By Philip Carl Salzman, Frontier Centre for Public Policy
Do you think that without electricity you can charge an electric car? The governor of California Gavin Newsom and the dozen states that follow California’s rules do, and so apparently does Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada. They have mandated electric cars by 2035. But the “green energy” that they also mandate is incapable of supporting an electric grid that will charge anything more than your cell phone.
Have you tried growing crops without fertilizer? The United Nations Environmental Program demands that you do so. Their advice was tragically made government policy in Sri Lanka and led to the collapse of agricultural production, food security, and the national economy. But Trudeau has adopted UNEP advice and is pressing Canadian farmers to dispense with fertilizer. So much for Canada feeding the hungry of the world. Perhaps if the farmers don’t comply quickly and fully enough, it will be necessary to declare the Emergencies Act once again.
Do you believe that if the temperature increases several degrees all life on Earth with be extinguished? President Joe Biden does, calling climate change, which has been going on throughout the history of the Earth, an “existential crisis.” Apparently Trudeau believes the same, as he has systematically destroyed the Canadian economy in fear of climate change. All of our left-wing elites believe in this “existential crisis,” notwithstanding the fact that all of the predictions based on fictional computer models—a rise in sea levels flooding all coastal areas and inundating islands, the melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers, the disappearance of polar bears, massive deaths from tornados, hurricanes, and other extreme events—were refuted, as these things never happened, a sure indication that climate catastrophism is nonsense.
Have our climate extremist leaders ever even heard about the global greening resulting from the increase in CO2, the florescence of vegetation all over the world, and its great boon for agriculture? So what can we conclude? Michael Shellenberger, in agreement with the 1,200 scientists and professionals who signed the World Climate Declaration, says “there is no scientific basis for any claim of climate apocalypse.” He continues, “It is hard to come up with any scenario where temperature changes of 4°C could be world-ending.”
Another reform advocated by our leaders at the national, state or provincial, and municipal levels has been “justice reform.” The justification for this is that there are too many criminals in prison, and that criminals are really victims of “society,” so should be treated sympathetically. Black and Hispanic criminals, who make up a majority of violent offenders, are, it is alleged, victims of “systemic racism,” so their criminality is not really their fault. Thus, “social justice” requires that they not be incarcerated, or, if currently incarcerated, be released immediately.
Some members of the U.S. Congress have advocated defunding the police and abolishing all jails and prisons. Democrat governors have released tens of thousands of offenders, including violent offenders. Some states, New York and Illinois, have done away with cash bail, simply releasing those arrested into the public. Many Soros-funded district attorneys refuse to indict individuals for criminal acts. Laws have been passed in California that essentially legalized theft of up to $950. Though repeatedly attacking random civilians, mentally ill violent offenders among the vast populations of homeless in cities are excused for their crimes because they are homeless and mentally ill, so nothing can be done about them.
The result of all this, precisely recorded in crime statistics, is the massive increase in crime, particularly violent crime, over the last few years. Recidivism, repeat violent offenses, of those released from prison, unindicted, or released on their own bond is common. In cities particularly, the streets and public transport are unsafe. Anyone walking on the sidewalk can be attacked at any time, either for their valuables or because someone mentally ill is angry. Driving is equally unsafe, as car-jackings are a growth industry. You take your life in your hands taking a bus or subway, both favorite places for the mentally ill homeless. Don’t stand too near the edge of the platform in the subway, or someone might find it too tempting to push you under a train.
Trudeau’s answer to the increased lawlessness, yes, even in Canada, is to forbid law-abiding civilians from owning firearms and from using them in self-defense. This ensures that only criminals could have and use guns. What could go wrong? Biden and members of his party loudly condemn “gun violence,” but never have anything critical to say about the criminals who use the guns, except of course that they are victims who must be coddled. The real victims of violent crime are never given any thought by our leaders, because they are probably “privileged.” The reality, of course, is quite different. The privileged government officials all have teams of armed bodyguards. The many victims of violent crime are primarily black and Hispanic, but also Asian and Jewish minorities.
Our leaders know that they must capture the youth in order to ensure their control in the future. Trudeau promulgated in 2017 a mandatory program called “Dimensions: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion,” requiring university presidents to sign it formally on behalf of their universities, and restricted the allocation of national government funds to those institutions that fulfilled their objectives to the satisfaction of national bureaucrats. The three “independent” national funding agencies for medical, natural science, and social science research adopted the EDI guidelines in their funding. The new objectives for higher education were “social justice,” anti-racism, and “decolonialization,” while the old universities’ objective of the disinterested search for truth was rejected, along with its criteria of achievement and merit because they are allegedly the tools of racist white male supremacy and colonialism. With reverse racism and reverse sexism now obligatory, Canadian universities have never been the same. Nor has science, now that biology is canceled in favor of radical gender theory, and non-colonial “indigenous science” is a growth industry.
Biden has directed that critical race theory and radical gender theory be integrated not only in every federal bureaucracy and the military, but also K-12 schools. School children must be taught that white children are privileged oppressors, while black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are taught that they are helpless victims who have no future in “systemical racist” America. But as LGBTQ+ children are also allegedly oppressed and marginalized, every effort must be made to center them and ensure that their identity is fulfilled, which is why biological males must be allowed in girls’ bathrooms, dressing rooms, and female sports, as the Department of Education has demanded both at the K-12 and university levels. This is a wonderful precedent for educational institutions, for it shows the way that science-denial can justify the creative imaginings of identity. So throughout the educational system—and a special mention must go to the teachers’ unions who so energetically have advanced these causes—science and merit are out and racism, sexism, and “social justice” are in.
Brian Lee Crowley, in a prescient essay titled “Canada has devolved into a childish country incapable of solving big problems,” but equally applicable to the United States, points out that “If you don’t maintain the institutions and behaviours that create order and stability because those institutions and behaviours are constraining, you don’t simply remove the constraints while maintaining the previous order—you get different and far more painful constraints without the blessings of order.”
He explains: “We all have to face some harsh, yet simple, truths. Nature is unaffected by our illusions. The laws of physics, the inevitability of biology and the march of time are indifferent to our purposes. … Events happen that are beyond our control. When we engage in magical thinking and believe what we want to be true, rather than what actually is true, we become not just child-like, but childish.”
Leaders have based their childish actions on ideological delusions and imaginary virtue signaling, regardless of the disastrous consequences for their citizens and for future generations. We are paying for this now, but the consequences will get worse and worse. Our future is a freight train headed for us at top speed.
Philip Carl Salzman is professor emeritus of anthropology at McGill University, senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, fellow at the Middle East Forum, and president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.