In what must be considered the most blatant corporate equivalent of jangling your keys to distract a child, Nova Scotia Power has indicated that they will be spending $50 million a year on conservation efforts to reduce power rates. Except that power rates will have to go up. Just until it’s paid for, you understand – then, as we take more responsibility for reducing our energy consumption, our bills should go down.
Uh-huh. So, let’s see if I understand you correctly. You’re saying that you are doing something positive for the environment. Fine. However, completely apart from that, you will raise my power rates until I take the responsibility of reducing them myself.
So, should I hold my ass cheeks open for you, or do you prefer to do it? It’s up to you, apparently, since there’s no other place I can go to get energy. At least use some lubricant, for goodness’ sake.
This wouldn’t offend me nearly as much if we hadn’t found out due to an internal review (imagine if you will how insightful and probing that must have been) that the top execs at Emera and NSP were earning over $1 million a year for…whatever it is they do. That’s why this offends me – this is an example of attempted corporate spin – getting us to take our eyes off the walnut shell so they can dispose of the embarrassing pea underneath. This blatant political move, this attempt at distracting, this appeal to the basest parts of our brains…
…is, unfortunately, going to work, at least to some degree. Because, with one sweeping gesture, they presented the cause du jour – the environment – as the distraction. Rhetorically, invoking the modern simplistic logic of the true capitalist, this places critics on a footing that by definition makes them look bad. How can you disapprove of saving the planet? Do you also kick old people and squish puppies?
And that, my friends, is why this angers me. To rake in monumental profits with one hand and cynically manipulate the ‘customers’ into believing this is a good thing, is the epitome of – I hesitate to say ‘evil’, but let’s settle on ‘greed’ for the time being. For the NSP – the corporation that spent decades burning poor-quality coal and fouling the atmosphere, leaving caustic dust on cars that eats away the paint, to repeatedly ask for increases in rates with no justification, just a sense of apparent entitlement – to ask for us to pay gratefully to be told what to do, in essence, is ludicrous. And offensive, and cliched, and frustrating…
…and awfully fucking clever.