Environmental debate post-mortem

I just attended the depressing mayoral debate on the environment, sponsored by the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

I’ve been generally dismayed at the dismal quality of mayoral candidates out there.  Still, they turned out to be even worse than I had expected.  Rossi didn’t even bother to show up, Smitherman was late and Ford stayed just for the first question and left 30 minutes into the debate after saying that we couldn’t afford to worry about any environmental issue except turning out the lights because that might actually save us money.  Smitherman, Ford and Pantalone were all relentlessly abrasive, making it very difficult to see how they could ever build the necessary consensus to get anything done at all.  There were no bold and inspiring ideas at a time when bold and inspiring ideas are desperately needed.

On the day after it was announced that the volume of Arctic ice has reached new record lows this year and a week after James Hansen was in town to warn policy-makers of the urgent state of global warming which required dramatic emissions cuts this decade, I was treated to the spectacle of three mayoral contenders arguing about just how much to reduce vehicle licensing fees in the context of an environmental debate.  That was just the climax of a debate that continually veered off the topic of the environment into cost-cutting, which is what this election has been framed around.  Audience members kept leaving in disgust.

I will, of course, cast my vote at election time, but I cannot honestly express enthusiasm for any one of these clowns.

Leave a comment

To weed out spam, your comment will not appear right away.