The Challenge of Progress

We see it everywhere, especially at election time, the catch phrases of “Moving Forward”, and “Positive Change”. These are supposed to incite voters into believing that the political party wants to make our lives better. The problem with these statements are they are vague; what exactly is Moving Forward? They are also subjective; what may be a Positive Change for some, would be negative for others. If you don’t agree with the party that is trying to “Move Forward”, then you are labelled anti-progress.

I am all for progress and the betterment of our daily lives, but it isn’t a blank cheque.

In our efforts to create jobs, and get that extra 1% growth in the economy, we make bad decisions which pollute our environment, our health, and exploit our limited resources. This may seem fine when the resources are in an abundance, but when they begin to be depleted even the most ardent “progress” supporter will be forced to acknowledge that we will need change the way we do things, our economy, and our way of lives. My question is if major change is inevitable why don’t we change now? Our current economic system is short-sighted to say the least; it’s procrastination on a global scale.

I have always thought that Saskatchewan was in a very enviable position in that we have a very diverse array of energy resources. Forget for a moment the huge environmental impacts these energies have(there are many), we have oil, natural gas, coal, uranium; we are a true energy province. What about sustainable forms of energy, are we blessed in those areas as well? Saskatchewan has the most sun in all of Canada, and have some of the best wind corridors available, but have we capitalized on this limitless resource? Hardly. Alberta is not noted for their environmental leanings, but have many wind turbines already in place, and if you take a trip through from Minot to Bismark, ND you will be amazed at the literally hundreds of wind turbines scattered about the landscape. I wonder where these turbines were manufactured, who installed them, and who were the experts hired to oversee the projects? It is the answer to these questions that is key to future and sustainable growth; why can’t we build industries which are based on renewable energy production, that will create jobs (manufacturing, installation, sales, consulting), and allow us to become world leaders in this sector? If energy companies want to exploit a resource, go ahead and exploit the renewable ones, as I don’t think anyone would harbour a grudge against a renewable energy company making record profits, while protecting the environment.

As part of Saskatchewan’s energy portfolio, we need to diversify into these sustainable technologies. Then and only then will we be Moving Forward with Positive Change.