Maxed out 

The stigma of being Number One


It is only the freezing cold temperatures visited on us by our friend, Mr. Arctic Outflow, that keeps us from collectively basking in the warm glow of finally being Number One. Okay, maybe Number Two still, as always, in the shadow of our neighbour to the south. But we're putting up a hell of a fight. And given the Coefficient of Charisma enjoyed by The Obama - versus the total lack thereof, and only occasional glimpses of humanity of any kind, of Little Stevie Hapless - heck, we just might step up to gold by the time the cloud of hot air dissipates over Copenhagen.

Canada, we're climate pirates. Arrrg, and we're better at it than almost anyone else in the world. Who'da thunk?

Yes, from sea to sea to sea - and especially in Alberta - we're the poster child for climate excess, the thuggish delinquent the rest of the world is warning their children not to play with. With an oil-slicked duck having replaced the buck-toothed, smiling, diligent if boring beaver as Canada's symbolic national animal, we've gone rogue and lifted ourselves by our own bootstraps to the exalted position of Destroyers of the Earth.

Damn Sam, crank up the thermostat, crack open an ice-cold Kokanee and tune in David Suzuki on the big screen TeeVee. This is going to be good.

Of course, it isn't quite how we pictured Canada's Century. And it's endlessly fascinating to watch the country morph from white hat to black hat in less time than it took to declare and defeat the swine flu pandemic. Blame it on global cooling, eh?

And let's be honest. Outside Alberta, Canada's wearing the cloak of darkness uncomfortably. First we find out we're not peacekeepers any more; we're just your garden variety warriors, killing, being killed, all for... well, exactly for what has been lost in the fog of war in a country that's been generating both fog and war since time and history began. And it's not like we couldn't take some comfort in the historic knowledge that the whole quag... fiasco had noble beginnings.

That small comfort unfortunately vanished like the chimera it was when we found out our troops, with the knowledge of our government - with the possible but highly implausible exception of Peter "The Weasel" MacKay - were turning prisoners of war over to Afghani security forces who employed creative, if anachronistic, questioning methods. Or, as Rummy used to like to say, enhanced interrogation techniques. Kinda makes torture sound like laundry detergent: New! Improved! Fresh as all outdoors! Sustainable? Well, not likely.

Okay, so coming into the home stretch leading up to the Greenest Olympics Ever TM , Canada's now a warrior society that embraces torture. But at least we were able to take some solace in being environmentally-conscientious warrior torturers.


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