept ol' buddy Baird's head in the sand approach.
For me, a many decade long Liberal party member, & someone who cannot even abide the sight of that hypocrite couple Layton & Do-nothing-Chow; - this issue is so important I would put my party allegiance aside to (temporarily) to see an end to the present Prime Minister's lack of action on this file. Here's hoping that some of the Dippers & Greens who visit this site may also consider this when they (finally) get a chance to vote.

MarkCh said...

Let me try and lay it out for you in a non-confrontational way.

Firstly, we all agree (at least I think you have agreed) that this Earth Hour thing will have no significant effect on greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, here in Ontario, at 8 PM on a March Saturday, it is quite likely that 100% of our electricity is coming from hydro or nuclear sources, and so there would truly be a zero effect.

Secondly, speaking for myself, and I think many other conservatives, I think of environmentalism as a fundamentally practical issue. Global warming is bad because it causes bad things to happen. So, things done "to prevent global warming" should actually have that effect in practice, if they are to be worth implementing. It just is not enough to go off on some emotional but ultimately ineffective path. I personally found BC's carbon tax approach to be quite reasonable, and supported that, unlike Earth Hour.

Thirdly, along with many other conservatives, I find the degree of fanaticism exhibited by the enviro-types to be quite frightening. Look at you, Steve: I have been reading this blog for months, because of your generally calm and level-headed attitude. But this tirade is really over the top. I think that for many on the left, the whole enviro-thing is deeply wrapped up in a lot of other issues and ideas, which are fundamentally non-environmental. Andrew Potter, by no means a conservative, has said this well. Obviously, the whole "Let There Be Dark" symbolism of Earth Hour lends support to Potter's declinist thesis, in the eyes of those who find it at all credible.

The environment is a practical problem. Why can we not agree to abandon these divisive, ideological, impractical "symbols", and work on it in a logical and practical way? This belief on the part of the left, that people who don't agree with you environmentally are just bad nasty people who want to wreck the planet is, to be frank, just plain dumb. 90% of the people who disagree with you disagree on the science or on the effectiveness or cost of actions to improve the environment. None of us wants to see the planet wrecked. And being fanatical for ineffective symbolic actions simply causes us to see the entire environmental program as being as bogus as Earth Hour. Persuasion should be more effective than demonization.

My own personal reaction was made stronger by the way this issue was handled at my children's school: all indoctrination, no actual study of the issues. This is not the way to go.

I apologize in advance (of moderation) for such a long comment, but I do hope that this can encourage a return to civility among all concerned.

leftdog said...

This is a very, very good post Steve. You hit the nail on the head with this.

Anonymous said...

There are no more Conservatives, only Progressives. That Harper was smart in raping the Conservative party and calling the Alliance, Reform, Conservatives, which they are not and never will be..ahhh, but the people got fooled, and still are.

Sam said...

Right on ....

I thought that the Liberals and Greens had joined forces. May would not send a candidate into our Leaders ridding and we would not send a Liberal in her ridding. This is a great deal since at least our leaders will get elected. Why this sudden attack on our hope of unity for fighting pollution?

The Con’s are fighting pollution in SOME areas, yet we have to tell Canadians where and how we will fight pollution – not just condemning their policies – with a stronger policy on pollution. [At least we should tell Canadians how the Liberals will fight pollution, this is supposed to be Dion’s strong area, yet no public solutions and costs yet.]

Dion WILL lead us to victory, yet he should tell us [and Canadians] what he/Liberal Party will do once power is back in our hands concerning pollution.

Steve V said...

" But this tirade is really over the top. I think that for many on the left, the whole enviro-thing is deeply wrapped up in a lot of other issues and ideas, which are fundamentally non-environmental."

You leave this long winded post, about everything but turning off the fucking lights for an hour, and you say I'm attaching all these things? Wrong, and this is my beef, it's you guys and your rationalizations. Kids being indoctrinated in school, listen to the nonsense. Discuss the issue? Yes, there discussing an issue in SCIENCE, not fiction in ENGLISH. The right is wrapped up in the "debate", and it's all predicated on debunking, it's never constructive, it starts from a deep rooted resistance.

To prove my point, about attaching all personal baggage on to a simple topic, I'll leave your last nonsensical comment:

The symbolism of Earth Hour is about rejecting the blessings of technology, the addition to the human spirit given by light, and returning to a Dark Ages existence. I found it repellent. The fact that the people promoting it are pampered inhabitants of one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with no clue whatsoever about what it would be like to live without artificial light, only makes it more ludicrous."

Talk about over the top. Just turn out the lights man, or better yet, do me a great favor, turn off your computer. Go rationalize and "debate", work the margins. Whatever.

Dame said...

The CONs are marked for extinction they are representing the past . This Incredible selfish Closed Minded attitude cannot last much longer .
You just made clear why Liberals are The FUTURE.

Pale said...

To be blunt, Earth hour was a rally. It was not done to save the earth in one hour, it was to make everyone feel that we are all in this together, and to raise awareness.
The only thing the RWA's proved, once again...Is that they don't give a flying fug about anything or anyone else.
Luckily, they are in the minority.
Dark ages existence, indeed.

Blues Clair said...

Speaking about this Earth Hour idea. I was over at the Small Dead Animal blog and they seem to be in agreement that Don Cherry would make a great Prime Minister...

tori said...

Steve,

I usually find you to be measured and rational, so this post is a bit surprising.

First, not all conservatives want to rape and pillage the earth. But I'm sorry. Earth Hour WAS symbolic...which is why I did not take part. It was easy. One hour out of your life with no power. I'm more interested (and take part myself) in doing the harder work of helping the environment EVERY DAY.

It was great for those who felt the need to feel better about themselves- "I powered down for an hour...what a great little environmentalist I am!". I'm wondering how many of those people reverted back to their consuming ways after 9pm?

RuralSandi said...

Hey, ribbons for our troops is symbolic too.

tori said...

ruralsandi

yup, and I don't do that either.

if i were to do something to support our troops, it would be something that took a bit more effort on my part.

oooh, a ribbon. that took a lot of effort! How about volunteering time to a cause, or donating money? The amount of ribbons out there have made wearing one irrelavant and meaningless.

Steve V said...

"I powered down for an hour...what a great little environmentalist I am!"."

It obviously went right over your head. Again, thanks for proving my point with the sarcasm, and the mocking. It speaks volumes.

tori said...

steve,

my sarcasm was that it takes NOTHING to power down for an hour. I want people to do MORE THAN THAT.

All this did was make people feel like they did something great for the environment, when in fact they really did little. Have those same people made a paradigm shift to consuming less? to changing their routines to be more environmentally friendly? If so, I'll be quiet. But I'm guessing that their cosumption changed nada after 9pm passed.

Steve V said...

"All this did was make people feel like they did something great for the environment, when in fact they really did little."

Who said that? Tori you resistance says MORE about you, than anyone else. The fact you get all worked up over the simpliest of things, is more a reflection on you, than the people you criticize. Even if 10 people stopped to think, maybe thought twice about leaving the light on, tv on when not watching, anything, it's better than nothing. Anyways, I really don't care what YOU PEOPLE think anymore, seems all you do is reaffirm what I've thought.

tori said...

lol...

steve, thanks for the chuckle.

if you actually take of the blinders you're wearing you'll notice that I actually agree with you that MORE should be done to help the environment.

Concrete, LASTING, changes.

I just do not see how dictating a specified hour will lead to a paradigm shift in attitudes re: the environment and climate change. Usually when there is in extrinsic reward (hey, look at me, I'm good to the environment...I turned off power for an hour!) does not lead to lasting and permanent change. Look at what happened after the power failure in August a few years back. I wonder how many people kept up with their conserving ways and how many went right back to their usual routines?

Just because I do not feel the need to toot my own horn publically via an exercise like this does not mean that I (and many others) do MUCH more than that for the environment. On both sides of the politcal spectrum.

900 ft Jesus said...

excellent post, Steve. Good comments as well. Symbols can be powerul. They can bring awareness, make people take a few moments to think about something they may not otherwise spend time considering in quite the same way.

No one expected Earth Hour to actually make an immediate difference in emissions. It was meant to make us think globally of this global crisis, bring us together in a small, global action.

It was meant to help change how we think about climate change and about working together across political, economic, social borders toward a common goal.

I think those who willfully tried to sabotage this global event are frightened. Terrified.

Steve V said...

"lol...

steve, thanks for the chuckle."

No problem, if you looking for a real belly laugh, go look in the mirror.

Steve V said...

900

I think they are frightened, because they are increasingly marginalized, increasingly irrelevant.

JimBobby said...

From Time magazine:

"So, if it won't cut carbon emissions, why bother then with Earth Hour, or Earth Day or Earth Live, last year's daylong concert for the environment?

Because climate change is essentially a political problem, and the language of politics is symbolism. Just because an act is symbolic doesn't mean it empty. The only way to truly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to take the pressure off global warming, is an international regime that puts a cap and a price on climate pollution. And the only way that will happen is if politicians around the world become convinced that climate change is an issue that matters to people, one that will make them change the way they live, buy — and vote."

Steve V said...

"And the only way that will happen is if politicians around the world become convinced that climate change is an issue that matters to people, one that will make them change the way they live, buy — and vote."

Bingo!!

Möbius said...

This is not a Lib vs Con issue.

I identify myself as a fiscal/centre right conservative. Part of my job is to help reduce energy usage in my company, and I have developed innovative ways to do so.

Increasing the price of carbon-based fuels and electricity (at least double, and probably triple for gasoline) is the only way to change attitudes. Do you think I could run an election campaign on this, and win? Neither the Libs or the CPC would dare.

Shallow symbolism is much better.

tori said...

"No problem, if you looking for a real belly laugh, go look in the mirror."

well, I have my own theory when people start attacking someone personally instead of debating the issues...


I re-read this:

"It won't be Conservatives that help make the planet a better place, no they will sit on the sidelines and complain, while people who actually care, try and make a difference. The fact that you can't endorse the simpliest of ideas, the most superficial and least invasive, speaks volumes about your role in society."

Here's my thing...why would I want to waste my time doing something symbolic when I can do something that ACTUALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE??? You see, I'm more interested in doing the harder work, and not some symbolic exercise. I know that probably goes against every core belief you have of "selfish" conservatives....

You don't know me. You have no idea what I do to help the environment. All you know is that I lean right, and apparently that, and the fact that I chose not to take part (I was not "protesting" by turning on every light in the house, because that's just crazy)is all you need to label me as some sort of evil anti-environmetalist.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Well ToriGal, I was a little surprised at our congenial host fer that comment, too. It seems outta character fer ol' Steve V.

I ain't got much of a problem with folks who didn't participate in Earth Hour. It's the ones who went outta their way to turn on every lightbulb and appliance who are the numbnutses. Nobody was dictatin' that everybody's gotta turn stuff off. It was a voluntary demonstration.

I do wonder a little bit about people who are environmentally aware enough to make personal lifestyle changes for ol' Mother Earth but who reject the notion that a mass demonstration of concern has value. Symbolic gestures are not meaningless and do actually do something. See my previous comment quoting from Time.

I've patted myself on the back over on my little boog before. Like you, Tori, I do quite a few things fer the planet. But, dang it all, it don't matter if each and every Canajun does like you an' me, that ain't enough. It's good an' it helps but we all know it just ain't enough. We need the political leaders to enact regulations and to utilize their power of taxation to affect change, too.

Businesses, corporations, institutions and governments need to do the same sorta stuff. Fer the most part, they won't do that unless they see an advantage. The advantage may come in the form of increased business from enviro-conscious consumers or it may come in the form of tax relief.

When CEO's and politicians see that millions of people are willing to do something simple like Earth Hour, it sends the message from these consumers/benefactors/constituents. Politicians and corporations ignore that message at their peril.

Legislation and green business practices actually do something, too. And, the best way to get those things done is to stand up and demand it -- the more standing up and demanding, the more seriously the powerful institutions and governments will take us.

JB