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Can't even give it away

21 Dec 2022 | OP ED Watch

The fate of western economies is in the hands of politicians skilled at promising a veritable New Jerusalem of environmentally pristine high-tech employment. But amazingly, they can’t even throw money out the window, the one skill that they are fabled for possessing even as virtually all else that they touch wilts on contact. Consider that the Canadian government put aside billions of dollars to help oil workers grow kale or install solar panels or animate computer games or something over the past decade. And so far, in a glittering triumph of “deliverology” they have spent… um… net zero. A Department of Energy fund with $1.2 billion spread over five years still has $1.2 billion in it. A Department of Industry $267.1 million, three-year initiative still has $267.1 million. And a Department of Natural Resources one with $1.67 billion over eight years approved $969 million in projects and spent… bupkis. They call it a “whole of government” approach or something.

You can just imagine the amount of embarrassment on the part of those in charge. As in none at all. The ever-fatuous Minister of Natural Resources, formerly of Environment, a regular visitor to these pages, responded to a pointed question about actually doing something with the usual soothing verbiage: “That is something we intend to deliver early in the new year with respect to introduction of legislation.”

When we say “the usual” we mean it more literally than usual. As Blacklock’s Reporter noted tartly:

“The resources minister made a similar pledge on November 5, 2021. ‘It will be coming forward in the next couple of months,’ he said 13 months ago.”

It would not be fair to say that governments never achieve anything on this file. As the Canadian Environment Commissioner warned back in April, in a report somewhat puzzlingly entitled Just Transition To A Low Carbon Economy, various punitive federal climate policies were threatening to destroy at least 170,000 jobs. So there’s a good deal of destruction.

It’s just the good stuff they promise that never seems to arrive. And in some cases, not even to depart.

The skills necessary to succeed in politics are, alas, decoupled from those needed to succeed in government in ways that are almost unknown in other spheres of human endeavour. You become a plumber by being good at plumbing, you become a doctor by being good at medicine and you become a pianist by being good at playing tunes. But you achieve political power by being good at seeming to know stuff you don’t. And the punchline is, you don’t know it.

3 comments on “Can't even give it away”

  1. We call it Virtual Signaling, something our current PM is highly skilled at. As evidence I understand there were 350 odd delegates at the recent COP in Egypt and the lord only knows how many were in Montreal

  2. Tom, sending hundreds of delegates to exotic foreign lands is not "virtual signaling"; it is rewarding the faithful troops with lavish holidays. Whereas taunting oil workers with promises of money for a "just transition" that never comes is adding insult to injury for those who will never vote Liberal, anyway. There's a lot of virtue signaling, and lots of virtual signaling, and even some virtual virtue signaling, from this government; but neither of these is an example of it.

  3. Our current government has bought solidly into the concept that fear sells, and are doing everything in their power to scare the populace into a state of abject terror about climate change. At the next election, of course, they will position themselves as the shining white knights who will rescue us from the dread demons of climate change, while the opposition will be portrayed as being in cahoots with the evil industrialists who are aiding and abetting those demons. Unfortunately, Joe Public apppears to have tuned them out and gone back to watching hockey.
    BTW, have you noticed that whether it's too hot or too cold, it's always the fault of global warming? 97% of climate scientists agree, or so we are told, that if it's nasty it's climate change, whereas if it's nice it's just weather.

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