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Lots of practice

25 May 2022 | OP ED Watch

While sanity threatens the worlds of business and academia, government remains safely insulated. Former Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, now at Natural Resources, just admitted that their 2019 promise to plant two billion trees hasn’t exactly worked out due to the onerous task of “going out and finding excess trees”, which we will comment on further as soon as someone explains what he thought it meant. Both “excess trees” and the problem with finding them in, say, Canada. But never mind. We’re the best and our past embarrassing failures are no guide to our future excellence, aka “We’ve been very public that the numbers are going to ramp over the next number of years. We are very comfortable that we’re on track to get to two billion trees.” Asked by an opposition Member of Parliament “What’s taking so long? Why are you so bad at making plans and meeting the objectives of those plans that you announce to the Canadian public?” Wilkinson snapped: “I’ve never understood why these kinds of discussions have to be so confrontational.” Maybe he should ask the current Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, whose career before politics consisted of confrontational stunts such as unfurling a banner on the CN Tower calling Canada a “climate killer.”

Having reconciled himself to being the guy in charge rather than the scofflaw protester, Guilbeault just issued a statement on the “International Day for Biological Diversity”. Whose date we incidentally defy you to identify without searching online, though on doing so we found that we had unwittingly taken part by planting a variety of seeds liable to attract pollinators. That statement intoned soothingly “Equitable. Nature-positive. Carbon-neutral. These three goals are keys to the theme of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity: ‘Building a shared future for all life.’” Really? It’s that easy?

Apparently. And profitable too. Wilkinson smugly tweeted about telling “the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources” that “Getting to #netzero and adopting renewable #energy is not only about fighting climate change – it’s also about building economic resiliency and reinforcing global energy security.” He left out social justice for some reason, though evidently “Getting environmental justice right at the EPA” is another thing modern hyper-efficient governments are about to achieve. Certainly no one could think the Biden Administration is currently overloaded and floundering and should try to focus on core duties.

Here in Canada, they’ll get right on it, as soon as they somehow locate some excess trees in one of our literally innumerable forests.

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