On Saving the Polar Bears
"Dad, I thought you wanted me to do well at school this year."
"Of course I want you to do well, dear."
"Then why have you reduced my budget for books and lab materials? I canít do much without those."
"I am following the approved Canadian Government method of showing support for you."
"Well, you know that Stephen Harper has been talking about getting on board to fight global warming? He has said he wants to show his support for efforts to control climate change."
"I know heís said that, but what has he done? And what does it have to do with my books?"
"Well, in a clear demonstration of his support he has cut the budget for the Department of the Environment so they will no longer be able to conduct effective studies on warming in the Arctic, such as the loss of Arctic sea ice and general damage to the eco-system."
"Do you really think thatís going to work?"
"Not for the Polar Bears, but it might work for Mr. Harper. Without all those scientists studying them people might forget the Polar Bears are there and stop worrying about them."
"Dad, that isnít exactly support for the environment."
"Harper has also wanted to show his support for the United Nations through on-going commitment to the war in Afghanistan."
"Yes, but Ö"
"And to do that he has completely turned his back on the United Nations Kyoto Accords and thrown in his lot with a bunch of people who want to talk about what everyone else should do while they do exactly what they want, like China and the U.S."
"But dad, none of that is ever going to achieve anything. All it will do is produce more hot air, not less."
"Now, dear, Mr. Harper is a very intelligent man. If he believes we can show support for ideas by doing nothing at all about them, I suspect it is a plan that just might work."
"What does any of this have to do with my book budget?"
"Obviously I am showing support for your university ambitions by failing completely to provide you with the resources you need, taking your book money and spending it exactly as I please while talking a lot about how much I support you."
"But I canít even study properly without books, Dad. Iíll never be able to graduate."
"Maybe you could move some other part of your budget around to free up some money for books. Sell your car and commute to school by bus, maybe. Itís an old beater and doesnít get very good gas mileage. Selling it would give you more than enough money for books and what you save on gas and insurance would more than cover a bus pass."
"Sell my car? Ride the bus? On the whole, I think I would rather remain ignorant."
"And you donít think Stephen Harper is doing anything for the environment."
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