The federal Conservative government has its hands full on the environmental front. Canada’s reputation internationally has taken a heavy hit since the Tories took over. Air pollution, water pollution, toxic contaminants — it’s an environmentalist’s field day and there’s no end in sight.
The situation provoked a one-day protest by hundreds of eco-consciousness groups right across the country.
The latest counterattack/protest that the environmental movement has launched has been to shut down its own websites. They “went dark,” as their saying goes.
The action, or non-action if you prefer, was led by leaders of the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace, Sierra Club and others who apparently think that self-muzzling is the way to propagate their message.
“Hundreds of organizations and individuals are speaking out,” said David Suzuki, probably not unaware of the contradiction in what he was saying.
The strategy of speaking out by “going dark” is creative. Whether it’s the kind of strategy that does much good is another question.
It’s doubtful Prime Minister Stephen Harper has lost any sleep over it. The silly and offensive painting of him in an imaginary pose sans clothing, a la famed emperor, was probably more annoying to him than this protest.
The going-dark exercise is, in a sense, a not-quite-grown-up version of a child holding his breath until he turns blue. A parent need do nothing about it as the child will eventually breathe no matter what. Even if he were to black out, he’ll start breathing automatically.
Environmental groups can go comatose from now until the world ends in accordance with the misunderstood Mayan calendar, and their websites won’t reboot.
There are many good environmental causes to fight, many serious issues to debate about necessary compromises between economic imperatives and preserving the health of the planet. Nobody needs to convince the public of that.
It’s what we do about it that’s important. What’s required is more debate, not less. The shutdown idea is different, catchy even. But it has added nothing to discussion of the very issues it was supposedly protesting.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.