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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

let the games begin.

7 comments:

Fred said...

Keep up the sensational media and Spider Woman PR stunts... we'll see how seriously people take these arguments.

jk said...

Even though I lived in the states for a year and a half I still think it's weird that they call hockey "ice hockey."

I actually had a friend from Baltimore who called skiing "snow skiing" (the other skiing being water skiing). Crazy Americans...

jk said...

Fred: this is targeted to an international audience, not just Albertans. Keep in mind that not everyone in the world is getting mind-blowingly rich off the oilsands like Alberta is.

I think you'd be a whole lot less tolerant of the environmental debacle that is the oilsands if you weren't benefiting directly from it (I'm assuming you live in Canada and probably Alberta). I'm sure there are a whole lot of people in Brazil who aren't very concerned about clearcutting the rainforest.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to make a point, Freddy.

Jeff J. said...

I think the point Fred is trying to make is that it is hard to take serious these things from organizations who only get attention from breaking the law or coming up with ludicrous statements. Whatever happened to good old fashioned fact-based arguments and science? Whatever happened to looking at the whole picture instead of special interest groups only caring about themselves?

So what if "not everyone is getting rich from the oilsands." Does that mean all Albertans should be poor because then that would satisfy Greenpeace? what exactly are you hoping to achieve here?

jk said...

Jeff J: the problem with "good old fashioned fact-based arguments and science" is that our government doesn't use them in their decision-making process (they tend to prefer ideology, which simplifies things). If they did we wouldn't have tailings ponds or an entirely nominal and toothless "climate-change policy."

Myself (and Greenpeace, I'm guessing) definitely share your lament about people not looking at the big picture -- I really don't think we'd be having this discussion if the province included any criteria other than the maximization of short-term economic gain in its decision-making process regarding oilsands issues. Also, would a corporation designed solely to maximize profits fit your definition of a "special interest group" that only cares about itself?

Of course, I clearly mean that all of Albertans should be in poverty because that would make Greenpeace happy. Gimme a break. If you weren't too busy constructing straw-man arguments, you'd see that what I meant is that the only reason people in Alberta are so forgiving of this environmental debacle is because we directly benefit from it. The international audience -- to whom Greenpeace is ultimately playing by doing things like this -- is a lot less willing to look past the savages of the oilsands industry because they aren't reaping economic benefits from it. What this means is that what Fred said in his above comment is probably right, if by "people" he was only referring to "Albertans." However, as I mentioned above, Greenpeace is targeting a much broader swath of people than just Albertans.

One Alberta Voter said...

Jeff J, many responsible citizens and scientists, and in fact the provincial government's own civil servants have for many years been providing fact-based arguments and science with respect to the environmental problems this province faces. Those efforts have been routinely discounted, ignored, and even ridiculed. The politicians have made clear that, facts and science aside, they will only take the environment seriously as an issues when there is public agitation. Accordingly, one can hardly fault those who have taken advantage of a strategic opportunity to build that agitation.

As Saul Alinsky said, it is difficult to say you support an objective, but condemn the means to attain it, unless you are actively promoting an alternative tactic. In Alberta, the alternative tactic of polite conversation, if used alone, has proven repeatedly to be inadequate (much to the shame of our policy-makers).