Thursday, February 7, 2013

Feb.7: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today.. first, it looks like a burial. Today's headline, front page, of the Moncton Times and Transcript is "N.B. has huge shale gas potential: Lapierre." But a substantial part, including several paragraphs at the beginning, has nothing to do with anything Lapierre said. It talks about a damning report on federal monitoring of the drilling. In effect, there isn't any. Well, I thought this is part of the old, news game of burying a story you don't like.

It seemed, as I read, the story was really about the lack of federal monitoring (a bad story for the shale gas industry); but that they hid it under a headline about Lapierre on a rather different topic (making it look like a good story for the shale gas industry).

You see, most people just glance at headlines, then turn to Sports or Miss Manners, or Hollywood gossip. So it's easy to bury a story you don't want people to know about by hiding it under a headline that is misleading. It comes in handy for stories it's hard not to mention - like the report of the auditor general on how Ottawa is pretty slack on safety when it comes to the oil and gas industry.

But then it does go on to Lapierre's speech - which seems to have been entirely on subjects he knows nothing about and on which he has no qualifications whatever to speak.

Then, in a bizarre closing, he admits we have to move away from fossil fuels because of their effect on global warming. But that will have to take time until we develop cheaper renewables. After all, he says,  "...the world has to keep turning".

Actually, it doesn't. And more to the point, global warming doesn't have to hold off. Unlike professor Lapierre, the climate does not come under the control of governments or gas companies.

Anyway, the whole story is not a case of a newspaper burying news. It's a case of propaganda for shale gas presented in a style so badly organized as to be almost incoherent.
In other big news, perhaps the most important story is that a trial had to be delayed when a man's glass eye popped out.
In the editorial, we gotta get more people to drink beer. Absolutely. And private business can sell beer better than private business can. Nonsense. Nor can I see any reason why we should want to sell more. I mean, it's not as if it's a health food.

Norbert, for some weeks, climbed a slope. Now, he's sliding down the other side. Today, in one column, he discusses four topics, none of them adequately or intelligently. One of the topics is a free ad for a store that also got a free ad in yesterday's news. One is on oil and gas in which he doesn't know what he's talking about, provides no evidence, and calls anybody who disagrees with him a moron. This one is a real stinker.

Alec Bruce has a useful column on a bridge to Riverview.

Rod Allen----somebody once must  have told him he was funny. So on a page for serious comment, we get pimple-age humour written in a style decades out of date. This is cornball stuff with a vengeance.

Jody Dallaire has a column that has a touch of humour that is quite serious, and a touch of seriousness  that is quite warm. It's about Galentine's Day. But I'll let her tell you. Anyway, I'm not invited.

Good letters on "EI changes not fair to province" and "It's editorial that was 'flawed'."

There's a bit of space left, so I'll play Norbert's 'Moron', and talk about the people he admires.

It's hard to think of industries throughout human history that have been more rapacious, destructive, and brutal than the resource industries. Notably in Africa, North America and South America, they have been indifferent to the destruction they cause, the poisons they sow, the people they kill or torture or enslave, the farmland and forest they destroy, the misery they leave behind for generations after they have finished.

And don't kid yourself, Canadian and American-owned resource companies have been world leaders in destruction. Nobody knows how many millions have been killed in Congo. South Africans suffered in poverty for over fifty years of western plundering of their gold. That story is repeated in just about every country in Africa. They, with the CIA, have murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Guatemala. They have been behind invasions and murderous dictators all over South America and Africa.

They have not given a damn about what they destroyed or who they killed or impoverished. Not in Africa; not in South America, not in the US. They are now active in the Arctic, where the slightest mistake could (and almost certainly will) cause irreparable damage.

Can you seriously think they give a damn about about your drinking water or your land? Or do you think they'll be nice to us because we're folks just like them? If so, give a thought to the asbestos industry, owned and operated in Quebec. Jes' folks.

For a century it has been known that asbestos was a killer, that it got into the lungs, that it caused cancer and a host of other diseases; and that it was so bad it was dangerous even in solid sheets behind walls. By 1930, it was proven beyond doubt how great a danger it was. The asbestos industry knew all about it. But it suppressed the story - with the help of the news media. Government, of course, pretended nothing had happened. (Alward was not the first of his type.)

As a consequence, it is estimated that some hundreds of thousands of American workers died due to the wide use of asbestos in war industries.

But still it was put behind walls by workers who cut it, breathing in the dust. And miners were sent down to spend their days ripping tons of it out of the earth.

The US did not begin to cut asbestos use until 1989, almost sixty years after its dangers had been shown.
It still has some use in the US, though almost all the developed world has abandoned it. However, Canadian governments continued to promote it - for sale to third word countries, and as "foreign aid".

When the Word Trade Centre was destroyed by terrorists, it released a thousand tons of asbestos into the air.  Since then there has been a high death rate among emergency workers who rushed to the site.

This is an example how much you can trust the good ol' boys of the corporate world - and the news media - and the politicians.

They really don't give a damn. If they ruin this province, they will simply do as they did with any other place they have ruined. They will move on. They have no stake in you or New Brunswick.

Will they cause long-term harm? That's not even in their thinking.  Large corporations plan for the short term and the quick buck, three months at a time.

What's happening now is that fossil fuels obviously cannot be used much longer. Even professor Lapierre can see that. When that day comes, all those oil fields, gas fields become worthless. What the companies have to do know is to pump out the stuff now, make as much money as possible before we realize the danger we're in (and also keep newspapers like the TandT onside so that the general public has no real sense of how big the danger is or how close.)

Then they scamper off with the money to find some more suckers. Hey, they can spend that money anywhere, It doesn't have to be in North America.

And realize another thing. You cannot trust this government of New Brunswick. You cannot trust their intelligence. You cannot trust their wisdom. You cannot trust their honesty. You cannot even trust that it is working for you. In fact, you definitely cannot trust that.

And you most certainly cannot trust any 'independent' organization they would set up to protect you.

Realize that, as well, about Stephen Harper. Why is he so cold to First Nations people? Why does he make so many damaging leaks to put them in a bad light?

Because the resources industries want him to. First Nations are in the way of uncontrolled resource development. First Nations have to be destroyed and destroyed.

There is not the slightest chance that the government of New Brunswick, whether Conservative or Liberal, will lift a finger to defend us. It's up to us.

Well, there might be one hope. Some months ago the TandT carried an ad for the Irving Chapel, inviting us common folk to feel free to go the chapel, take a seat, and reflect. That's a nice thought.

I pass it on to Mr. Irving. Invite your friends in the shale gas industry and government and the Irving media to come with you to the Irving chapel, take a seat, and reflect.



  1. I doubt that Norbert Cunningham has ANY IDEA what is going on with oil and gas out west and their true effects on health and the environment...I will never read another thing he writes.

    1. It's a shame about Norbert. He loves books and reading. He can transmit that enthusiasm. He's in a province that has a real literacy problem - at all age levels.
      He could do something useful about that. But he wastes time calling people names. I suspect he's written too many editorials in his time.

  2. They can go to the Chapel and reflect all they want... but if they don't repent...
    Mathew 20:16

  3. Quite so.
    If they all want to go someplace quite to sit and reflect, then with their evident moral standards, it might more suitably be a washroom.

  4. "it might more suitably be a washroom". Ah chucks. I love you Graeme! ;) Andie C.