Jun. 7, 2019

Careful what you say, it may not mean what you mean it to mean

The English language is changing into the political flavor of the day – what it meant yesterday no longer applies today.

In the 1960s we were obsessed with pollution, remember that? Then came the new ice age in the 70s, followed in the 80s by acid rain. Do we all remember the impending disaster facing us in the 1990s? It was ozone depletion, a virtual hole in the ozone layer above our environment. Somewhere in there was also a dire warning about phosphates in laundry detergents which would promote plant growth in rivers, streams and lakes to the point that it would totally choke out oxygen creation. Hmmm.

But those came and went and the warnings did not materialize.

When the new ice age of the 70s melted like the spring snow the mantra became global warming. After all, if it didn’t cool as predicted, then surely it must be warming. 

Oops, that didn’t pan out either, the impending disaster scenario wasn’t dire enough, so something far more diabolic had to be developed. So alter it to climate change, that way covering both eventualities. That was so good they even devised a way to put a carbon tax on it. These predictions don’t last that long, so it morphed into a climate crisis or emergency. That's serious enough that Nanaimo city council bought into the-sky-is-falling illusion.

The latest campaign now is all the plastic garbage in our waterways and oceans. This is a legitimate concern, the only provable cause among the many. It’s not imaginary, we see the proof. This is one we should be paying full attention to. By the way, plastic is not to blame, humans are to blame.

In less than 50 years the world has changed, and so have the issues which seem to concern us most. Ban plastic grocery bags, ban Styrofoam food containers, ban pipelines, ban oil shipments, ban pipelines and fossil fuels, ban our present lifestyles. There’s a common thread, that is too “ban” anything and everything.

You may have noticed we no longer discuss, we collaborate. Small l liberals calling virtually everyone Fascists – and in return, the accused call everyone else Fascists. There’s one size fits all.

During the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection campaign, a friend labeled the Green party as right wing. Wow, there’s a mouthful. Others promoted a view that there’s similarity between the Greens and Marxism – destroy all corporate structure, control of everything by a dictatorial government. Hey isn’t that Fascism?

If you’re really into this type of debate, spend some time on Wikipedia. One line of thought is “the merging aspects of Marxism, socialism, environmentalism and ecology, eco-socialists generally believe that the capitalist system is the cause of social exclusioninequality and environmental degradation through globalization and imperialism under the supervision of repressive states and transnational structures.”

And finally, as much as we have been preached to about equality for everyone, even that has been replaced by the opposite – now everyone wants diversity. Diverse is the opposite of equal. Now we’re told to embrace differences based on gender, religion, ethnicity, race, and culture, and now we want them all to individually stand out in the crowd. And if you promote equality you are branded a racist, misogynist or a "phobe" of some type or other.

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COMMENTS 

Doug Bodaly - Yes, and now genocide. By next year everyone who wants a government handout will be claiming their group was victims of genocide. 

J Steen – I enjoyed reading your column (above) I agree that sometimes our obsessions seem to morph into catastrophes that seem to disappear when we find a new catastrophe to obsess over.

But I’m not sure I understood when you wrote about diversity and equality. I don’t see where diversity has replaced equality. Diversity is not the opposite of equal. Inequal is the opposite of equal. Diversity, by definition has nothing to do with equality; diversity refers to variety. Can we not be diverse and equal at the same time? Example:

Wage (in)equality – a man and woman do the same job and get paid the same wage. That’s gender diversity and wage equality.

And I’m not sure I understand why we cannot embrace differences based on gender, religion etc. There are some folks who don’t necessarily want ‘them’ all to stand out in a crowd. But if they themselves want to stand out, have a parade etc,– it’s a free country, go for it!

And I’m struggling to understand why promoting equality brands me a racist, or a misogynist etc.