• Karen McKenna

The subtle war between capitalism vs climate - a perspective from a "garage orphan" in V


Here I sit in a vegan cafe in North Vancouver, BC while I wait for my electric vehicle to charge. I am a somewhat rare breed called "garage orphans" - we are people who have elected to purchase an electric car and we do not own a garage where we can charge our car at night. We spend a fair bit of time looking for places to charge our car where we can do something productive while we wait. This is my favorite spot, there are coffee shops and even a pub nearby.

Conversations at electric charging stations are interesting and somewhat different than what happens say at gas stations. At charging stations we leave each other notes to tell others when we will be done and to call us if the other person is desperate so we can help them out. Our conversations often move to topics such as oil cartels, suppressed technology, the sorry state of our global citizenry to pull together and make an actionable plan to transition to a green economy. We trade tips on documentaries to watch like "Who Stole The Electric Car", Nikola Tesla's relationship with JP Morgan comes up a lot! Seems like the clash between innovative new ideas beyond the existing paradigm and profit have a long history. In terms of contrast, I said hello to a young woman at a gas station yesterday, she jumped, and then told me that "nobody has ever said hello to her in a gas station before".

From a Canadian perspective, here is my view. CETA is currently in the process of being ratified by senate. In my opinion, this is a REALLY BAD idea. If it was purely a trade agreement, I would be all in. As usual though, the devil is in the details. Also, understanding the patterns and incentives brings an expanded perspective that is also missing. The key section of this agreement that is in my opinion not in the best interest of Canadian citizens is ICS (Investor Court System). This is used whenever there is a dispute between governments and corporations. Corporations and governments have a completely different perspective on things, which can be a good thing as we need a balance between the efficiency and profit maximizing the corporate sector brings and red tape / in the best interest of the citizens the government brings. The problem with ICS is that disputes bypass the Canadian legal system. YEP! That's right!!! Corporations are free to pay for the best lawyers on the planet to ensure their profits are not impeded by such things as environmental regulations and ensuring public services for citizens.

The Council of Canadians has done a good job in explaining the inherent problems here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9inPBS98cs

Wherever I go, I ask everyday Canadians if they know what CETA is. In this random survey, 100 % of people (who aren't social activists) have no idea what it is and what it means to them and future generations. This puts me in the uncomfortable position I call reverse colour blindness. I can see this huge rock at the top of a very steep hill slowly getting set to crush the middle class even more than they already have been and most people have no idea. Once I sit down with people and talk for an hour or two and use words or examples that relate to their unique situation people understand, but there are only so many people I can access face to face.

So today.. I decided that it is time to do something about it. I agreed to provide the seed funding for a crowd funding campaign to produce a short video clip on the problem telling the story in a simple compelling way. The public service announcement is aimed at the average Canadian who has very little understanding of what is happening in the global economy and why people like me have left comfortable jobs to do all they can for ensuring a sustainable future for future generations.

I'll post updates as the project progresses..

CETA is a wolf in sheep's clothing and a virus getting set to decimate the middle class. For the sake of your children, PLEASE start paying attention to this and do some research on this. Look for patterns and incentives.


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© 2016 by Karen E McKenna

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