Why singers, actors, artists are powerful opponents of energy sector | The American Energy News
"Honor The Treaties" Press Conference
Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada - Jan 12, 2014
(Click photo to enlarge)
Well here's something you just don't see everyday -- the fossil fuels industry putting out it's strategy to defeat clean energy proponents.
Seems like an appropriate time to run this given the ongoing Paris Climate Summit.
From Why singers, actors, artists are powerful opponents of energy sector | The American Energy News by Markham Hislop:
Why singers, actors, artists are powerful opponents of energy sectorSo there you have it.
Humans are storytellers by nature, energy advocates must learn to better tell their stories
Those who work in the energy industry and are occasionally baffled by their critics should better understand such impulses because they are “genetically” imprinted in everyone, but are a focal point in today’s environmental movement.
Put differently, there are two types of opponents of energy exploration (and pipelines, to reference the recent decision by U.S. President Barack Obama on Keystone XL).
Some are science based and give oil and gas companies grief because of observed past degradation and seek to avoid the same in the future. They are amenable to persuasion and problem solving on such matters because they are empiricists.
But foes of energy extraction also include artists and filmmakers.
These are usually the more intractable variety. Think Neil Young, Daryl Hannah and Robert Redford. True, they know little about the economy and even less about oil, gas and mineral extraction, or the benefits of the same for humanity. [Ed: Really? Maybe should have checked with Young, Hannah, Redford, et al first]
But filmmakers are storytellers by occupation and orientation; artists spend their life creating esthetic realities that bypass our reason and appeal to our senses. Thus, once they have a “megaphone” and weave a good story or create a compelling image, engineers and economists can display all the data they desire. That won’t move a soul already possessed of a utopian vision – utterly unspoiled nature in this case. Add to that any real-world concern about oil and gas exploration and it explains why even justifiable projects get killed.
Reason and Enlightenment era empiricism matters. Human beings progressed from primordial muck to Manhattan in part because thinking people tested, discovered, argued and figured out cause and effect. Men and women calculated load-bearing weights for buildings; invented the steam engine; they thought out how to combine black gooey stuff and steel parts so fresh fruit, vegetables and medicine could be transported to those in need of such items (all of us).
But reasoned assertions alone hit brick walls of indifference and cynicism if enough people are already convinced energy advocates ignore a problem (real or not; fair or not) and if a storyteller already has the crowd’s sympathy and attention.
Rational arguments are useful; they are not sufficient. They must be supplemented with stories that trigger our sympathies. Those who assert, rightly, that energy can improve the life of the poorest mother in some corner of the planet now cooking with sticks from a chopped-down forest, need to tell more such stories. Man does not live by reason alone: he is also a raging romantic storyteller.
Expect more stories on how poor mothers in some corner of the planet cook with sticks from a chopped-down forest.
It's actually interesting to get inside the PR folks heads and watch them spin around the justifications for what they do and how they try and make wrong look right.
But we're on to their messaging and the counter-movement is growing louder by the day.
Certainly Neil, Daryl & Robert appreciate being labelled "the more intractable variety".
When pieces like this start surfacing, you know they are scared and know that their days are numbered like dinosaurs in shrines...