The possible construction of a pipeline carrying oil sands from Alberta has been stirring up a lot of emotions. It increased one notch this week when leaked documents from TransCanada, an energy company based in Calgary, revealed their strategy to win the hearts of people on their project.
Their tactics, such as not even using “oil sand” in their communications and using influential people to sell the project, might indeed be deemed deceptive. However, they are merely copying other groups that are seen as defending the (illusory) common good.
Greenpeace was one of the first organizations to denounce TransCanada’s “aggressive” tactics, saying that “one must not hide behind third-parties to take a position; one cannot create bogus groups or pay bloggers to give their opinion.”
Hmm … if that is the case, why aren’t the environmentalists opposed to their third-parties that finance them and their bloggers to advocate brazenly?
Indeed, Tides U.S., the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Rockefeller brothers, and many other foreign associations have all contributed substantial amounts of money to Canadian groups in their “fight” against oil sands. Why would Greenpeace use a tactic it doesn’t want its opponents to use?
Furthermore, why would they bury their heads in the sand on the supposed dangers of oil sand exploitation? Climate science is not settled with respect to human influence, and using proven oil-sand reserves would contribute a microscopic increase in temperatures. In fact, oil sands represent a more ethical choice than Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Speaking of which, the Chavista nation’s oil infrastructure is in terrible shape when compared with Alberta’s.
Another group that can use third-party funds without causing a public outcry is students. During the massive 2012 boycotts in Quebec, people were praising the students’ “initiative” — that it was the “awakening of a generation,” and blah, blah, blah.
Many people forget to mention that this so-called awakening was merely a Big Union manipulation used to “overthrow” a provincial government that wouldn’t toe the line anymore. Without the union funds (had they been approved democratically?), these student boycotts wouldn’t have lasted a week.
Just imagine if the “green squares” received funds from the Montreal Economic Institute or the Quebec Council of Employers. Nonsensical socialist accusations such as “predatory capitalism” or “puppet of big corporations” would be trotted out all over the place.
In short, radical student groups and environmentalists should think twice before denouncing others’ strategies, especially when they benefit from so much third-party money. Otherwise, they are nothing more than hypocrites.