Protesters, environmentalists, greens, whatever you want to call them, all ask that the companies they are protesting be more “transparent.”
As a result many industries have begun to put more information on the internet. The fish farming industry is a great example because they now post sea lice data for each of their farm sites on their websites and DFO provides data about them as well. You would be hard pressed to learn such specifics from traditional agriculture producers.
Protesters are groups of individuals. Some are loosely bound under a cause, with no named leader (such as salmon are sacred) and some are linked to larger non-profit groups such as the David Suzuki Foundation, which clearly does have a leader. Large or small, leader or not, why are these groups not more transparent with their finances and intentions, as they ask from industry? After all, fair is fair, right?
Here are some quotes from a Rex Murphy Article posted on the National Post’s website entitled “Thou must not question big environment.”
“The greatest advantage the greens have had is the relative absence of scrutiny from the press. Generally speaking, it’s thought to be bad manners to question self-appointed environmentalists. Their good cause, at least in the early days, was enough of a warrant in itself.
…There is no such thing as investigative environmental reporting — or rather very precious little of it in the established media. Environmental reporters rarely question the big environmental outfits with anything like the fury they will bring to questioning politicians or businesspeople. Advocacy and reportage are sometimes close as twins.
… The same rigor we bring to industry and government, in looking to their motives, their swift dealing, must also apply to crusading greens.
… Where does their money come from? What are their interests in such and such a hearing? What other associations do they have? Are they a cat’s paw for other interests? Do they have political affiliations that would impugn their testimony?
…some amount of transparency from all those environmental groups that demand “transparency” from everyone else is a reasonable ambition as well. Let us have some vetting of the vetters.”
Rex is referring to those groups opposed to the oil developments but the same holds true for “greens” of all colours.
Vivian Krause writes for the financial post and also has a blog. She is one writer who has done exhaustive investigations into groups such as the David Suzuki Foundation. She makes an interesting point that once the money trail has been followed, the motivations behind that money may not be in the interest of the environment at all.
Rethink Campaigns Blog:
“In some instances, environmental activism is funded by American foundations as part of marketing campaigns in favor of American interests. The publicity and media coverage of scientific studies from environmental organizations is one of the key tactics of these charity-funded marketing campaigns. The problem is, some of this science is seriously flawed, and in some cases, the findings have been falsely reported.”
“The same day that the Hites study was published, the Alaskan governor issued a press release. He said, “It is important to note that this study is not telling people not to eat ﬁsh. It is telling them to eat more wild Alaskan salmon.”
In the London Times, Magnus Linklater called the Hites study “a sorry saga of ﬂawed science, selective research and hidden commercial bias.” Sandy Szwarc wrote in a newsletter of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, “An ulterior motive may be at work.… Facing competition from aquaculture, the wild salmon industries of California, British Columbia, and Alaska have allied themselves with environmental groups to promote wild salmon as the healthier and environmentally friendly choice.”
It makes people feel warm and fuzzy to think they are “saving wild salmon” but they don’t realize that while supporting these protesters they have been used by other people with less noble causes, such as supporting the Alaskan fishing industry that produces much of their catch in “salmon ranches”. These are essentially fish farms for pacific salmon which are then released into the ocean to come to full maturity, then to be caught by commercial fishermen. Most of the pacific salmon sold in grocery stores in B.C. were caught in Alaska.
If you are among those who believe that fish farms are “poisoning” our oceans why would you support a fishing industry that farms its catch? Would those pens not cause the same damage (if not more because they deliberately release the fish into the wild, possibly introducing diseases) than our local farms?
On the surface the comments made by the protesters make some sense but when you look deeper at their motivations or their ultimate intentions you may not like what you see.