Thursday, November 6, 2008

They're shutting down the steel mills ...

In my home town.

Lack of demand they say. People ain't buying houses n' cars the way they used to. 'Course, all that home-buying n' [why'm I talkin' like Jim-Bobby? That's his shtick!] car buying was often done on credit in recent years.

Also, our consumption levels are unsustainable. To think that we're supposed to be models for China and India to emulate, it's ridiculous.

But what should we be doing as a society? Where will the jobs be?

What I do know is that we don't have any viable politicial parties up for doing anything more than tinkering with a system that is killing us.


Boris said...

I suspect that we also have a population largely unwilling to do any more than tinker with the system. Too many people can't envision a world without cars, planes, and TVs and will continue to support that status quo until it short-circuits. And then we have a choice of either turning into a cargo cult attempting to reconstruct the past, or reinventing the way we live.

Scott Neigh said...


Even with the stark need to cut consumption, to shift to sustainable production, to be very concerned about the pollution the mills constantly spew...even with all of that firmly in mind, this is a big, scary sign of what the near- to medium-term future might hold for a lot of ordinary people living in Hamilton.

Here in Sudbury, one small mining company has layed people off, but so far the two big ones are staying quiet about what the economic downturn might mean.

thwap said...


I share your concerns about the general population. But there's cause for optimism. In polls, Canadians say they're perfectly willing to make sacrifices for the environment.

The problem is that we haven't done an effective job of describing alternatives that don't involve wrenching transformations and insecurity.

thwap said...


It's scary because nobody with any clout has articulated what to do after the auto industry and North American consumption generally become extinct. There's little thought given to ordinary peoples' fates.