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This month Canadians will be voting for a new government and a campaign, stuffed with obfuscation and mudslinging, is well underway. Media, many of them lacking sufficient money in their struggle for survival, work to keep our politicians honest.  3

The Review ("Serving Eastern Ontarion and Western Quebec since 1893") is one of those whose advertising income has been severely drained by television and on-line media. Being the son-in-law of one who used to own a regional newspaper, my heart is with its publisher.  4

Putting two and two together, I wrote three short pieces about things that in this old fogey's opinion matter most. A small voice crying in the wilderness. Published September 18:  5

      "The recent TV debate between leaders of three of Canada’s political parties was marred by so many interruptions that viewers are badly served.  6

      "Speaking for myself, the most pressing issue is global warming and with the accelerating rate of calamitous happenings we are already observing it does not behoove any politician to put it on a side burner to be attended to later. A number of the leaders are either poorly informed or put their party ahead of what our real interests should be.  7

      "Global warming is the wellspring of many issues that we and our offspring are beginning to face. To wit: windstorms and tornados, wildfires, dying oceans, tropical diseases, freshwater drain, unbreathable air, increasing global migration on a scale border protection cannot cope with and which itself is a consequence of heath death, drowning, starvation. Additionally, expect armed climate conflicts and economic collapse.  8

      "And, no, I am not a scare monger. But let us not kid ourselves, timescales over my lifetime (I am 92) have gone down from millions of years, to thousands, to centuries, to decades, and as we observe in some cases to years.  9

      "This is not the place to review all those issues that eventually we all beset humanity. But it is not acceptable for our politicians to pooh-pooh these concerns just for the sake of trying to make mincemeat of one another.  10

      "Sorry folks, but I had to speak up!"  11

In the October-2 issue: 12

      "News headline: 'Canadians want to stop climate change—but half don't want to pay an extra cent.' That half includes the majority of Conservative voters, according to a recent poll conducted by IPSOS.  13

      "Let’s be real, climate change is unstoppable. The issue now is to minimize its ferocity and the dire risks associated with it. Lives are at stake on a global scale. We must face it while keeping our marbles. And understand that climate scientists, like medical doctors, serve to save lives.  14

      "Unfortunately, scientists are having a hard time to properly communicate their concerns, especially so because of a barrage thrown up by politicians loudly proclaiming that the threat of climate change is badly overstated.  15

      "Let's bear in mind that scientists work with facts and do so co-operatively through independent verification and peer reviews. In contrast, politicians work with opinions and do so competitively, trying to score points in adversarial debates—quarrelsome debates too often, especially so at election time, tainted with character assassination.  16

      "I believe it is also high time that, politicians aside, all our media must ensure that reporters and so-called opinion-makers properly grasp scientists' critical bent of mind when practicing their profession; that they ensure themselves to be well informed about climate change, and drive the experts’ message home. Into all homes.  17

      "This does not do away with the importance of other issues such as prudent stewardship of our economic resources and mutual respect among all citizens, etc., etc."  18

Yesterday I fired off a third piece: 19

      "If mankind somehow manages to keep global temperature rise within some limit, say 1.5 degrees Celsius or whatever, there still remains a threat to our livelihood such as vast unemployment brought on by robotics and artificial intelligence. And by the need to cut down on the use of materials detrimental to a healthy nature. Topics not touched by election rhetoric.  20

      "To bring about the absolutely necessary changes in the way we live, in our ingrained habits, we need top-notch management of affairs by our government (and governments around the globe). In short, we urgently need a government that will guide our society through drastic, but essential changes. And do so in a manner we shall all understand so as to avoid massive disruptions in public order.  21

      "With this in mind I am especially concerned about the leader of our conservatives. It strikes me that his few months of real-life experience as an office boy in some financial institution does not qualify him to be prime minister of our country. In fact, he seems to understand that himself given the fact that he falsified his curriculum vitae to present himself as an insurance broker for which he isn’t even licensed.  22

      "At the time of this writing, the conservatives and the liberals are leading the polls. So, let’s look at who leads the liberals. First off, he is not “just a teacher” as the smear campaign has it. He grew up in a former prime minister’s home where politics was dinner-table conversation. As for that other smear, the SNC-Lavalin affair, he was faced with a bad situation where the Attorney-General was independent and, yet, a government minister. One thing I took away from the Nazi regime is that ethics commands us to not obey bad laws. It took political guts to override the Attorney-General. Criticize him for that if you must, but don’t smear him. Big difference!  23

      "As voters we need to think of our offspring. Their future is at stake."  24

It so happened that I just stumbled upon Ecclesiates 1:1–18. Wikipedia tells us that it dates from 420–200 BC. Avaluable lesson still; judge for yourself:  25

      "1  The words of Ecclesiates, the son of David, the king of Jerusalem.

      "2  Ecclesiates said: Vanity of vanities! Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity!

      "3  What more does a man have from all his labor, as he labors under the sun?

      "4  A generation passes away, and a generation arrives. But the earth stands forever.

      "5  The sun rises and sets, it returns to its place, and from there, being born again.

      "6  It cirles through the south, and arcs toward the north. The spirit continues on, illuminating everything in its circuit, and turning again in its cycle.

      "7  All rivers enter into the sea; and the sea does not overflow. To the place from which the rivers go out, they return, so that they may flow again.

      "8  Such things are difficult; man is not able to explain them with words. The eye is not satisfied by seeing, nor is the ear fulfilled by hearing.

      "9  What is it that has existed? The same shall exist in the future. What is it that has been done? The same shall continue to be done.

      "10  There is nothing new uner the sun. Neither is anyone able to say: 'Behold, this is new!' For it has already been brought forth in the ages that were before us.

      "11  There is no remembrance of the former things. Indeed, neither shall there be any record of past things in the future, for those who will exist at the very end.

      "12  I, Ecclesiastes, was king of Israel at Jerusalem.

      "13  And I was determined in my mind to seek and to investigate wisely, concerning all that is done under the sun. God has given this very difficut task to sons of men, so that they may be occupied by it.

      "14  I have seen all that is done under the sun; and, behold: all is emptiness and an affliction of the spirit.

      "15  The perverse are unwilling to be corrected, and the number of the foolish is boundless.

      "16  I have spoken in my heart saying: 'Behold, I have achieved greatness, and I have surpassed all the wise who were before me in Jerusalem.' And my mind has contemplated many things wisely, and I have learned.

      "17  And I have dedicated my heart, so that I may know prudence and doctrine, and also error and foolishness. Yet I recognize that, in these things also, there is hardship and affiction of the spirit.

      "18  Because of this, with much wisdom there is also much anger. And whoever adds knowledge, also adds hardship."  
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Und so weiter .... Perpetuum mobile ... on to those who will exist at the very end. 27

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