Did you hear the latest from Donald Trump? Wow. "No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there."
What a thing for Trump to say, right?
To make bitumen into usable fuel "is a hugely expensive energy -- and water-intensive endeavor that involves strip mining giant swaths of land and creating loads of toxic waste and air and water pollution." Packed extra full of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur.
U.S. President Donald Trump pauses as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., June 1, 2017. (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Oh yeah, heavy metals included, but not the sort you listen to. The stuff that fills you, and your children, full of carcinogens.
But they also need to get it to port. So Trump's declares he's going to put the bitumen in pipelines out to the West Coast, no matter what people think -- through park lands, under streams and rivers, crossing and shoved through mountains!
Once at port, imagine the wretchedness if the tanker breaches while getting shipped out to Asia. The bitumen will sink right to the bottom of the ocean floor. Maybe right off the West Coast.
How will such a catastrophe affect aquatic life? We really don't know because, "[t]here just isn't enough science in the public eye to answer questions about the risk bitumen poses to the ocean," said Stephanie Green, a Banting postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University.
Just like its gassy industry cousin who fracks, it turns out the oil industry really doesn't like talking about it or providing the data so it can be studied.
Geez. Why would that be? Cause it's great for the ocean and they hate to get all the credit for being so fabulous? Hardly. Imagine the exact opposite.
It gets worse. Trump, with the shameless audacity of a full-fledged liar, says he's doing it "based on rigorous debate, on science and on evidence."
Digging into bitumen, stuffing it into pipelines, ripping up the earth to get it to port, off to tankers to be burned in Asia, jibes with "the science"? Even when the scientists loudly protest, saying none of it is true?
Wow. Typical Trump logic -- or better, illogic, right?
How empty headed and duplicitous can one be? What a catastrophe for the world. No wonder countries around the world have called him out on it.
But wait a minute. Hold it. There's something not right with this ...
That's not Trump saying all those things, is it?
No it isn't.
That's not Donald Trump. It's Justin Trudeau, our Canadian PM who says it.
U.S. President Donald Trump waves next to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, following a family photo at the G7 Summit expanded session in Taormina, Sicily, Italy May 27, 2017. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Now don't miss it! Monitor your emotions and thoughts carefully: Do you feel a little faint?
Or, by some twist of sentimentality, do you suddenly feel relieved it's Trudeau who said the above, and not Trump? If so, how come? What's different?
The facts are the facts. Nothing else has change. The only big difference is that one is pretty to look at and the other, not so much.
Yet if you feel anger and surprise, you realize you've been duped. You've been taken for a rube. A sucker. A mucker.
In short, you've been the target of Trudeau's very carefully planned theatre. So pay attention to how it's done. Here's the script:
Unlike Trump, Trudeau will announce with great fanfare he takes climate change seriously. But just as suddenly, he does exactly what Trump would do -- all the while pointing at Trump backing out of the Paris Summit and getting the media to shame him. Then have a dinner date with Obama, with all the cameras ready! The public will lap it up. It's a "Bromance!" Kewl dude!
"Umm. But Mr. Trudeau," none of our national media reporters ask. "How can you say that about the 173 billion barrels of bitumen and also say you support the Paris Summit? That's contradictory."
Nope. Not a word.
Fast forward to Act 4, Scene 2: The Minister (Sort) of the Environment and Climate Change stands behind Justin with an empty, but complicit look in her eyes. She, Catherine McKenna, has been part of the theatre of deception too.
The stage has again been prepared: Appearing with a respected environmentalist, knowing full well what Trudeau has said, she also pretends to take climate action seriously. Want the proof? Here it is: One of her greatest inspirations is "schools that have cut their cafeteria waste in half." Read it once more, and rub your eyes all you want.
Now ordinarily that'd be something to inspire. But it's absolutely the theatre of the absurd to laud efforts by the little guys when you stand behind your boss demanding B.C. accept 400 tankers of bitumen per/year -- whether they like it or not. (p.s., we don't like it, but that doesn't matter.)
Then the coup de grâce. Cathy muses her well-rehearsed lines, that "she loves the water, it's Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve off the coast of British Columbia."
Read it again. She loves the ocean. And national park reserves right beside the 400 per/year, bitumen filled tankers going from our west coast out to Asia.
That's right. Why not say you are a pacifist as you randomly kick someone in the tenders? Or, that you don't drink, as you stand there guzzling a 40-ouncer of malt liquor, letting off a huge belch just to mockingly dare anyone to call you on it?
Well, if you present the right theatre around it, you'll probably get away with it.
So speaking of Trump, during the American election, we laughed at his supporters as they bleated, "at least he's being honest with us."
It doesn't seem so funny anymore, does it?
Our prime minister knows that deceitful public messaging, based on smoke and mirrors, selfies, toothy white smiles, and a sheep-like public, coupled with flaccid journalism -- here and everywhere he goes -- allows him to be Trump, but with a Justin mask.
So yes, at least Trump tells you what he really thinks, while Donald, er, I mean Justin, says with a wink, "That's a wrap!"
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