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The Crystal Serenity: A Titanic for the modern age

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Gord Downie took a moment during his final concert to send Canada's thoughts towards the people of the North. But he's not the only hero bringing long-overdue attention to their plight. The other is the Crystal Serenity, one of the world's largest cruise ships, currently touring through the Northwest Passage.

That trip was made possible by melting sea ice, which was melted by the climate emergency causing every month of 2016 to be the hottest in recorded history. Ignoring climate change is no longer a "screw the grandkids" attitude, it's "screw today's kids, screw the north, screw the poor, screw everything I'm going on a cruise!"

If the Titanic was a metaphor for humanity's arrogance toward nature, the Crystal Serenity is a metaphor for not learning anything from the Titanic. But this "extinction tourism" as it's been called, is completely logical in an economic system where the environment has no inherent value. The snake will eat its own tail if it doesn't understand that it needs its tail to live. The market would let us enjoy all seven circles of hell from the comfort of our luxury cabin, assuming we could afford it.

And as the Alberta government lobbies for oil pipelines, and the B.C. government releases a climate plan barely worth the high gloss pages its written on, it's clear that our governments are looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

So if there's salvation for humanity it won't be as consumers, or even voters, but as people who wake up to the fact that we're all on the same ship.

This video originally appeared on the Toronto Star.

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