The Comox Valley Record’s “Viewpoint” column is usually reserved for the pander to big money, ignore ever more ominous signs of devastating climate change tomfoolery of Tom Fletcher. However with the BC election too close to call even the Fox News styled rabid right rants of Fletcher incessantly attacking the NDP appear to have been too mundane for Black Press. So, voila, they pull out the big gun/big money spokesperson, Jim Shepard for a “guest column” that is pure, deceitful election propaganda for the corporate interests that were so desperately trying to buy the election for BC Liberals—the party running on a “debt-free BC” slogan—the same party that, in six years under Clark added 30 per cent more to the provinces debt than the NDP did in ten years at the helm.

Did you notice that the Jim Shepard advertorial(which Black Press deceptively labels a “column” suggesting it is something other than the blatant propaganda/political attack ad that it is) begins with a deception that any, however dozy, editor would immediately pick up as an unabashed lie: “The NDP’s Leap Manifesto-accepted by New Democrats across BC and Canada as a guide for our future…” Well the federal NDP did vote to use the Leap Manifesto as a discussion paper on alternatives for saving our atmosphere and life on Earth from the devastating impacts of global warming, but no provincial New Democrats have come close to accepting the document in whole or part. Jim Shepard and Black Press know that full well. The whole column is an exercise in deceptive wording.

The Leap Manifesto is not even “The NDP’s”— another deception thrown into the Shepard column designed to mislead the reader. The Leap Manifesto is an open document written by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis in 2015 to stimulate all Canadians to look at and think about how we might create an economy that doesn’t cook our Earth –and, in doing so, destroy the very basis of human economies! It seems Shepard missed the Green Party endorsement of the Leap Manifesto. But then–Shepard had an obvious interest in not mentioning the Green Party whose federal leader commended the manifesto for its “boldness and decisiveness” and encouraged every Canadian to read it and sign it “but don’t just sign it: vote for it”—as in vote Green Party whose Leap inspired platform offers “a chance to vote for what (you) believe in.”

Interestingly The Globe and Mail, hardly a left wing bastion of thought, covered the Leap Manifesto under the heading Parts of Leap Manifesto make ‘no sense’ for BC, NDP Leader John Horgan says. The G&M article goes on to note that “Mr. Horgan told reporters on Monday that the so-called Leap Manifesto, which also calls for an end to all new infrastructure projects aimed at increasing extraction of non-renewable resources, does not reflect the values of British Columbians.”

The G&M goes on to quote Horgan on the Leap Manifesto, “It’s a document that I don’t embrace personally. There are elements in the document that make sense and there are elements that make no sense for British Columbia.”

What actually makes no sense is the Shepard/Fletcher farcical delusion that we can fry our atmosphere and still have an economy! Sort of like hoping that if you just keep the bar open everything will be just hunky on the Titanic—only the radical fringe would talk of inconvenient sightings of icebergs ahead on a ship that the corporate owners declared to be too big to sink.

Have Shepard/Fletcher so adjusted their reality blinders that they don’t see the distress that Alberta is in due to years of Conservative governments that thought the days of big oil demand would go on forever—no need to plan/save for tomorrow? Do they not see that even Saudi Arabia is acknowledging that global warming may so erode the market for oil that they need to sell all they have now at any price—which is better for them than not selling it at all?

Actually/ironically the promotion of blind indifference to global warming is probably the biggest stumbling block to economic opportunity facing Canadian business. As The Leap Manifesto suggests:  “We could live in a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the jobs and opportunities of this transition are designed to systematically eliminate racial and gender inequality. Caring for one another and caring for the planet could be the economy’s fastest growing/most stable sectors.”

It really makes you wonder about these Black Press promoted corporate spokespersons that can’t even see the future is not only environmentally but economically with renewal energy. You’d think these oil-is-all-there-is advocates would, at least, look at the strength of the Germany economy whose success is based on growing a renewable energy sector that has become a world leader in a highly profitable/innovative response to global warming. Net-generation from renewable energy sources in the German electricity sector has increased from 6% in 2000 to over 30% today.

Clearly pointing the way of the future, Germany has become an economic leader by becoming “the world’s first major renewable energy economy”. China, the world’s fastest growing economy, is doubling down on renewable though it is already the leading country in electricity production from renewable energy sources, with over double the generation of the United States. China’s renewable energy sector is growing faster than its fossil fuels and nuclear power capacity. In ten years, production of solar cells in China expanded 100-fold making it the world’s largest producer of photovoltaic power and propelling it to the lead in taping into our Earth’s largest, cleanest and ever renewing source of energy.

Here’s the thing I want you to think about. Black Press, their featured consume it all now columnists and all the other corporate interest only news outlets will never turn and ask how can we build a society/economy that uses resources of today intelligently? They will never see beyond the blinders of more, more, more. They cannot even think about what we are leaving to our children to meet their needs for a healthy environment or even an enduring economy. They simply cannot see beyond extract now, don’t think about tomorrow ideology—create as much hysteria as possible about anyone who talks about leaping to a more sustainable world. Damn the icebergs! Judging by the columnists they choose to foist upon us, the idea of sustainability is just beyond the possibilities of their consideration.

If there is going to be change for a better, more sustainable world we will have to have information that doesn’t come from Black Press and its use-it-all-up/don’t think about the consequences columnists. I hope you will think seriously about this because it really is up to us.  What do you think? How can we in the Comox Valley share information about the possibilities for a more just and sustainable community? More on this next week!