On linking our military’s underfunding with climate change resistance

Growing up as an “Air Force brat”, I’ve never been able to fully comprehend why it is that Canadians in general (and our governments) pay only passing attention to our military.

There truly exists a problem now, wherein 29 per cent of Canadians now consider that the underfunding of our Armed Forces is taking a “second stage” to our current Conservative opposition party singing their off-key tune of “axe the [carbon] tax”. Ironically, there is an element of parallelism joining these two issues with our criticism of the Moe government failing to understand the difference between “rights” and “obligations” in enacting the inane “Parental Rights Act”. 

In a saner world, parents would immediately accept their responsibilities to society by being moral educators of their children, while accepting the consequences for their having failed in that task. When your six-month old newborn suddenly awakens you at three in the morning with cries of pain, it’s only natural that your first response is to get up and comfort the child until the crying stops. However, as the child ages, we are less inclined to show such caring or concern, particularly when it comes to soliciting their opinion as to the state of chaos in which our world exists – and that is a serious mistake on our part.

After two years of suffering through the emotional trauma generated by Covid-19, our children are worried about their future. Definitions of sexual terminology on flash cards are far from a priority when issues of racism, identity, climate change or global warming, and now the prospect of war with an enemy whose animosity to our democratic practices have already been forgotten by their parents require a logical discussion between generations – and we’re no longer providing it, listening instead to people like Pierre Poilievre telling us that we shouldn’t have to worry about resolving major issues such as climate change, as though the problem will somehow fix itself. The message “Axe the tax” our teens and older youth are hearing sounds more like mother not wanting to be interrupted while watching a game show on television than anything else. Just what is this “lesson” teaching, anyway?

Yes, these are financially tough times for most of us, but we’ve brought most of these problems upon ourselves. We still haven’t developed a nation-wide plan to react to future pandemics, even though former President Obama expressed such a need when the possibility of an Ebola plague threatened humanity in 2014. Dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 crisis has left us a nation of neurotics and emotionally traumatised. Paying more attention to horse medication “cures” and the pronouncements of discredited researchers claiming certain regular childhood vaccinations were producing more autistic children has resulted in our seeing the return of diseases – measles, smallpox and polio, as examples – now creating far greater suffering for ALL of our children. When we add to that list the failing of our health care system to retain its caregivers and corporate greed manipulating market supply to boost profit margins, is the “carbon tax” all we have to worry about at the moment?

Our far right politicians are the ones that created issues such as climate change or the lack of readiness of our military, so why wouldn’t they prefer to blame all of our problems upon an embattled prime minister or “chump change” issues such as the controversy over the collection of this tax. Even though it is still not enough, we should be actually thanking our politicians for starting to take climate change and global warming seriously, and not as a scientific “hoax”. Carbon gas excess in our aid are only making this problem worse, and as a nation with one of the highest “per capita” contribution levels to the problem, we should be doing something to rein in the problem, and especially since Saskatchewan’s north is suffering far worse effects than most other lands. 

If as an adult you still resent paying that tax, you’re not expressing your “concerns” about your “parental rights” being defiled; you sound more like a self-serving cheapskate who when it comes time for him to buy the next round, you suddenly realize that you left your wallet at home. True parents, even those who laugh at the dire predictions foreseeing our children eventually being turned into “crispy critter” protein supplement for cockroaches and invertebrate phyla (worms) if not “fixed” by 2050 know that they should be tackling this issue, because it’s worrying our kids.

We adults weren’t really paying attention when the Brazilian government allowed its farmers to excise the “lungs of the world” by eviscerating the Amazonian forests. Worse, even now we’re ignoring the re-emergence of yet another measles-like plague that we thought had been eliminated in the ‘60’s, that being Russia’s reemergence as a world threat to peace. As for NATO’s concerns as to the potential for war should Russia again become a rogue state, former President Donald Trump’s attitude became immediately self-evident when he claimed such suggestions were baseless, and if NATO nations (including Canada) were so “concerned” at to potential of such a threat, they’d be spending much more on military readiness. 

With Americans now discussing the possibility that Trump might again become president later this year, his threat to not come to the aid of any nation that isn’t spending at least 2 per cent of its GNP on the military and his unwillingness to send American troops into Ukraine should Putin decide to crush Ukraine’s resistance to occupation, Canadians should be “worried”. Our nation supports Ukraine and its attempt to retain its independence and would welcome that nation into the NATO fold. However our already shipped military hardware and ordinance finds our military weakened by governments in the past having bought “garage sale” hardware (Bomarc missiles, the CF-104 “Widowmaker”, etc.) from the Americans while relying on that nation to protect us, and punting decisions on modernization down the road for – again – our children to address.

Personally, I wonder how our children will feel when they suddenly find out that our inability to tackle major issues of worldly importance will result in their being the “force” that must defend this nation.

I wonder how parental “rights” will rule when that revelation hits home with our youth.

Right wing focused on wrong issues

Canadians face major challenges, both at home and abroad, Ken MacDougall writes, so why are right wing politicians so focused on secondary issues?