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Living in the post-truth world, energy style

fake news and lies
Reading Time: 4 minutes

One of the unfortunate legacies of 2016 is the frequency of ‘post-truth’ communications.

The term describes communications where objective facts are replaced by erroneous assertions aimed at creating emotion-based beliefs. Post-truth communications reached a peak during the American presidential campaign.

But Canadians have also seen an escalation of post-truth communications, particularly in relation to energy. Here are some of those assertions, contrasted with real world facts.

Post-truth No. 1: We have the technology to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar energy.

Real world facts:

Post-truth No. 2: Canada’s oil and gas industry increases global carbon emissions.

Real world facts:

Post-truth No. 3: Canada’s carbon tax will be part of a global emissions reduction effort.

Real world facts:

In an age where headline-style messaging helps those who practise emotion-targeted post-truth communication, how can the real-world facts ever get through?

I don’t know – but I do know that if those who know the truth remain silent, post-truth falsehoods will eventually erode the factual basis upon which Canadians judge issues important to our economic and political future.

Gwyn Morgan is a retired Canadian business leader who has been a director of five global corporations. 

Gwyn is a Troy Media Thought Leader. Why aren’t you?

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Gwyn Morgan

Gwyn Morgan has become one of Canada’s foremost business leaders and an ardent champion of the importance of Canadian-headquartered international enterprises. Gwyn has served on the board of directors of five global corporations. He serves as a trustee of the Fraser Institute, the Manning Centre for Building Democracy and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.
He devoted three decades to building EnCana Corp. into Canada’s largest energy company. When he stepped down as founding CEO at the end of 2005, EnCana was Canada's most valuable company with a stock market value of approximately $60-billion. Gwyn has been recognized as Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year and also as Canada’s Most Respected CEO. He has been inducted as a Member of The Order of Canada.

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