Cover Your Ears and Sing Loudly

At public hearings on the environmental impacts of proposed oil pipelines, Canadians are no longer allowed to discuss climate change: any testimonials concerning how the oil was produced (“upstream effects”) and what will happen when it is burned (“downstream effects”) are considered inadmissible. This new policy was part of a 2012 omnibus bill by the federal government.

So if we refuse to consider the risks, they don’t exist? Or does this government just not care? I’m not sure I want to know the answer.

See the very thoughtful article by Andy Skuce, a geologist who formerly worked in the Alberta oil sands.


6 thoughts on “Cover Your Ears and Sing Loudly

  1. Kate, thanks for the kind words.

    But I should say in my defence, or at least in a plea for a reduced sentence, that I have never actually worked in the oil sands or even in unconventional gas.

      • Yes, I have been a consultant geoscientist for the past few years but I claim no special expertise in unconventional oil or gas. I’m pretty much retired now, though.

        Thanks again for sending some readers my way.

  2. Glad to see you active ClimateSight. It is frustrating.

    While the controversy over how to say enough clearly while being drowned out by industry propaganda and their ill-informed converts in government and all around us rages, it is comforting to know that reasoned arguments continue to be supported. Andy Skuce is a fine voice, and his direct experience is valuable.

    Anyone wishing to read a brilliant rational takedown of an example of skilled distraction might enjoy this which Tenney Naumer posted; I’m using her reference because there is no direct link; it’s from Angela Fritz’s Wunderground blog:

    It summarizes the techniques at the end:

    1. Discredit your opponent
    2. Inject misinformation
    3. Accuse others
    4. Deflect the argument
    5. Attack the science
    6. Establish yourself as a (false) authority
    7. Amplify your message.

    These are your tactics. They define your motives. They explain why you are here … to distract you.

  3. Does this sound at all familiar?

    How would you feel if the world was falling apart around you
    Pieces of the sky were falling in your neighbors yard
    But not on you
    Wouldn’t you feel just a little bit funny
    Think maybe there’s something you oughta do

    from “Before Believing” (Danny Flowers)

  4. Whilst not oil or quite climate change related, this does however remind me of a similar situation we find ourselves in, in the UK. Our government is attempting to suppress the views of its voters in the run up to the elections, see below. We would simply not be able to speak out on the most pressing of issues we find ourselves in, a daft but sad situation indeed.

    Best Wishes


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