New website/blog: the view from where I live

Standard

Maybe you’ve noticed, it’s been quiet around here for awhile.  Or maybe it’s been so quiet, you didn’t notice.

2008_1116Image0009 crop

The reason:  Recently I launched a new website and blog.  It’s here: http://michaelriordon.com/.

With creative help from Jess Posgate, finally it pulls together into one tidy place a maze of websites and blogs that have built up over the years, representing a range of my interests and work.

As the new site’s subtitle suggests – “the view from where I live” – it will still represent my work, but now it’s spectrum is broader, especially on the blog.  As you’ll see, I hope.

This morning, for example, I put up a post about tomorrow’s crucial referendum in Greece.  The blog is here: http://michaelriordon.com/blog/.

Stop by for a visit.

 

 

Advertisements

Snake oil: a must-read exposé

Standard

The more people learn about the extreme dangers of bitumen, tar sands oil slurry, the more resistance grows along the planned routes of pipelines to transport the toxic muck across country to refineries and coastal ports.  And as resistance grows, so do propaganda and dirty tricks from the industry and its partners in government.

Pipeline spill, Yellowstone River

Oil pipeline spill, Yellowstone River, 2011. Photo: The New York Times.

A new must-read exposé from PRWatch, a US-based investigative research group, takes an inside look at what we can expect in the escalating battle over the proposed TransCanada pipeline from Alberta to Quebec/New Brunswick, aka “Energy East”:

Leaked documents expose a plan for TransCanada to launch an ‘aggressive’ American-style PR campaign to persuade Canadians to support a Canada-based alternative to the stalled Keystone XL pipeline, to get controversial tar sands oil to refineries in eastern Canada for export. [MR: Prices are higher overseas, and diminished domestic supplies will ensure higher prices here, too. Oil-pushers call this a win-win situation.]

“According to the documents, this Canada-centric campaign would actually be run out of an office in Washington, DC. And the digital campaign is being led by a rightwing American political operative employed by the world’s largest public relations firm…”

Their battle plan includes investigations [read: attacks] on Canadian groups opposing the pipeline, and recruitment of buyable scientists “to build an echo chamber of aligned voices.”

Talk about 1984 (+ 30).

The dirty details are here.

For an antidote, a dose of honest science, see chapters 9 & 10 in Bold ScientistsRead excerpts here.

 

 

 

Weather report: no climate change.

Standard

extreme weatherPhoto: National Geographic

This week in Canada, the Harper regime decreed:

Henceforth, there will be no talk of climate change from any meteorologist employed by the Canadian Meteorological Service (a division of Environment Canada).

Investigative reporter Mike De Souza revealed the new ban here.

A government official who is permitted to talk to the media – but not to say anything of substance – told De Souza that meteorologists are qualified to talk about extreme weather, but not climate.

The ban – officially known as a “communications protocol” – extends the Harper regime’s aggressive silencing of scientists whose research might provoke questions about the regime’s pro-corporate, anti-environment agenda.  True to the most insidious forms of censorship, the boundaries of what’s forbidden are not specified.

Apparently this ongoing reign of terror works.  De Souza reports that, since the government’s 2007 decree that all federal scientists must obtain management approval before giving any interviews on their research, an internal Environment Canada analysis noted an 80 per cent drop in media coverage of climate change issues.

Fortunately, scientists are resisting.  Follow their stories in Bold Scientists: dispatches from the battle for honest science, autumn 2014 from Between the Lines.