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Alberta oil pr

Written by Sherwin, published on September 16, 2011

Alberta oil public relations

Given my interest in science, public relations, web design and climate change, I have been thinking for a while about building a site with some social and moral relevance to the world I inhabit. I have been building a website about climate change soundbites. 1

Here is a list of the soundbites I brainstormed:2

  1. Scientists can’t predict the weather, how can they predict the climate?
  2. The Earth is cooling, not warming.
  3. The hockey stick graph is bullshit.
  4. Everything is made of oil.
  5. You drive a car, so don’t be a hypocrite.
  6. We can’t stop climate change so there is nothing we can do.
  7. Scientists don’t all agree about global warming.
  8. The Earth might be warming but there is not enough evidence linking it to human activity.
  9. Getting oil from Alberta is more ethical than getting it from Iraq or Iran or Nigeria.
  10. Getting coal from Alberta is more ethical than getting coal from Columbia.
  11. Alberta keeps Canada in the black.
  12. If we don’t keep increasing oil production, and consumption, humans will starve.
  13. Mitigating climate change is a waste of money.
  14. We’re better off spending money to end world hunger.
  15. Lethbridge will become like Arizona, which is a good thing.
  16. The world is better off being warmer.
  17. Climate change is a socialist conspiracy.
  18. Only hippies care about climate change.
  19. The oil industry meets and exceeds all industry regulation.
  20. It is not government’s role to regulate free markets.
  21. The IPCC is corrupt
  22. The market will correct itself.
  23. Only the free market can solve climate change.
  24. Coal is clean.
  25. We file a report if we spill a single drop of gas when we fill up our trucks.
  26. We regulate ourselves and we set the standard worldwide.
  27. We use coal to make clean energy.
  28. Alternative energy sources are not enough so we need to expand oil production.
  29. One word: China.
  30. Volcanoes cause climate change, not Albertans.
  31. Solar flares cause climate change, not Albertans.
  32. The Earth’s orbit causes climate change, not Albertans.
  33. God will keep us safe from climate change.
  34. The Earth will always bounce back.
  35. The sky isn’t falling.
  36. Anyone who cares about climate change is an alarmist.
  37. Consumer choices will solve climate change.
  38. Government officials can’t be trusted to solve climate change.
  39. Ocean ice is an obstacle to trade.
  40. Don’t threaten our economic recovery with environmental regulation.
  41. Don’t threaten our economic stability with red tape.
  42. Our economy is an island of peace and security. Don’t put it at risk.
  43. Let Stephen Harper take care of it. He is making a green plan that is custom made for Canada.
  44. We have to wait and see what the U.S.A. is going to do.
  45. Global temperatures have always been this way from time to time.
  46. The oil industry is committed to habitat restoration.

I thought I had done pretty well making a list of public relations soundbites designed to stifle action to mitigate climate change. Then I discovered that some others have already done a better job. This guy even organized the arguments and included basic, intermediate and advanced counter arguments. But as well organized as these guys are, there are seriously hundreds and maybe thousands of websites out there, some well funded and some not, espousing climate denial.

And fascinating it is. It is perhaps the greatest epistemological challenge ever devised by an evil genius. Place billions of humans in a finite space. Give them different worldviews, disparate access to wealth and power, and widely ranging systems of knowing. Give the folks with more access to wealth and privilege a vested interest to keep the other guys confused about a pressing issue. Add in folks that think they are entitled to the resources without acknowledging the finite constraints of said finite space or their impact on the social and political fabric of said space.

It reminds me of the kind of puzzle presented to me when I speak to someone that believes the Earth is only six thousand years old. It’s the same kind of interpersonal puzzle I face when I talk to someone that believes there is a white man in the sky that killed his son on everyone’s behalf. It’s a puzzle. And I don’t know the answer.

Anyway, here it is was: http://www.whatthefuckismyalbertaoilstrategy.com/

 

  1. Update: you cannot find the website at www.whatthefuckismyalbertaoilstrategy.com
  2. I had much appreciated help from Becky Cory.
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Archived comments

  1. klem says:

    Um, nope, I believe in all of the things you mentioned. And nope, only some of it is fear mongering and fanatacism, most of it is real.

    How did you arrive at your conclusions?

  2. Sherwin says:

    So you must not believe in the invisible germ, or the invisible ozone, or the invisible atom. I guess all of that science talk about obesity and heart disease and diabetes is also fear mongering and fanaticism.

  3. klem says:

    I did? Cool.

  4. Sherwin says:

    Just watch. Someone is going to come along and say religion and science are the same. Wait. You just did that.

  5. klem says:

    “It’s the same kind of interpersonal puzzle I face when I talk to someone that believes there is a white man in the sky that killed his son on everyone’s behalf. It’s a puzzle.”

    Exactly. Climate alarmists are precisely the same for me. The invisible white guy in the sky is just like this invisible greenhouse gas which is everywhere but you can’t see it. It is based on fear, fear that if we continue our unsustainable sinful ways our climate god will cause catastrophic climate disaster. We have climate scientists who are the only ones who understand the science just like Preachers used to be the only ones who understood the Bible in the old days, and we have to accept their word for it in the same way. If you question their opinion you were called a heretic, today you’re a climate heretic. If you asked a preacher for evidence for the existence of god, they find it everywhere, they would claim God was responsible for everything. Today if you ask a climate alarmist for evidence of ACC they can find it everywhere, and they blame ACC for everything as well. Ever seen how many events around the world are now blamed on ACC? Virtually everything is blamed on ACC, just like God used to be. Al Gore is like a new Pope and every country in the world has its top ACC guy, like new Apostles. When you talk to a climate alarmist, its like talking to an evangelical Christian, they don’t hear you they just continue yammering on about their belief and fear, like you aren’t even there. Climate alarmism is a new fear which has replaced the old fear of God. The parallels between religious fanaticism and climate fanaticism are astounding.

    Its a puzzle alright. I’m as puzzled as you are.