Save the Planet by the Contrarian

Some years ago, I had the idea that ‘Rolling back the frontier’ meant expanding our settled area in Canada, moving toward filling our role in human history.  So I was surprised when a retired school teacher friend explained to me that ‘rolling back the frontier’, a mantra of the tuned-in political class, refers to shrinking, not expanding our settled area, returning our country to wilderness, the frontier coming back toward us.  We practical, ‘people first’ folks were scandalized at the very idea – Canada’s potential to feed the world lies in expanding, not shrinking our civilized part of the country.

You might recall the ‘Mid Canada Corridor’ concept which got quite a lot of publicity some 60 years ago, endorsed and promoted by John Diefenbaker, probably some of the reason he was beaten up so badly (politically, although with what we have seen in our political world since, perhaps physically threatened as well).

Anyway, the Mid Canada project was to roll back the frontier the other way, expand and develop above the margins now considered habitable.    

Shot down in flames, along with Diefenbaker.  That’s about when we started to see our province actively trying to destroy agriculture in our area – easily done; all they had to do was remove support for buying farmland and replace it with an absolute ban on mortgages for vacant rural land!  So, no use developing your farm, you won’t be able to sell it in future!  The fact we have viable farm operations succeeding in our area in spite of this government negative pressure says we are well suited to agriculture here!

Along with myriads of regulation which discourages small scale, traditional agriculture which can be done in those fringe areas where the fields are too small for large scale ‘modern’ agriculture, even though that small scale, more intensive agriculture produces much more food per acre while improving, not running down the soil.  While taking carbon out of the air, and increasing the carbon content of the soil.

What brings all this to mind now is reading that we in Canada and other countries now use a ‘fertilizer’ on our grain which has the side effect of reducing the fertility of those who eat that grain, it is news now because the US is considering allowing its use there.  Presumably part of the newly resurrected political position that the world cannot produce enough food, so about a quarter of us have to disappear!  We have to stop producing babies! 

What nonsense – we all have an equal right to life, so there is always just the right amount of people!  And this kind of sneaky stuff – putting chemicals in our food without our knowing it – does not happen in a truly free country!

And it’s all nonsense –  we are now feeding about 8 billion, plus a whole plethora of pets, while wasting probably a quarter of what is actually produced, goes into your garbage.  The claim we have to reduce our population first spread among the political class way back when there were only about 2 billion of us – a quarter as many as now – it is just a dopey idea!  You could produce enough food for yourself on your suburban lot if you gardened it intensively enough! 

The limit on food production is water – given enough water, we can make the deserts bloom!  And guess who has most of the fresh water which goes unused directly into the ocean – Canada, of course!  And lots of it is in that mid-Canada corridor!

There is a river which runs over a cliff which is part of the shoreline of Labrador – a waterfall directly into the ocean.  Some of the highly populated Caribbean islands are short of water, some actually buy city water from the city of Miami, and it is hauled out there by ship.  An entrepreneur put these two together, and came up with a plan – put a giant funnel up on that Labrador cliff so it can catch some of that clean, clear river water and put it into a ship sitting in the ocean below, and haul it off to that Caribbean island. 

But Canada said no, we can’t export any of this precious resource, we have to let it run into the ocean and disappear.  The same Canada that doesn’t support that carbon absorbing traditional agriculture, while destroying our oil industry to save carbon!  The same Canada that says we cannot manage our forests, just let nature have its way, apparently too dumb to see that our Canadian forest does not just lay down and nurture new growth – it replaces itself by fire.  This puts the carbon taken up by the trees back up into the air!

What hypocrites! The world is going insane, and it seems our Canada is in the front row!