Environmental propaganda masks positive reality

Al Gore, David Suzuki and others would rather scare our children than tell them about the valuable contributions Canada makes every day to protect our planet

Environmental propaganda masks positive realityThe release of Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power has drawn reactions from environmental groups and their critics, and made for some insightful dinnertime conversation with my children. Like many Canadian kids, they watched Gore's first film, An Inconvenient Truth, in the classroom. What bothers me is my children's belief that their…

We shall overcome: the power of positive action

People are people, we all want to live in peace, harmony and prosperity, and we can't be held back by walls

We shall overcome: the power of positive actionThe German version of the popular 1980s song 99 Red Balloons, by Berlin-based band Nena, included the lyrics “99 Kriegsminister, Streichholz und Benzinkanister.” Translation: 99 war ministers, matches and petrol cans. While the lines lose some poetry when translated into English, they sum up the sentiment and the reality of the era. Those of us who grew up…

There is little that is new about fake news

Once upon a time, a news story wasn't news until a legitimate news outlet carried it. Now, if it’s on somebody’s Twitter feed it’s a news story

There is little that is new about fake newsThe U.S. news media tells us the world is awash in fake news. Democrats blame it for the defeat of their candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the U.S. presidential elections. President Donald Trump rails against “fake news” from the “dishonest media,” singling out CNN. Facebook and Google, both of whom have been accused of being particularly…

Living in the post-truth world, energy style

Post-truth nonsense about fossil fuels paints a dangerous, damaging and distorted picture of Canada's energy use and production

Living in the post-truth world, energy styleOne 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.…

How to filter real journalists from advocacy media outlets

In true journalism, opinion or commentary must be clearly labelled as such, and blending hard news with commentary is insidious

How to filter real journalists from advocacy media outletsA United Nations decision to bar a Canadian news organization from next month’s Conference of the Parties (COP22) makes it clear it's time journalism becomes a self-regulating profession – much like doctors or lawyers. The Rebel, a right-leaning platform created by Ezra Levant, was denied access to the conference in Morocco because “advocacy media outlets do…

Media consultant Tony Schwartz transformed modern politics

His one minute TV ad called Daisy won the 1964 election for U.S. President Lyndon Johnson

Since the late 1960s, we progressives have been trying to get back what we once had. That’s not to say that we have been incapable of winning in the interim, of course. Jean Chretien, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau have shown that we can, when the circumstances are right, beat back conservatives. But…

There’s nothing new about foreign intervention in elections

Russian hacking of DNC emails? Sounds like business as usual in the modern history of political interference by other countries

There’s nothing new about foreign intervention in electionsThe chatter over Russian hacking of Democratic National Committee emails seems overblown. Moscow’s role is interesting, but the huffing and puffing about the iniquity of one country trying to influence another’s election is silly. It happens all the time – Americans included. John F. Kennedy subtly targeted John Diefenbaker in Canada’s 1963 federal election. The idea was to…

OPSEU’s anti-privatization campaign draws on old stereotypes

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union's ad campaign against private liquor stores plays loose with the facts

OPSEU’s anti-privatization campaign draws on old stereotypesOne would have hoped that Canadians had gotten past the impulse to pick on other regions of the country to advance their personal interests. It appears that not everyone has gotten the message. Alberta, it turns out, is once again being vilified by a group of Ontarians as the cowboy province that can’t control its…

Frankenfood follies put world at peril

GMOs may be the only way to avoid catastrophic global water and food shortages

Frankenfood follies put world at perilThe UN’s annual World Water Development Report, published in March, warned that unless the balance between demand and supplies is restored the world will face a “global water deficit” of 40 per cent by 2030. Two weeks ago, protestors in hundreds of cities in 38 countries rallied against agricultural research giant Monsanto’s genetically modified plant…