About two years ago, I wrote a post along the the lines of the chess-game metaphor. It was right around the time of the Alberta NDP election victory, and took a broad view of the tensions and connections in BC and Alberta between natural gas, pipelines, Site C dam, distributed renewable energy and inter-provincial politics.
Well, two years on and the same game is still in play, with deepened complexities. Added change factors include a very messy BC election result, continued political and cultural resurgence of Canada’s First Nations, and an aggressive climate feedback loop that is most definitely not “on pause”.
Its a very challenging dynamic for a antiquated political mechanism, saddled with safe, conventional ideas of “doing progress”, which is becoming obsolete and even dangerous as these complexities accelerate. The election of Trump in the USA is a case in point. The same degree of instability can be found in the global economy, technological disruption, social and cultural divisions and allegiances, personal mental and spiritual health, and the planetary environment.
Staying with the theme of “solutions”, this post is a few thoughts on how to then respond intelligently, but boldly, to this chaotic field of play. It means being somewhat apolitical, individualistic, yet able to create connections with people from different “tribes”, and keeping a clear eye on the common-ground issues, like health, public safety, and taking care of the vulnerable through economic fundamentals (the guaranteed basic income is a good example of this last point in action).
Here’s an example. Just today, a province-wide state of emergency has been declared due to wildfires in BC. 140 new fires started in the past 24 hours, and the government is suddenly scrambling. But who is the government? Since the election, the last three months have been rife with political gambles, posturing, and manipulation of process, ostensibly by the Christy Clark Liberals, too desperate to remain in power. Now, a very unstable, partisan and frankly toxic situation has developed with an almost zero trust quotient between the NDP/Green alliance, and the Liberals. What were to happen if a major disaster occurred, requiring steady hands, extensive resources, and cooperation within government? We may be about to find out. Human-forced warming (as Robert Scribbler would phrase it), is about to severely test our ability to cooperate, adapt and survive. The energy chess-game of business and politics is taking place in the middle of a much broader ecological context that we are just now, with dawning horror, beginning to see emerge from the smoke.