Phil Burpee, Columnist
Well-known alarmist Chicken Little has wound up running afoul of the law in his constant efforts to raise panic amongst the citizenry. Crown Council has confirmed that charges have been laid against the fowl by the RCMP pertaining to mischief, slander, incitement to riot, and falsification of evidence to do with certain atmospheric phenomena - viz. - the falling of the sky, etc. Mr. Little is well known to the authorities and has been seen to keep the company of certain bearded zealots wearing sandwich boards proclaiming 'The End is Nigh' and other scarifying edicts. Recent events have worn constabulary patience to the breaking point, and an A.P.B has been issued for the apprehension and arrest of this deranged and addled bird. Anyone having contact with this alleged perp is advised to exercise all due caution, as his mental state is known to be fragile, and he has a very sharp beak and nasty little claws. He is known to run around in circles, eyes wide and crazed, calling for imminent disaster and attempting to raise a mass response against what can only be called a pernicious and deranged paranoia. And though it is by no means over-cautious to keep the .410 handy by the door, anyone sighting this malcontent is strongly advised to draw the blinds, bolt the doors, and contact police without delay. This pandemonium-mongering poultry must be brought to roost. The peace of mind of society as we know it hangs in the balance.
Like Cassandra wailing out her prophecies of doom, this feathered malcontent has for some time been at the vanguard of various fringe elements and social pariahs. Claiming the power of prescience and divination of future events, Little has repeatedly called into question the wisdom and foresight of the powers that be, and shamelessly impugned the reputations of those who govern our broader affairs, whether in the legislature or the corporate boardrooms. For who but an inflammatory flake would claim, as he does constantly with much squawking and fluttering, that the great and the good amongst the higher echelons of society have anything other than the very best interests at heart for all such as we who toil beneath them? Surely it is both an outrage and a slander to suggest that the fine folk who have their hands on the buttons and levers of power would do anything other that to wield them with the utmost care and consideration for the wellbeing of all their fellows. To suggest otherwise is an abomination and an insult to the integrity and character of all those well-fed gentlemen in their $4,000 suits and Mercedes sedans.
For clearly, the sky is not falling at all. One has only to look and see that it is being very ably supported by towering, sturdy pillars of effluent belching out of the Athabasca stacks, as well as the estimable buttresses of phalanx after phalanx of splendid, shining skyscrapers in which scrabble and scratch the pale and deodorized minions of the trans-global hydrocarbon sector, tapping their keyboards, and summoning various politicians and elected officials to attend their periodic pronouncements pertaining to the 'public good'. For it is clearly none other than the 'good of all' that lies at the heart of the vast, pathological surge towards profiteering from non-renewable extractive industries - and who but a churlish fool and purveyor of public mischief might suggest otherwise? It is, in fact, nothing short of a brilliant bit of manoeuvring, almost magic, to turn fundamental business precepts on their head and present collateral expenditure as an operating principle. In the province of Alberta today, upwards of 30% of government income derives from non-renewable resources - and virtually none of it is being banked. This is the old shell game enacted with the hand of a master. No, the sky is not falling - rather we are rising up into it, on a capitalization of vapour. Amazing.
Further evidence of the mastery with which our leaders are orchestrating our futures is the excitement surrounding the recent discovery of huge seams of coal underlying Ellesmere Island in the high Arctic. Apparently there's enough of the shiny, black stuff up there to make a Pennsylvanian weep - and to make the Chinese, for whom the burning of mighty mountains of coal is virtually a social sacrament, go all giddy with combustible anticipation. We can sell them the coal with which they will make electricity and steel in order to build the factories wherein they can produce the crappy tools and sundry baubles that we have become accustomed to see lining the shelves of our mega-stores. Can you see the sublime circularity of it all? Is this not ample evidence of the sturdiness of the firmament, the steadiness of the Guiding Hand? Surely we are in the safest of hands. And even as we consider all this, let us stand back and marvel at human problem-solving at its best as we witness the massive terraformation under way in the form of removing an annoying barrier to this resource. Businessmen have become exasperated at the sullen prospect of thousands of square miles of impenetrable sea ice blocking access to the Arctic's bounties. Loosing the fearsome powers of the fertile man-brain, we see the problem rapidly disappearing as we cleverly ramp up the CO2 content of the atmosphere through the brilliantly-deployed expansion of greenhouse-gas-intensive industrial infrastructure, thereby obviating the need for expensive seasonal shut-downs - we just have to wait a couple more years, then we can splish-splash our ore-carriers right up to the North Pole to fetch the goods. And the beauty of it is, the quicker we get at the oil and coal up there and torch it up in our cars and factories, the easier it becomes to get at more of it! Words fail in the face of such stunning ingenuity.
In our neighbourhood we are also doing our bit to prop up the sky with ever-burgeoning slime-green technology. Should the wild blue yonder dare to try tumbling down around here it would be met with an ever-growing army of rapidly-turning sky-deflectors in the form of thousands of wind-turbines thrown up for the heating of California’s jacuzzis, along with their accompanying, and very prickly, web of transmission towers which would give the sky's ass a damn good poke if it were to try and fall anywhere in these parts. Yes, woe betide any chunk of the heavens that might attempt to settle down around here - uh uh - nothin' doin'. The sky can just darn well stay right where it is, thank you very much. Ipso fatso, you stupid atmosphere - go big or go home.
So it is abundantly clear that the sort of seditious gibberish spouting from the flapping beak of this Chicken Little character should not be tolerated. Very fortunately for all of us sensible folk, the Conservative Party of Canada has implemented a rugged and pragmatic swatch of legislation in the form of various sweeping Omnibus Bills which give authorities the necessary powers to silence, co-opt, threaten, extort, or appropriately incarcerate any such square pegs who can't get with the program. Ottawa has reminded us that we are either with Exxon/Mobil, the venture capitalists, trans-national private equity firms, tobacco and arms merchants, and vast, opaque hedge-fund operators - or we are with the chicken, whose rightful place is on the chopping block. "So, go ahead'" says Mr. Harper - "Make the call...." Or, as Dirty Harry Callahan would have had it - “Make my day.”
These are pivotal times. Let us not be fooled by the beguiling allure of good sense and the horrible, besotted opiate of environmental stewardship and respect for our planet. Let us make the bold moves that will propel us into the rarefied airs of crowing self-immolation. Cock-a-doodle-doo, you miserable chicken - who's yer Daddy now?! Let's turn the whole shitteree into one big Reality Show. And never mind turning a few cups of water into wine - we can turn entire oceans into urine, and all the while never run out of cold beer, or have to get out of the pool.
"Hey, Chicken Little! - Hasta la vista, baby!!" ZZAAAP! KAPOOW!
June 30, 2012