Pancakes and Propaganda

I was getting ready to go to work and simultaneously watching “Good Morning, America” when a commercial caught my eye.  As summertime approaches, naturally tourism advertisements are more frequent, beckoning you to travel all over the country and all over the world.  But when I heard the words “gulf coast,” for some reason I paid close attention. 

I had seen this commercial before.  But at that moment my eyes were glued to the screen.  Maybe because I had recently heard news about how the Gulf Coast was having major issues after the BP oil spill in 2010 (surprise, surprise).  I had specifically heard about how sea creatures like shrimp, a major source of income for Gulf fishermen, were showing increased deformities (which sounds very appetizing of course).  Based on this disturbing knowledge, I was interested in what the commercial was trying to convey.

Something was being conveyed, but it wasn't the truth. The screen bounced between people representing different Gulf Coast cities and states.  They were basically glorified cheerleaders for their different hometowns encouraging everyone to come down and experience the fun and food; hopefully seafood is not included.  I also noticed that these were business owners and other prominent people in the cities, not regular locals who may have had a completely different message to the masses. On top of that, the end of the commercial flashed “BP” as its corporate sponsor and well, we all know what’s wrong with that.

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Occupy Earth Day: An Expose of the Corporate Propaganda Systems that Undermine Systemic Change Activism


This Earth Day, like so many others, we'll be invited to pick up litter, plant trees, be reminded to recycle, and countless other personal habits we can adopt to save the earth. Corporations pitching "green" products will bust out their "Lorax-approved" logos and encourage our "green" consumption.

This will be the first Earth Day since the Occupy Wall Street movement took form. How can we Occupy Earth Day – or as our Indigenous colleagues have urged us all to rename Occupy... how can we Decolonize Earth Day? To get to the root of this (in other words, take a "radical" approach), we need to look deeper into how Earth Day, and our broader culture, got colonized.

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The fossil fuel lobby aggressively uses lobbying and propaganda to block public health protections, manipulate the energy debate, defend their massive government handouts and attack clean energy sources that threaten to displace them.

No tool goes unused: Traditional lobbying, "super PAC" donations, software that floods opinion websites with favorable comments, and a network of well-funded front groups and commentators who launder fossil fuel industry talking points.

Robert Bryce and his employer, The Manhattan Institute, are among the most aggressive of a growing class of talkers underwritten by fossil fuels to write commentary talking down clean energy and playing down the cost and public health problems of fossil fuel dependence.

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