A recent story about how Toronto council eliminated a by-law restricting cyclists to single file riding on city streets got me thinking about how politics has infected almost everything we touch. Quite often protecting the environment is the reason for the meddling.
Calgary - April 3, 2013 - *Politics: Poli, meaning many. Tics, meaning bloodsucking parasites
A recent story about how Toronto council eliminated a by-law restricting cyclists to single file riding on city streets got me thinking about how politics has infected almost everything we touch. Quite often protecting the environment is the reason for the meddling. To me this relatively insignificant cycling story is an indication of how government and eco-activists are polluting the things we do and love and how I have been struggling with a making decision in Calgary. I'll get to that in a moment, but first let me explain how these intrusions are starting to try my patience.
If you buy some groceries you now have to pay for bags because a sea turtle ate a plastic bag once and “evil oil” was used in the bags construction. The same people who pushed for the bag ban wouldn't have the store, the food, their clothes, their iPhone, the car they drive or the home they live in and everything in it if it wasn't for the sweet oil they despise. Having bacteria laden reusable bags somehow makes their ’eco-sin’ alright.
At home you're told to recycle because it's good for the environment, but it actually takes more energy, creates more pollution and costs more to recycle most products than to create a new one. Not to mention the fleets of trucks hauling this rubbish all over the country, which actually does pollute our air. Burning the garbage for energy would be preferable and possible, but politics, politicians and those activists won't allow that either.
If I want to have a cola I now have to make my decision based on whether I believe that global warming is killing polar bears. I briefly mentioned this in my column last week. Coca Cola is continuing the ’polar bears are perishing on melting ice floes’ misinformation campaign. I sent them a note telling them that I will not purchase their products (see below) and will drink Pepsi until they start telling the truth. No doubt kids who learn this bogus info in schools are now gulping down Coke in great quantities because they want to save the Coca Cola cartoon polar bears. Then again maybe they aren't. Politicians and activists have managed to ban sugary drinks at most schools because the drinks (not their irresponsible parents) are causing childhood obesity.
Want to kill weeds on your lawn? Nope, can't do that. Despite years of research saying common herbicides and pesticides are safe when used properly, the do gooders got those banned too. When I spoke up and defended the use of the chemicals on my lawn, people asked me... “John, what if some kid goes on your lawn with those chemicals?” I responded “Keep your damn kid off my lawn! It's my lawn!” Yeah, I've become the grumpy old man, but I guess that's better than being an anal retentive environmental asshole.
Even trying to relieve yourself has turned into a chore. The usual one flush toilet has been replaced by the 'flush it over and over again and you might get lucky loo’. Politicians even had to intervene with your bowel movements and the disposal. The low flow toilet should have been named the no flow.
Which brings me back to the inspiration for this rant... Toronto and its single file cyclists.
I've been wanting to join a cycling club in Calgary, but even that has been complicated by activism and politics. I just want to ride, but the club I'm interested in joining has an activist wing to lobby city government. It's unfortunate, but even my beloved cycling has become a political football. Cycling has become an issue for the greenhouse gas emissions crowd too, as a small group of cycle activists push councils to push cars off the roads. Roads that were built for cars, I might add. I'm all for more people riding bicycles, but I believe in being practical, not political. If you can't encourage me to throw my leg over my bike when the temperature dips below 0C (I like it hot), good luck getting the rest of the non-cycle crazy population to do it... even when the weather is perfect. The activists think they know differently and want to force cars off the road and bike lanes down our throats at the taxpayers expense. Unfortunately so do some bicycle clubs... which leaves me in a quandary. I know my “radical” views won't go over well with the cycle activists. Maybe I need to find some other like minded people to start my own club. No politics allowed.
My correspondence with Coke. I think the Pepsi logo was a nice touch.
PS: Coca Cola did get back to me. See, even Coca Cola has a political spin machine.
My final e-mail.
John Bolton has been a broadcaster for 25 years, most recently in Cornwall Ontario. After living in Ontario his entire life John and his wife Sheila recently moved to Alberta where John fills in on Calgary radio discussing politics, current events and all things Alberta. He believes in personal responsibility, limited government and being able to keep more of the money he earns. If you have questions or wish to contact John, you can email him at email@example.com
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