Regardless of your political views the newly released Green Shift publication authored by the Liberal Party of Canada will create significant discussion of how best Canada, its citizen and partners combat the issue of the environment, energy costs and sustainable development.
The global warming discussion, whether for or against, has already created discussion privately and publicly of how humanity should utilize resources and what impact those actions have on our health and that of all the world’s citizens. What’s largely lost in all of this hot air and loud voices shouting across an invisible line in the sand is that humanity for too long has become complacent in our activities as we consume more resources than is realistically needed. We have the technology, we have the financial resources to pursue such innovations, yet we each from time to time take for granted how lucky we truly are to live the life we have. Current energy prices shouldn’t be blamed on geopolitical tensions, speculation or supply and demand. For too long everyone involved has enjoyed relative freedom in choice and today we’re being reminded that not everything comes without a significant cost.
Change is occurring, but the needed pace and urgency is still up for debate. What I do know is that history is full of instances of political interference that ended up doing more damage to the economy than good. Individual citizens and corporations will do what’s best in their own individual interests and providing incentives for real change has always created more transformation than what was the original intention.
The question of innovation is not when, but by how much. Existing energy prices if maintained at a conservative rate of inflation will drive innovation at an incredible pace and we’ve already witnessed this starting by shifts in consumer sentiment, activities and demand. While I would never become involved politically for my obvious habit of speaking my mind too often and clearly, I do have ideas that I feel would benefit all parties and result in significant change.
The action of government should always be broad and supportive. What should be offered are broad based incentives for corporations, both private and public, to create, develop, purchase and utilize new technologies that focus on energy conservation, decreases in pollution and real job creation. The bottom line is that the world needs energy regardless of what source it comes from.
The government should create a national energy conservation plan that is bipartisan that focuses on developing and maintaining our own national interests and exporting surplus renewable energy production and technologies for profit. This will improve already strong trade relations and as an export nation of non-renewable resources it wouldn’t be difficult to incorporate into current infrastructure and industry. Instead of waiting for someone else to patent a new technology that restricts us from supporting our own independent infrastructure, Canada could be THE innovative leader of renewable technologies worldwide.
Finally, the government should focus on increased monetary incentives for consumers to purchase products that focus on renewables and conservation. I’m not talking about marginal monetary differences between hybrid vehicles and regular combustion engine driven cars or LED’s and incandescent light bulbs, but tangible cost savings that provide consumers with a viable option to express their personal views through consumption and encourages industry to aggressively pursue those demands.
Each of us can look at our current lifestyle and take note of what opportunities to conserve we can take to make some small difference. Instead of everyone preaching about saving the environment let’s concentrate a little more on how everyone can save some money. Money talks and the key to sustainable conservation and providing real change in our society might well start with what motivates everyone just a little. Companies follow consumer trends and high energy prices will inevitably change how and what we consume. It’s really only a matter of time until that business cycle begins and by my account it already has.
That’s my Green Shift.