Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Two days ago US President Obama rejected a $7 billion construction project. The TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline was intended to transfer oil from Alberta, Canada all the way through the US down to the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the company that had sought permission to build it, the project would have created 13,000 American construction jobs plus 7,000 more American manufacturing jobs. A detailed breakdown of the company’s math appears here (backup link here).
It’s therefore rather odd that a Reuters news story about the matter contains the following paragraph:
The pipeline placed the Obama administration in the middle of a dispute between two key parts of its voting block: green groups who oppose the pipeline over concerns about climate change and some unions who back the project because of the jobs they believe it would create. [bold added, backup link here]
Did you catch that? In this news article Reuters suggests that the jobs are merely hypothetical. A figment of some unions’ imagination.
Does anyone really suppose that a 1,700-mile-long pipeline can be constructed without the participation of thousands upon thousands of people? As my husband muttered when he read this story: “The jobs are about as certain as you can get. Someone’s got to build the bleeping thing.”
Notice, also, that while Reuters implies that the unions’ point-of-view is suspect, there’s no similar language regarding green groups.
We aren’t told that green groups believe the pipeline would exacerbate climate change. Nor do the journalists even hint that stopping this particular pipeline merely means the oil will be diverted elsewhere (which rather undermines the ‘we’re fighting climate change’ activist argument).
Instead, the reporters behave as though the green perspective is 100 percent reliable. Whatever comes out of an activist’s mouth is not-to-be-questioned. It gets accepted at face value.
That must be because green activists never, ever exaggerate. They’re never mistaken. They never promulgate doomsday scenarios that fail to pan out.
Read about Greenpeace’s 1994 false climate predictions here, the Worldwatch Institute’s failed predictions here, and activist Bill McKibben’s bogus 20-year-old predictions here (nevertheless he was quoted in the Reuters article discussed above).