What would you do if you were prime minister?

I wrote the following in resonse to this question that was posed in the August 11 Toronto Metro News:

What would you do if you were prime minister?

If I were Prime Minister I would immediately call a press conference and say that I had had a change of heart regarding my skepticism about climate change, based on the overwhelming evidence presented by climate scientists and particularly the recent flooding disasters in Pakistan and China combined with the unprecedented heat wave and drought that is killing food crops such as wheat – in the northern hemisphere – particularly in Russia.

I would announce that I was appointing a ‘war-time’ like panel of scientists and environmentally credible and knowledgeable Canadian statespersons to be a ‘Climate Change Mitigation Cabinet’ with broad powers to prepare Canadians for the now unavoidable severe weather and heat events that will inevitably increase with time. (Just such a ‘war-time cabinet’ was appointed during World War 2 in order to mobilize the economy for war)

This cabinet would also be empowered to seek the best scientific advice to mobilize the Canadian economy toward drastically reducing carbon burning – and be an example to the world – such as revising the tax structure to encourage citizens to reduce the burning of carbon in all its forms – coal, petroleum, natural gas and reward citizens by reducing their taxes in other areas.

The tar sands as an economic generator would be slowly phased out except where the best scientific minds could figure out an economical way of sequestering carbon. Again, using the best minds in Canada, industries would be created to manufacture and put in place all forms of renewable energy production – solar, windmills, tidal generating, geothermal heating and more.

Crown corporations or ‘public private partnerships’ (PPP’s) would be created to employ every unemployed Canadian for the task of retrofitting all of our old houses and buildings up to the standards of a new building code that would make all buildings efficient in energy use as never before.

Resources would be poured into education – employing educators – to have citizens desire to live at low energy use levels, spend their time appreciating their friends and families and decrease the desire for consumption, increase interest in the arts and many more joyful activities that do not add to the burden on the Earth, our home.

About Murray Lumley

Board member of Conscience Canada; Christian Peacemaker Teams Reservist; retired teacher; grandfather
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1 Response to What would you do if you were prime minister?

  1. Jan Slakov says:

    I sure like your vision of what government could be doing better than the status quo!

    I think this ‘Climate Change Mitigation Cabinet’ would need to look into how our economic and monetary systems encourage the destruction of the earth, and how they would need to be changed. For instance, our money is now “debt-based” which means that we require economic growth to pay for the money we are using now… and that growth is dependent on increasing comsumption of “natural resources”.

    Yes, as you say, we need to find a way to make the “joyful activities that do not add a burden on the Earth” where “growth” happens, not in destruction of the earth.

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