Eyes Opened About Propaganda and Spin

Book Review
“The Predatory Delay Diaries” by Terrence Loomis, published by Prismaprint, Blenheim. Price $25 plus postage. Available from http://www.terrenceloomis.ac.nz/latest-publication.html or by e mail to <loomistm@yahoo.com>

I’m not a climate change proponent or a denier for the simple reason as seems to me, no one that I’m aware, has distinguished between natural climate change and people-influenced climate change.
So my confused state on the subject, seems not a bad position to delve into this book.
Author  Dr. Terrence Loomis among other qualifications was a Professor of Development studies at Waikato University and a senior policy advisor to successive National and Labour governments. 
He is emphatic “The climate crisis is worse than previously thought, according to scientists.” And significantly points out  “One hundred fossil fuel companies are responsible for over 70 percent of the world’s runaway emissions.”
Eye opening is the way the author exposes the mercenary manipulative manner of the powerful corporate companies. The sub-title of the book puts it in a nutshell – “The petroleum industry’s survival campaign to slow New Zealand’s transition to a low carbon economy.”
Governments and politicians come under scrutiny. Current Energy Minister Labour’s Megan Woods gets caned for procrastinating. Former National’ energy spokesman Jonathan Young is similarly disciplined. PM Jacinda Ardern moves too slowly for political reasons.
“The Prime Minister no doubt has political concerns around a potential backlash from the electorate and businesses if the government moves too quickly—.”
So the corporate spin and lobbying intermingled with political jockeying delays any positive, meaningful action.
“The dilemma for government is not whether to intervene in the economy; they do that all the time. It’s whether the crisis is becoming so critical that they are forced to contemplate measures that are not only electorally risky but run directly contrary to the corporate interests of fossil fuel companies  —- the sort of thing that was done with Big Tobacco to combat lung cancer.”
The book is an intriguing read, exposing the cut and thrust of corporate and political parrying.
Outdoor recreation and environmental issues have always been beset by corporate and political agendas. You may disagree with global warming but you’ll benefit from the book’ exposure of the spun propaganda by the corporates and politicians’ involvement. Corporates play it hard, fast and calculating and actively lobbying using “professional” spin doctors. It’s no arena for boys.
 It’s not the author’s fault but acronyms have annoyingly become paramount in today’s English and I had to keep referring back to a page listing acronyms used. To me acronyms are journalistic laziness. That cavil aside, this book is strongly recommended.

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4 Responses to Eyes Opened About Propaganda and Spin

  1. Tony Orman says:

    Remember the Trout Farming battle and Save Manapouri? Well some may not have even been born. But believe me back then in the 1970s, they were about corporate power and influence and lobbying of politicians. Nothing’s changed. Don’t be naive.
    Anglers and hunters must not be deluded. They need to realise the shonky sophisticated spin doctors and that they knocking on politicians’ doors all the time on behalf of corporate clients.
    Politics in the outdoors/environment is nothing more than cause and effect.

  2. Stewart Hydes says:

    Humanity’s impact on climate change .. the degree to which we may or may not be accelerating it .. is almost irrelevant. Humanity’s impact on our planet is undeniable.
    We are beyond crisis point. There’s been something approximating a 60% reduction in wildlife, since 1970 .. and a 75% reduction in insect biomass over the past 25-30 years. 93% of the mammalian biomass on Earth is now either human .. or the animals we farm, to feed ourselves. We’re rapidly pushing everything else off our planet.
    This will have dire consequences for all species on Earth .. including our own.
    We are actually witnessing the 6th great extinction right now .. and human activity is by far the greatest causal factor.
    Our global population has reached 7.9 billion .. and predicted to be almost 11 billion, by 2100.
    On a planet where things are measured in millions of years .. that’s almost a 45% increase in the human population, in less than 70 years. Unless we do something – that’s a 45% in the food we need, and the waste and environmental impacts we cause.
    Our planet, it’s environment, and the rapidly disappearing biodiversity we have left .. simply cannot sustain that.
    The things we have to do to minimise our impact on the planet .. and the things we have to do to minimise our impact on climate change acceleration .. are practically the same.
    It’s a crisis .. and it demands urgent, global action, by humanity.
    It may already be too late.
    On its own, New Zealand can do next to nothing. And therein lies the problem.
    We expect our government to take globally-responsible action .. that will contribute to a global difference. Not just inflict pain upon ourselves .. only to shift human activity to elsewhere in the planet. And this is where we are failing. Miserably.
    We dramatically reduced our coal production .. virtually destroying the West Coast economy (now that international tourism is gone too) .. only to import vastly more lower-grade, environmentally-worse coal, from Indonesia.
    Shifting employment from lower-populated New Zealand .. to support the economy in over-populated Indonesia .. is downright STUPID.
    Equally, sacrificing our agricultural sector .. only to benefit agricultural economies elsewhere around the world .. is also STUPID.
    A Ute Tax imposed on rural New Zealand .. when our Farmers and Tradies have no viable alternative .. is STUPID.
    New Zealand continues to apply ever-increasing amounts of Aerial 1080 – which is an example of the sorts of STUPIDITY humanity indulges in. 1080 was first developed as an insecticide .. and it kills everything that consumes oxygen. That’s business-as-usual, for humanity .. killing everything else off our planet. STUPIDITY.
    Covid may have threatened a disaster for humanity (actually, it’s turning into a bit of a fizzer) .. but it promised a godsend, for our planet. Mother Nature will continue to experiment with options to curb our out-of-control, over-populating species .. until she finds one that works.
    Ultimately, we must support her efforts. Clearly, thinking we are going to solve our problems for ourselves .. while we continue to apply the same thinking we used when we created them .. is insanity.

    • Shelby Wright says:

      Stewart Hydes is quite right.
      Population is a big, looming threat. No government has shown a will to address it. Don’t compare NZ’s population with UK’s as both have similar land area. So much of NZ is not habitable – 7/8th.
      NZ should have limited its population to 5 million. We now have urban sprawl engulfing quality productive land, we have a multi-cultural conflicts, we have Auckland a congested crowded conurbation with massive problems in traffic, housing, water etc., – and the government stands irresponsibly by playing games with scare mongering over covid, vaccination, climate change and other issues, a divide and conquer strategy. Stupid.

  3. Ed March says:

    Terrence Loomis’ book looks most interesting and revealing about the predatory oil corporates.
    The race between wisdom and waste is on-going, each generation has to deal anew with the scramble to use resources for private profit and governments’ choice to prefer short term monetary profits to long term necessities like the environment.
    Do not ignore political party donations. It happens with the corporate fishing industry so why would not corporate petroleum interests do the same?

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