(SNN) It appears doubtful anyone understands anything that's happening anymore but it's really important they do. The world is on the edge of multiple precipices and there are voices all around us warning of a litany of impending dooms. We must act quickly to appease these voices but cannot fathom how to proceed because none of the voices agree with each other.
There are, for example, voices telling us the world will end shortly due to climate change. We see open water in the North where, historically, there never has been any. Older folks who have experienced extreme weather in their lives, know deep down, weather extremes are far more pronounced now than they have ever been. World scientists appear united in their certainty that humans are inviting catastrophe with their use of carbon-based energy. We are inundated with tragic polar bear news stories and other heart-wrenching images of climate-caused natural habitat loss. The warnings are everywhere and trading prosperity for planet security seems to be a no-brainer.
Or it should be a no-brainer but for the opposing cacophony of voices mocking climate change. Confusingly, these voices are just as convincing as the voices they mock. The media IS enriched by doomsday stories. Gobs of world-ending scenarios HAVE come and gone. Our Canadian carbon footprint IS minuscule. Even significant reductions in Canadian GHG emissions would NOT make a significant, even measurable difference. Carbon taxes WILL cause EVERYTHING to cost more. Affordability of social services IS based on exploiting natural resources. Carbon's influence on the planetary macrocosm is NOT fully understood by science. Carbon and planetary heat metrics are NOT historically linked.
So either the climate will destroy our environment and humanity along with it or the vain effort to reduce the use of an omnipresent, natural material through crippling taxes will destroy the economy without any effect on the planet. What to believe? Those voices are so persuasive!
Then there are the questions of religious accommodation. Is keeping our historical traditions appropriate or is that a recipe for stagnation? Is adhering to past traditions an admission we believe our culture is perfect and not able to be improved? Do newcomers to our shores threaten us or help us prosper? Do Temporary Foreign Workers take our jobs or fill jobs no one else wants? Are we better off in racially segregated solitudes; strengthened by the cohesiveness brought about by homogeneity or as a mosaic, enriched by a panorama of different viewpoints?
The voices never agree. We are doomed to either being absorbed into one enormous melting pot with no national identity through globalist forces or face ongoing racism and bigotry, with inevitable violent episodes occurring as a result of trying to maintain our current cultural divisions which foster distrust of the "other".
If we are going to discuss the voices out there, we must also consider a major source of them; the American presidential election. The din of these voices is almost deafening. Certainly it is the sole business of that country's voters to decide the outcome but whoever is victorious, they will most assuredly have an effect on the rest of the world. The U.S. is populous, geographically large, militarily powerful and culturally influential.
To lead that nation, the electorate must basically choose between two individuals, with all due respect to the rest of the field of minor players. If one believes the voices which fuel the harrowingly negative narratives Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump have created for each other, one might think the candidates are more worthy of the "big house" than the White House. Alternatively, if these narratives of criminality, bigotry and wrongdoing are false, the choice is between a successful, charismatic businessman who is an outsider to politics and an accomplished, experienced, philanthropic, beloved career politician. Are both sides lying? Are both telling the truth? Is there a way to know? The mainstream media either:
a) can't be trusted to do anything but seek profits which forces them to sell their political leaning to the highest bidder or
b) are trying to reveal the truth and use facts on which they base their well-reasoned editorials.
Of course the opinion pieces lean one way or another depending on the facts they believe, but then, news organizations always have. Whether they are evil or righteous is hard to tell. If you can't trust the messenger, you can't trust the message.
In addition to these voices, there are many more. Some are in an uproar over international trade where the TPP is either a path to prosperity or a road to ruin. Others either support or despise the global banking system, the UN, the IMF, and every other global body. The world is either facing near-term calamitous ruin or business as usual for the long term. It would be nice to know which future is in store.
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