All politics — indeed all of human activity — is physics.
Physics is all about space (which in ordinary parlance means place) and time.
In order to understand physics one must first understand how space and time relate to one another, and more precisely, how they reinforce one another.
But much of what we know about the way space and time relate to and reinforce one another is governed (a word I have chosen with great care here) by chance.
We now know the universe is not this smooth, sweet flowing river we once thought. More often than not, our world is chaotic and iffy.
So too our politics.
Good politics are the result of being in the right place at the right time. And, if lady luck just happens to be on your side, anything is possible.
Knowing this I would say Premier Fentie is on a roll.
Spanish writer Paulo Coelho, the master of romantic mythological adventure, might describe Fentie’s present political track thusly:
“When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favour.”
I could see the fortuitous ‘place and time’ relationship begin to conspire for Fentie the day Gary McRobb jumped ship to the Liberals. This bit of extra baggage might just have tipped the scales for Fentie.
With Mitchell in the awkward position of explaining the backroom deal leading up to McRobb’s streak across the centre isle — the black hole of politics you might say — Fentie and his conservatives were left floating above it all.
As chance would have it, the conservatives had the wind at their backs.
Now with a majority government in place all Fentie really needs to do is soar with the winds of good fortune.
And, it seems, the universe is still not done conspiring in his favour.
As fate would have it, the world has recently awoken to the pandemonium of climate change.
In 1995 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that planet Earth could heat abnormally by as much as 3.5 degrees Celsius by 2100 and human activity was the chief suspect.
In 2001 IPCC went even further — we could see an increase in excess of 5.8 degrees.
Then Nicholas Stern, in his 2006 report on the economics of climate change, hit the industrial world where it hurts the most. A rapidly warming climate will throw the world’s economy into chaos.
On February 2nd of this year, IPCC released its fourth report. It left no doubt human activity is heating up the planet in such a fashion and with such rapidity we can expect “large-scale, high-impact, non-linear, and potentially-abrupt changes in the physical and biological systems over the coming decades.”
And just like that, like a slap in the face, we have seen the enemy and we are it.
The cooling system of the planet is thrown into chaos. We have crossed the threshold and we can now expect abrupt changes from gradual causes.
We are now in new territory both biologically and politically.
The world’s leaders react to the news the only way they know how.
They throw money.
And Stephen Harper wads up $1.5 billion and tosses it into space and time.
As chance would have it, a pile of it will land at Fentie’s feet.
“…and the universe will conspire in your favour.”
The Yukon’s premier is truly up on centre stage.
With climate change unfolding most dramatically in the North it seems once again space, time and chance have all come together.
With this pure light of destiny in his eyes, with his strong shadow cast across the big stage, how could he fail?
Simple: he could act like a big business conservative while ignoring both moral and common-sense conservatism.
If he chooses technological innovation over and above modernization through conservation, progress over morality, and science over common sense, he will have failed to bring to the table much of what humanity has to offer.
If he fails to call the army of creative humanists into the fray, he will be unable to change our sensibilities. And without a change in sensibility all else will likely fail.
If he does not find direct and permanent ways to engage teachers — particularly environmental educators — in his agenda, he will have missed the best of natural law and of human law.
The premier must quickly begin to put together a diverse team of folks qualified to advise him on how art, science, innovation, mitigation, adaptation and morality relate to one another, and more precisely, how they reinforce one another.
In other words, Fentie must follow a course of action that will evolve from a deep understanding of the physics of humanity.
If he does this he just may keep right on rolling.
His actions could make a real difference toward helping all Canadians find real solutions.
Solutions which Al Gore and others keep reminding us are essentially moral ones.
A word of caution here however:
Fentie may want to closely monitor any signs that might lead him to believe McRobb is on the move once again.
Physics tells us even lady luck can stumble.