Belmont Club

The Ichneumon Wasp

What may have been intended as a signal of support to Green Energy lobbyists in the United States has been received by Canadians as a signal to diversify its energy market away from its traditional American customers. Terence Corcoran writes in the Financial Post:

Through most of 2011, Canadian energy officials in politics and industry watched with bewildered helplessness and some shock as Washington allowed environmentalists to seize control of TransCanada’s $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline issue. They stood by aghast as President Barack Obama, a captive of U.S. green activists and Hollywood movie stars, caved in to political pressure and postponed a decision to approve the project, a potential economic bonanza that promised to deliver thousands of jobs to Americans and billions of barrels of Canadian oil sands production to Texas …

It is a cliché in journalism to declare metaphorical wars at the drop of a news release. In this case, it looks like war is exactly what Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver launched Monday in an unprecedented open letter warning that Canada will not allow “environmental and other radical groups” to “hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.”

Joe Oliver’s opening line in the letter gets straight to the point. “Canada is on the edge of a historic choice: to diversify our energy markets away from our traditional trading partner in the United States or to continue with the status quo.” The translation is simple. If Canadian oil isn’t good enough for Barack Obama, then Canada will sell it to China.

Virtually all our energy exports go to the United States. As a country, we must seek new markets for our products and services and the booming Asia-Pacific economies have shown great interest in our oil, gas, metals and minerals. For our government, the choice is clear: we need to diversify our markets in order to create jobs and economic growth for Canadians across this country. We must expand our trade with the fast-growing Asian economies. We know that increasing trade will help ensure the financial security of Canadians and their families.

Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade. Their goal is to stop any major project, no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. No more hydroelectric dams.

These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda. They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects. They use funding from foreign special-interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest. They attract jet-setting celebrities with some of the largest personal carbon footprints in the world to lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources. Finally, if all other avenues have failed, they will take a quintessential American approach: Sue everyone and anyone to delay the project even further. They do this because they know it can work. It works because it helps them to achieve their ultimate objective: delay a project to the point it becomes economically unviable.

The incident illustrates the law of unintended consequences. The unwavering Green campaign to block economic growth reduces their host’s relative clout in the world.  What weakens America eventually weakens the very thing they rely on to advance their agenda.

Meanwhile other organisms unburdened by parasites grow apace. Sooner or later things reach the point where the parasite-ridden host it loses its apex role in the ecosystem.  And then surprise, surprise: they no longer make way from the former king of the hill. President Obama probably never believed that Canada could take its business elsewhere.

But it happens. Like California, like Detroit — like all the places to which the leeches have attached themselves — a glorious past is no guarantee of an assured future.  Sooner or later things get bled dry and even the leeches move elsewhere.

The Canadian reaction is probably just a harbinger of more to come. President Obama’s term as the fourth, third or first best President of the United States will leave it in shambles. A ruin. Like Detroit. Or Chicago. Then he will no doubt think it is unfair, even racist, but by that stage nobody will give a damn what he thinks.

The Oliver letter breaks a taboo of a different, but perhaps more important kind. It marks one of the first times that a major foreign politician has spoken out — called the Green Lobby by its true name: a gang of extortionists. Terence Corcoran writes that Canadians are particularly interested in the names of US Green groups that are meddling in Canadian internal politics.

The foreign-funding issue is clearly a sensitive one for green groups. One of the major recipients of U.S. foundation backing is the Dogwood Intitiative, a leading anti-pipeline group that has received funding from the U.S. Tides foundation and the Hewlett and Packard foundations. They’ve poured more than $50-million into the Dogwood’s Great Bear Rain Forest program, which aims to shut down oil tanker traffic to the B.C. coast, and hence block access to any Gateway pipeline.

Dogwood tried yesterday to downplay its foreign funding. It said in a statement that foreign oil companies invested nearly $20-billion in the oil sands while “the blogger Vivian Krause [said] U.S. charitable foundations have given Canadian environmental groups less than 1.5% of that amount over a 10-year period.” That works out to $250-million dollars from U.S. activists foundations to troublemakers such as Dogwood.

By drawing attention to the foreign-funding issue, Mr. Oliver has taken direct aim at a radical green movement that has succeeded in paralyzing a U.S. president.

One wonders when similar inquiries into the funding of US Green groups will be forthcoming.

However that may be, President Obama has managed to bring discontent out into the open. The transition of a rebellion from life in the shadows to walking abroad in the daylight is a major milestone. For example, one of Saul Alinsky’s instructions to his organizers was to convince their followers to break the major taboos against speaking out against authority figures. By merely getting people to blurt out an objection against a sacred cow, a person takes the step of open defiance. There’s no going back. This produces a quantum shift in consciousness.

President Obama, who congratulates himself on being a good Alinksy-style organizer, should pat himself in the back for organizing superlatively — against himself. He has managed to shatter the crystal glass of saintliness than surrounded the Greens. And like an abusive Church in which pedophilia has been discovered,  it can make the transition from saintliness to the disreputability in no time at all. The Greens may think themselves on the verge of making more gains, but they may be on the cusp of a period of loss.

Parasites often kill the host. The bad news (for parasites) is that in so doing they lessen their own chances for long term survival. Before the Greens write the final epitaph of America’s tombstone, it will first reduce it to a shadow of its former self. Where it was once admired it will be avoided, then spurned and finally reviled by others. That goes for the Greens too. You may pity the host, but it is everything the parasite deserves.


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