Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: What we can not talk about  (Read 4079 times)

LRC1962

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 1
What we can not talk about
« on: July 17, 2015, 01:48:32 AM »
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/why-drought-is-a-dirty-word-in-alberta-1.3154000
We can not mention the word drought in Alberta, high tide flood due to 'sea level rise' in Florida, recession when the economy is going bad, not inform people that having a lot of rain in a short time a drought area can actually make things worse because it will not stick around and damages the land severely at the same time.
Almost forgot. Can not call a local team awful when they never win because it will damage the players self esteem (or maybe owners/management egos)
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second,  it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
       - Arthur Schopenhauer

Anne

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 531
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 14
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: What we can not talk about
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2015, 07:35:33 AM »
Thanks, LRC1962. A thread worthy of Orwell.

North Carolina banned official talk of sea level rise in 2012.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/north-carolina-sea-level-rises-desipte-senators/

Gov Rick Scott denies that Florida banned its state employees from using the term 'climate change' in March this year, despite independent scientists working for the state claiming they were pressured to remove the phrase from their papers. (March this year)  ::)
http://www.npr.org/2015/03/10/392142452/florida-gov-scott-denies-banning-phrase-climate-change


Anne

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 531
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 14
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: What we can not talk about
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2015, 08:25:53 AM »
Not in Canada, not in the US, not in the UK (afaik) - but elsewhere, talking out about environmental matters can prove fatal. At least 116 environmental activists died in 2014 while campaigning against mining, logging, water and land grabs - and the number is rising according to a report by UK-based group Global Witness
Quote
Global Witness said violence and intimidation often went hand-in-hand with the criminalisation of protests, application of counter-terrorism laws, restricted freedom of expression and lax environmental protection laws.

“Environmental defenders are fighting to protect our climate against ever-increasing odds,” said Mr Kyte.

“Now more than ever we need to start holding governments and companies to account for the rising death toll on our environmental frontiers.

“The secrecy around how natural resource deals are made fuels violence and must end. It’s time for the international community to stand up and take notice.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/environmental-activists-being-killed-in-record-numbers-after-at-least-116-die-in-2014---report-10189602.html

(A long report here by The Smithsonian into the dangers faced by environmental activists, especially in Brazil. See also EJOLT (Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade) http://www.ejolt.org/ )

But I don't want to derail the thread away from climate and the brakes on free speech.

Less fatal but nevertheless insidiously damaging is the language used by opponents to shout down protest: Nazi, fascist, Taliban.
Quote
George Osborne (UK Chancellor of the Exchequer) is said by the Independent to be referring to green campaigners both inside and outside his party as "the environmental Taliban". His office denies it, but the insult fits in with the way Conservatives and rightwing politicians around the world now regularly denigrate greens.
More here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2012/oct/19/environmental-taliban-george-osborne

Anne

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 531
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 14
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: What we can not talk about
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2015, 05:55:38 PM »
I Pennsylvania:
Quote
The most recent accusation came in September (2014), when a former employee of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources told the Allegheny Front that she was explicitly ordered to remove references to “climate change” from the agency’s website. The orders, she said, came from members of then-Gov. Tom Corbett’s (R) administration.
Link

And in Wisconsin
Quote
This week's incident is much less ambiguous. Yesterday, the three-person commission that oversees a public land trust in Wisconsin voted 2-1 to block the trust's dozen public employees "from engaging in global warming or climate change work while on BCPL time."

In proposing and voting on the ban, the commission "spent 19 minutes and 29 seconds talking about talking about climate change," according to Bloomberg:

The move to ban an issue leaves staff at the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands in the unusual position of not being able to speak about how climate change might affect lands it oversees

The Midwest warmed about 1.5F on average from 1895 to 2012. Pine, maple, birch, spruce, fir, aspen, and beech forests, which are common in the region, are likely to decline as the century progresses, according to the latest US National Climate Assessment.

The ban was proposed by newly elected State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk, a Republican who ran on the unusual campaign promise to swiftly eliminate his own job. At a public meeting on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg, Adamczyk said he was disturbed to learn that the agency's director, Tia Nelson, had spent some time co-chairing a global warming task force in 2007-08 at the request of former governor Jim Doyle (D). Dealing with climate issues—even responding to emails on the subject—isn't in the agency's wheelhouse, he said. Adamczyk didn't immediately return our request for comment.

Adamczyk was joined in voting for the ban by State Attorney General Brad Schimel (R), also newly-elected. Schimel is handling Gov. Scott Walker's lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over President Barack Obama's new climate regulations. The ban was opposed by the commission's third member, Secretary of State Bob La Follette, a Democrat.
Link

(Meanwhile, in the UK, government scientific advisers are gagged from talking about the possible effects of neonicotinoids on bees.)

ritter

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 559
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: What we can not talk about
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2015, 06:13:36 PM »
I believe this was posted elsewhere here but seems relevant to this thread.

Quote
Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can't really talk about it.
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a36228/ballad-of-the-sad-climatologists-0815/

Bruce Steele

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1933
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 510
  • Likes Given: 26
Re: What we can not talk about
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2015, 01:33:37 AM »
A provocation
What we cannot say or do
Like get in the way
Drive too slow or
Ride our bikes where we block traffic
Or park were we shouldn't or dig holes where
We would cause... Problems
Or plant things , to blind views
I think planting vegetables in your front yard, sending seeds
Collecting fruit off your neighbors fence
Or gorilla gardens
Are a start
But you know
It's only a start
It ends when the power doesn't work anymore
When no one in his right mind would prefer a lawn to a garden
When every road is a bike path
It will seem for a very long time not right
A provocation


Anne

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 531
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 14
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: What we can not talk about
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2015, 05:15:54 PM »
I've just heard about this 2013 case today and it really shocked me, particularly with regard to the children.

Children given lifelong ban on talking about fracking
Quote
Two young children in Pennsylvania were banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with a leading oil and gas company.

The sweeping gag order was imposed under a $750,000 settlement between the Hallowich family and Range Resources Corp, a leading oil and gas driller. It provoked outrage on Monday among environmental campaigners and free speech advocates.

The settlement, reached in 2011 but unsealed only last week, barred the Hallowichs' son and daughter, who were then aged 10 and seven, from ever discussing fracking or the Marcellus Shale, a leading producer in America's shale gas boom.

The Hallowich family had earlier accused oil and gas companies of destroying their 10-acre farm in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania and putting their children's health in danger. Their property was adjacent to major industrial operations: four gas wells, gas compressor stations, and a waste water pond, which the Hallowich family said contaminated their water supply and caused burning eyes, sore throats and headaches.

Gag orders – on adults – are typical in settlements reached between oil and gas operators and residents in the heart of shale gas boom in Pennsylvania. But the company lawyer's insistence on extending the lifetime gag order to the Hallowichs' children gave even the judge pause, according to the court documents.

The family gag order was a condition of the settlement. The couple told the court they agreed because they wanted to move to a new home away from the gas fields, and to raise their children in a safer environment.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/05/children-ban-talking-about-fracking

(Admittedly there is uncertainty about the enforceability of the gagging order on minors, who can't be bound by contract but may be bound by the court order.)

But the whole story makes me wonder how many other sealed gagging orders are around on how many other environmental subjects that by their very nature we will never get to hear about. This one only came to light because of the persistence of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Buddy

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3379
  • Go DUCKS!!
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 49
  • Likes Given: 34
Re: What we can not talk about
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2015, 05:24:31 PM »
Quote
We can not mention the word drought in Alberta

Canada is gong to have several words and phrases they won't be able to say:

1)  "Drought" (as you mentioned)
2)  "Housing bubble" (that is now just starting to collapse throughout Canada)
3)  "Price of oil"....which is now at $40....and STILL heading south.  This particular phrase is especially unpopular with the folks working on the tar sands.  And of course.....this is affecting the bursting of the housing bubble throughout Canada
4)  "Commodity bubble"....which continues its multi-year DEFLATION.  And of course...this negatively affects the housing bubble....and employment.
5)  "Recession"....which I believe Canada is heading for....if not already in.

FOX (RT) News....."The Trump Channel.....where truth and journalism are dead."

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 19245
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2136
  • Likes Given: 264
Re: What we can not talk about
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2015, 05:47:47 PM »
The following incident has been posted in several different threads so I provide a quote & link from A-Team, and an extract from the linked article illustrating how leading scientists are often cowed into avoiding distressing the general public if/when they discuss possible catastrophic consequences of climate change:

Quote from A-Team: "Here is a very detailed account of how Jason Box landed in hot water over a comment made on a previous Oden voyage. (Denmark is also the home of the notorious denier Bjorn Lomborg.)"

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a36228/ballad-of-the-sad-climatologists-0815/


Extract: "The problem was that Box was now working for the Danish government, and even though Denmark may be the most progressive nation in the world on climate issues, its leaders still did not take kindly to one of its scientists distressing the populace with visions of global destruction. Convinced his job was in jeopardy only a year after he uprooted his young family and moved to a distant country, Box was summoned before the entire board of directors at his research institute. So now, when he gets an e-mail asking for a phone call to discuss his "recent gloomy statements," he doesn't answer it."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson