Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Remembrance Day and Climate Change
I have a BA in history and political science. Putting that expensive education to use, and glancing into the dark backward abyss of time, I see that Canadian propaganda and news produced during WWI bore little, if any relation to actual events for two reasons. Soldiers' letters home to Canada were heavily censored as were news dispatches. And news reporters and soldiers censored themselves due to their adherence to the myth of the glory of war. Canadians at home received the usual tripe about a glorious offensive on the Somme even though Sir Douglas Haig privately characterized the offensive as a costly failure. I am not suggesting thar Canada was unique in this use of propaganda. The British were masters of propaganda: their first act of war during WW I was to to sever the underwater telegraph cables that connected Germany to America. And propaganda still matters today. Climate Cover Up: the Crusade to Deny Global Warming (James Hoggan with Richard Littlemore 2009) discusses climate change denial and delay. The authors sum up the climate change conversation as " a public policy dialogue that should have been driven by science has instead been disrupted by public relations ." They also call the dialogue "a carefully constructed ruse to keep people from supporting the kinds of actions that will compromise the profit potential of ExxonMobil" among others. Per the Monday, October 26, 2009 edition of the Globe and Mail, the government of Canada has joined with eight big oil sands operators to educate the public. Shades of WWI - the Canadian public did not know about the realities of the terrible slaughter on the front lines in France then - and now the Canadian government does not want the Canadian public to fret about their childrens' inheritance in a world decimated by climate change.. ....Is this what Canadian citizens want? Do we really want our government to put the interests of big oil producers ahead of the interests of our grandchildren?