Paranoia

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Mr Gérard Montpetit is puzzled as to the motives that led Mr Kenney, Premier of Alberta, to launch an inquiry about the financing of environmental groups. This inquiry would seem to fit the definition of paranoia; delusion about the petroleum industry’s importance and a feeling of being persecuted.

Paranoia

 » ...As promised, our government is standing up for Alberta’s interests by fighting the well-funded foreign campaign targeting our energy industry. This misinformation has been allowed to defame Alberta for far too long. It has seen foreign special interests secretively spending tens of millions of dollars to thwart Alberta’s economic development by landlocking our energy…« [1] With those fighting words, Premier Kenney launched a public inquiry into environmental groups which, he claims , « … have been bankrolled by foreign benefactors hell-bent on keeping Canada’s oil and gas from reaching new markets… »[2] Will this inquiry get to the heart of the matter or is it pure paranoia?

Personally, as one who has been active in the long battle to stop the Energy East pipeline, I have absolutely no knowledge of any committees being bankrolled by wealthy groups. Quite the contrary! I have witnessed hundreds of dedicated individuals who volunteered their time and their efforts because they believed in the righteousness of the cause. After reading thousands of pages of documents, books and magazines plus the reports of IPCC (International panel on climate change) they were convinced that their water supplies were threatened by Energy East, while the proposed increases in the production of «dilbit» would spew gigatonnes of extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thereby multiplying the disasters caused by climate emergency. Because people care about the environment, they travelled to meetings, protest marches, and to attend hearings by the BAPE (Quebec’s environmental hearings agency). According to Mr Kenney, these activities would have been financed by American foundations! No way! Any money needed for these activities came from our own pockets.

Neither have our allies such as the Suzuki foundation, AQLPA, (Ass. québécoise pour la lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique), Nature Québec, etc been financed by foreigners. These groups rely on small donations and fund-raising drives. On the other hand, some people wondered if this inquiry could possibly muzzle the opposition to tar sands. [3]

From this side of the continent, though I don’t know how the opponents of Northern Gateway and TransMountains function, I strongly suspect that they, too, believe in their cause. If their faith in the urgency of the fight against climate change is similar to our own, then, they would also refuse to be the pawns of foreign foundations.

Mr Kenney’s obsession with the petroleum industry would have been admirable… in 1919. Then, the horse and buggy were as outdated as the gas guzzler is archaic today. Back then, the horseless carriage was the future! In the 20thcentury, mankind did not know about IPCC and climate change. Unfortunately for him, this is 2019. The times have been  »a-changing » in the first 20 years of the 21st century. Trying to find scapegoats will not change the reality of the needed technological changes required to minimize the effects of climate change; this paranoia can only lead to attempts to muzzle free speech[4]

I use the term paranoia advisedly: «(gr. Para, beside, nous, mind) a mental disease marked by delusions of one’s importance and of being persecuted »[5] The delusion that petroleum is more important than renewable energies in the 21st century; the delusion that the whole economy of Canada depend on the prosperity of the petroleum industry; the delusion that climate emergency does not exist; the delusion of being persecuted by unlimited funds from large American Foundations; the delusion that people can not have the faith to work selflessly to fight climate change.

Using biblical terms, the conditions that paved the way for the mega-fire that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray in May 2016 could be interpreted as the «…hand-writing on the wall…». [6] Although scientists «…cautioned that individual fires cannot specifically be linked to climate change, but agree that it is part of a general trend of more intense wildfires… »[7]. Mr Kenney and the petroleum industry seem determined to release more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a prelude to a mix of other extreme climate events. In that case, God (or Mother Nature depending on your beliefs) will find him «…wanting…». To alienate superior forces is a good way to feel «persecuted»! No amount of paranoia can erase that ominous trend.

Gérard Montpetit

La Présentation, Qc

July 16, 2019

1] https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=64162715D1531-90FD-6916-8B64302153F66333

2 ] https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/alberta-to-hold-2-5-million-public-inquiry-into-funding-for-oil-and-gas-foes-1.4495264

3] https://globalnews.ca/news/5466066/kenney-anti-oil-sands-inquiry-critics/

4] https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/alberta-announces-public-inquiry-into-shadowy-foreign-funding-of-environmental-groups

5] The Consolidated Webster encyclopedic Dictionary, Chicago 1960, definition on page 517

6] The Bible, Daniel, chapter 5. Daniel solves the enigma of the the hand-writing on the wall.

7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Fort_McMurray_wildfire