Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spill, Baby, Spill

There is a reason why Canadians aren’t getting anywhere with meaningful climate change legislation. The other side just doesn’t get it, they never will, and they hold the reins of power.

Here’s my favourite quote from a recent editorial from the Ottawa Citizen, a newspaper I stopped buying ever since it was bought up by Conrad Black and then sold to CanWest, with regard to the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:

We’d better get used to this, because unless we want to give up the precious gasoline for our commute to work, drilling for offshore oil is only going to expand. . . . We may not like blackened beaches, or the deaths of 1,600 birds in Alberta tar sands ponds, but these visible spectacles of environmental damage are not enough to stop us from drilling more wells – and guaranteeing there will be future oil slicks.

I find it intriguing that someone would actually publish this crap. Who really wants to get used to this? Not me and nobody I know. Consequently, I guess I don’t belong to this tribe.

Can these people be convinced of the error of their ways?


No matter what evidence you bring up, no matter how sound your arguments, their brains are wired to maintain their allegiance to their group at all costs, and they will either deny a problem exists or they will create an elaborate rationalization in order to extinguish whatever cognitive dissonance that arises.

Cultural cognition is the mainstay of the political brain. As much as evidence-based dialogue offers a hope that we can exit from a tribal mentality, it is no match for our mammalian brains.

So, as long as we are ruled by the self-serving desires of a dominant ethnic group, the will of the stakeholders who support the god-given right to drive to work no matter what the distance, no matter what the size of vehicle prevails.

Spill, baby, spill.

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