I am the child of hippies.

Personal marijuana plants, weekend campouts with the grown-ups playing guitars and dancing around the fire. Living off the grid, growing our own food, hitchhiking to town for groceries – I’ve done it all. I’ve got my hippie-kid bonafides and the emotional scars to prove it.

Just kidding on that last part. I actually remember all those people fondly.

However, what typically comes along with the hippie lifestyle is an obsession with the environment. Our whole lives centered around saving the earth from certain pending disaster. We didn’t buy fruit from oil-rich countries because of BIG OIL. We tried not to use brand products from BIG CORPORATE because of their production pollution. We grew our own vegetables (a fun thing) and composted (a not-so fun thing).

Every day was filled with small choices that could mean life and death for humanity. No aerosols came through our house because of the hole in the ozone layer. We didn’t even buy french fries from the local production facility (we lived in potato farming country) because their smokestacks polluted the air and would eventually lead to a sudden and painful obliteration of humanity due to acid rain. I can still see the cover of popular national news magazine on my mother’s dining room table, showing a dark and foreboding seaside storm raining debris and hell down on a quickly disappearing shoreline.

The seas would rise and overtake us all in 30 years if we didn’t do something now!

Ted Danson showed up in special tv ads to tell me that we had a mere 20 years to prevent the next ice age. I spent many a sleepless night staring up at the sky looking for any sign of the damnation that was set to descend at any moment.

Of course, all that destruction depended on whether or not we survived the coming nuclear holocaust. Obviously.

The world has been almost dead for 40 years and more. Why it just keeps not dying seems to be a question no one can – or wants to – discuss. It seems like there are a lot of people who have a lot invested in keeping us terrified. The irony of my mother’s aversion to BIG CORPORATE is that the environmental lobby has become exactly that. Environmentalism is a brand now and the advertising and rebranding campaigns come fast and furious these days.

I was alive when we just called all this ‘air pollution’ and I was still around when we switched that to global cooling and then that changed to global warming and global warming changed to climate change and now climate change has given way to climate instability. When people roll their eyes at the well-intentioned environmentalists out there this is why.

We should be good stewards of our planet and each other. That means being responsible in our consumption and in our commitment to being good neighbors. So much modern climate legislation is based around controlling the economy and access to progress. The rich never struggle to catch up. The legislation always rains down on the poor – like acid rain, eating away at their already meager income.

There is a way to discuss taking care of our earth without turning into authoritarian maniacs. Legislation isn’t the only (or even the right) answer to climate concerns. Neither is fear.

Canada is currently wading through yet another tidal wave of climate hysteria. Prime Minister Trudeau is dealing with a failing government, crushing debt and a hush-hush border crisis (at least on this side of the border) but he’s chosen to use this time in his nation’s history to ban plastic straws. As someone who has lived under the poverty line and still works as an advocate for such people I can say with confidence that no poor people are worried about their damn straws. They want work, a better commute, a nicer home, an education and more time with their family.

How do you get those people to care about your climate legislation that will cost them more of their hard-earned dollars? You make sure they know they might die at the hands of climate warming cooling change instability at any second.

It’s all irresponsible and cruel posturing.

When Trump first took office and the Literally Hitler™ talk began I heard a talk show host scolding those who were using the rhetoric. He said his father had fled Poland when the Nazis showed up, and that’s how he knew Trump wasn’t really Literally Hitler™ because when you’re faced with a terrifying evil like Hitler you run. You don’t tweet, and complain and knit vagina hats. You run for your life.

The United States and Canada continue to have people risking their lives to run here.

It’s the same with the climate debate. If we are 12 years from destruction (or 20 or 2 or 40 or whatever the arbitrary number of the day is) then it is incumbent upon our leaders to take drastic action. If we are now collectively Literally Hitler™ and we’re about to obliterate the planet, then politicians must act. Declare martial law, shut down transportation channels, end oil, lock the populations down.

Of course they don’t and never will, because the climate discussion has gone from an idea of well-intentioned hippies like my parents to a lucrative industry in which people willingly transfer their wealth to the government and to our political enemies abroad out of fear.

Is Canada about to die? Only until campaign season is over. Then it will just keep living until the next time it’s supposed to die and the politicians will just keep telling us how much more control they need to fix the problem. Either climate change catches up to us or we defeat it through all out war on humanity. Funny how neither ever happens. After all, politicians can’t keep lining their pockets if all the taxpayers have been legislated into POW camps until the earth heals.

Canadian politics is every bit as ugly as American politics, and despite their reputation for being the politest people on earth there are plenty of awful, lying creeps in Ottawa. They’re ramping up to election season and thus so is their rhetoric.

Climate change has become a weapon, and the result has been to weaken the earth’s case for care instead of strengthen it.

The Justin Trudeaus of the world will keep using their own plastic straws and flying their private 747s to remote vacation destinations and the rest of us will be left to look up at the sky at night and wait for it to fall…any second now.