Postscript to notes on the revolution: The floods.

The other day I wrote an entry that very few people read about how future generations are being left with a world that is less inhabitable and will be less pleasant than that left to our parents’ generations.

One specific example I made was to recent flooding – and it’s only gotten worse.  We all know climate change will lead to different rain patterns, and in many cases increased levels of precipitation.  We also know that infrastructure in most of Canada is aging, and in many cases not being repaired properly.  Generally speaking, we’re choosing to make both these problems worse, not better.

On climate change, we all know the story by now – the current federal budget is taking what is already a bad situation and making it worse by not only not stopping the extraction of Alberta and Saskatchewan’s tarsands, but encouraging it. On a global basis, this has been called “Game Over” for the climate as we know it.  We’re also not doing anything to curb the consumption of products and energy sources that produce greenhouse gases – Canada, for that matter, has even abandoned Kyoto.

On the infrastructure level, many governments at every level are all about austerity these days. Cuts, cuts, cuts.  Why? Because we claim we can’t afford things. We don’t want to pay taxes.  What is this leaving us with?  “New” sewage treatment plants failing, subway stations flooding, entire downtown cores incapable of handling rain, and entire towns of First Nations being evacuated. This has all happened in just the last two months – most of it in the last week.  Not to suggest that we humans are better than nature – but we’re perfectly capable of handling large amounts of water in our cities.  We’re choosing not to be by choosing the cheaper option rather than the more sustainable option.  We would not be hearing stories of highways falling apart and subway stations being flooded if we actually spent the money and effort to make sure things were kept up to the highest standards and were modernised and expanded on a regular basis.

I said it before, but I’m saying it again: we can’t keep pretending that we can have a successful society without a government that is properly funded with tax dollars. We’re in this mess now, and if we’d like to prevent the mess from getting bigger, it won’t be cheap.  But neither is cleaning sewage out of your basement or subway.

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