Politics now one issue

was in the U.S. this week on business and I shared the stage with the last man to walk on the moon, Dr. Harrison Schmitt, a geologist who was part of the Apollo 17 expedition.

It was certainly an honour to represent the leading edge of aviation as I spoke about flying cars while Dr. Schmitt shared his tales of being transported to the moon in a controlled explosion with a craft that had less technology than today’s wrist watches. 

Meanwhile, back in Canada, politics provided as many talking points as we had on stage and was clearly just as polarized and ugly as the U.S.

Interestingly, what binds us all together as Canadians is a massive amount of confusion over climate change and what to do about it.

I can certainly admit that I was a climate change denier, even though I would climb and see the obvious degradation to glaciers around the world. In recent years, that impact is more staggering.

Recently, I drove to Alberta, which I have not done for many years, and the view of Illecillewaet Glacier and the visible change was shocking.

The sad thing is it has driven politics to a one-issue discussion.

The Liberals believe that signing a pact expressing a desire to reduce GHG emissions is the way to go, even thought there are no tacit plans.

The Conservative Party believes there are answers, but more research is needed to see where our fiscal and industrial investment can best be spent to reduce GHG emissions.

The NDP appeared to be so focused on doing anything to keep Conservatives out that I am not sure I ever saw a clear communication on their plans other than their belief that big corporations will pay.

You would think the Green Party would have a clear mandate but, trolling through their manifesto, it is very clear, that they don’t have any answers.

Everybody makes a difference and is wiling to sign a document saying they will reduce GHG emissions, but nobody has truly run the numbers or developed a plan that I can see.

It made me think that acknowledging where we are today is probably a good starting point for creating unity among the electorate.

If we can acknowledge that we don’t fully understand what is happening and we discuss it, there may be some shared common ground. 

If we can agree (as evidence suggests) that human activities are having an impact on climate change, then perhaps we can agree that individually and corporately there are things we can do to make an incremental difference. 

Without an electorate buying in to the problem and potential solutions, we will continue to have divisive, polarized, negative campaigning for many years, which serves no one. 

There are technologies available today that can make a radical difference to climate change; why are they not being introduced?

It is time to look at the inhibitors to disruptive technologies that can make the world a better place. The status quo is not good enough, turf protection is not good enough.

Debate and critical thinking from all sectors of the government and the electorate, including a wide variety of stakeholders, is what will set us up for success as a nation.

Simply taxing big polluters does nothing other than increase our cost of living and force people to dig their heels in. 

Let’s get a little more creative.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for more than 40 years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business.

He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the U.K. in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
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