By Any Other Name

In reference to a $600,000 spending initiative by Alberta’s NDP government to educate people about climate change, a commentary in The Edmonton Journal asks: “Propaganda or education?”

The question is a false alternative.

The long-standing definition of propaganda involves the wide spreading of information or ideas to promote a particular view. Education, according to the commentary, is being employed to “counter the spin” of those who have opposing views on the issue of anthropogenic global warming. No difference.

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The journalist, a Mr. Thomson, refers to carbon tax legislation which is being promoted by a $9 million campaign. Thomson concurs that this may be called propaganda because: “It’s the government promoting one of its own policies.” But the additional spending to educate people is different he says: ” . . .this is the government trying to educate the public about the basic realities of the science behind man-made climate change.”

Mr.Thomson introduces a few issues of contention among political leaders and politically funded organizations and then condescendingly adds that ” . . .this just confuses the public.” Overlooking the blatant paternalism in that statement, he continues by indicating that the reason the government has launched this education initiative is ” . . .to counter the spin by those who deny the science behind global warming and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” (Did you notice his switch between “climate change” and “global warming”?)

The implication is that the “science is settled” on the issue of anthropogenic global warming and of the political need to forcibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Richard Feynman once stated: “If you thought that science was certain–well, that is just an error on your part.”

In the instance of anthropogenic global warming the evidence is simply unconvincing, based as it is on computer models that have been consistently wrong in their predictions. Instead of rejecting the hypothesis, the models have been repeatedly reconfigured in an apparent effort to produce the desired results. From Feynman again: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

So what’s going on with all the “climate change” and “global warming” fear-mongering? In a word: politics. Politics and faith, faith rather than reason and the validity of the individual mind. Faith in government spending. Faith in the premise that man must be subordinated to nature.

It’s an environmentalist’s dream to have his particular political view enforced by the coercion of the state. If people understood that the consequences of global warming would likely be slightly warmer and shorter winters, they might be, particularly in Edmonton, more interested in hearing more than one view on global warming.

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© Copyright 2017 Edward Podritske

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