My Turn

Opinion: Pushing back on propagandist talking points

By Ron Hagg, Arroyo Hondo
Posted 1/25/19

Another propaganda piece by the oil and gas industry appeared in a My Turn article by Victoria Gonzáles ("Ending the Myth on Millennial Environmentalism," Jan. 17-23). Our propagandist, Victoria …

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My Turn

Opinion: Pushing back on propagandist talking points

Posted

Another propaganda piece by the oil and gas industry appeared in a My Turn article by Victoria Gonzáles ("Ending the Myth on Millennial Environmentalism," Jan. 17-23). Our propagandist, Victoria Gonzáles, states, "That the millennials are all wandering aimlessly looking for a cause, and that new cause is defending Mother Earth."

To note, Native Americans have long cared for and tried to protect Mother Earth. It is important to realize when you read these propagandists that they will try to manipulate your thoughts with their talking points. She continues as she sarcastically speaks for all millennials, "we only care about renewable energy. That somehow the ultimatum is 'wind and solar, or die !' What an absurd notion, and quite frankly offensive." Victoria Gonzáles uses the word "we only care" - I love how Victoria has put words in the mouths of all millennials. I do not have the audacity to speak for all seniors. Victoria Gonzáles also states, "we must acknowledge the fact [IMPORTANT WORD - fact] that some of the products made from greener substitutes are inferior or downright dangerous." You got it, Victoria Gonzáles: alternative sources other than fossil fuels are "downright dangerous." Oh goodness.

Victoria Gonzáles, no one denies the fact (oops, here's that word again) that we are greatly dependent on fossil fuels in our society. It's that many people want the use of fossil fuels to be greatly reduced and to use more and more renewable energy.

Other countries are doing a lot in renewable energy. For example, Scotland is, as I write this, getting 70 percent of its energy from renewable resources and its goal is, later this year, to get 100 percent of its energy from renewable energy. If you don't believe this, go to Scotland's official website. And, yes, Victoria, they do still drive cars, but public transportation has really reduced the use of cars.

OK - so who is the Consumer Energy Alliance? Who backs them and what are they about?

David Holt, the former president of Consumer Energy Alliance, states, "Yet energy projects are often caught up in legal battles -- or - increasingly partisan political gamesmanship that drags on for years as anti-development groups mislead Americans." Get the phrase "anti-development." These are words often used by propagandists for the fossil fuel industry and they use these phrases often. They use them despite the reality that there is a huge increase in solar and wind energy and that employment in solar and wind is growing rapidly. To note: this development is growing at a much faster rate than the oil and gas industry.

This is just a very short list of who backs this group: BP, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, Exxon, New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, Shell Oil Company, US Oil and Gas Association.

This whole article by the Consumer Energy Alliance is to sew seeds of doubt in people's minds. That is what propagandists want to accomplish. Please do not fall for these misleading and often times outright lies. The CEA has wrapped this with a pleasant face of a 28-year-old woman. She ends her rant with, "So unless you're willing to get rid of your phone, computer, sell your car (and bike) and walk to work and live in the wilderness in a tent, think for a second where the things you rely on come from and what they're made of. Oh wait, that tent is probably nylon, a synthetic material. I'm sure you can make do with some sticks and leaves." Why does she say this? She wants to ridicule and make fun of people who care for our earth and want to reduce fossil fuels as much as is possible. She wants the reader to think that environmentalists are fools.

One last thought. There is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Estimates of size range from 270,000 square miles -- about the size of Texas -- to more than 5,800,000 square miles, about the size of Russia. It is estimated that there are 80,000 metric tons in the patch, with 1.8 trillion plastic pieces. Gosh, I think this plastic was produced by the oil and gas industry.

Please do not be fooled by these oil and gas propagandists.

Ron Hagg lives in Arroyo Hondo.

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