Friday, September 23, 2011

SS 11: Friday, 23 Sept

Yesterday we talked about lobbying and other ways to affect government policy as well as the role of bias and control in the media.  Below are eight sites associated to the Alberta Tar Sands discussion.  For each site you visit from Group A, you must also visit a site from Group B.  Compare and contrast the sites and find examples of that each group uses to lobby their view.

Group A) Environmental Lobby

Oil Sands Truth: Tar Pit Maps

 Greenpeace: Tar Sands Video Links

Sierra Club of Canada: Tar Sands

Sierra Club: Tar Sands and Caribou

Group B) Industrial Lobby

American Petroleum Industry: Tar Sands Videos

Alberta Environment Ministry: Monitoring Water

Canadian Petroleum Industry: Air Quality Report

Suncor: Water Reclamation at Tar Sands Site

After viewing, comment to this post.  You may use the following prompts to help you decide what to write (you need not "answer" all of them):

- What are the two sides of the issue?
- What methods are used (by each side) to try to get you on side?
- What examples did you find most influential?  Most biased?
- Was either side able to sway your previously held view on this issue? How much: a little; a lot?

13 comments:

  1. Well one side is that the tar sands is destroying the land and that its bad. The other is that they are repairing the land and slowly restoring it. They both seem to promote this idea to the public more the environmentalists then the oil company. I also noticed that on two of the sites they wanted my information i just think the environmentalists are trying to get us to pay them money which i just disagree with.

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  2. Industrial sites use the word recycle like what they are doing is environmental and they make their ads brief and attention grabbing, all people hear is new jobs. In the articles they seemed to state facts about the science, facts and technology of oil. Where as the environmentalists try to persuade you by feelings and opinions. They are making a large deal about this day in september to create interest and maybe media attention. They are just speculating what the tar sands are going to be like in 2030, they don't know for certain.
    Even though I stand by the environment, I was starting to sympathize with the oil tar sands ideas but then I saw their commercials from america. Those did not impress me, in the sense it's as if they are just taking (feeding) from our environment and getting all these jobs in return. If the oil sands are going to be there, I want canadians to benefit at least. Plus it was ignorant how the thought the wolves were the big problem to do with caribou being endangered.

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  3. Well as we can all see that the guys on the industrial team seem to be focusing alot on the good things their doing to replace the damage they did, which is good but like the hippies on the other team focus more on the damage that has been done so far and on the animals and environment that will never be the same cause of the tar sands and the damage they've done. Both sides really try to win your opinion by either making themselves seem great (otherwise known as narcissism) or they just rip on the other guys. Personally i don't really care about the Tar Sands like c'mon we gotta get 'er done so sure there's pros and cons for both teams but I guess everybody has their own opinions.

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  4. The side that is against the tar sands discusses the issue in a sense of reaching out to the people. They speak in more of a "every day" type of dialog, as if they were talking to us as equal, and reaching out for help. While doing this they illuminate the negative sides (possibly exaggerated) of the tar sands, such as how the government doesn't want the public knowing the truth, or how the Athabasca river levels are rapidly dropping. The other side, however, discussed the tar sands with a professional tone. They don't talk about any negative points, unless it is involving other sources that could emit greenhouse gases. They contradicted the access amount of water drainage statement with facts of how they use less than one percent of the river's water a year, and 80-95% of that is recycled. In one article they are very keen on discussing how much other industries, and forms of work that we use pollute the environment, and how the tar sands only produce 5% of Green House Gases emitted per sector.
    Over all, out of the two groups, i would probably be anit-tar sands. The two opinions were both strongly defending their own cause, and discussing any issues that might have been able to sway the reader. This tactic is very effective, and the form of lobbying could probably easily convince a "fence sitter" into supporting a side that they might have not originally agreed with.

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  5. One example I found to be most influential on the industrial lobby side, is that they say the oil sands projects recycle 80-95 percent of the water used. Another reason they may influence readers to make their companies sound good is because they protect habitats and the framework puts a weekly cap on the amount of water withdrawn. The environmentalists however, try to persuade one with feelings and they put their own thoughts into their facts to state that the industrialists are wrong. The environmental groups say that hundreds will engage in civil disobedience to make their voice loud and clear. The influential opinions on this side tell the readers that the Cariboo population is in rapid decline. In addition, this is a reason people will side with the environmentalists because they don't want a species to extinct, which i agree.

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  6. So the way I see it is that one side shows the public and one side, and one side only shows the bad side to everything. Although from what I can make out is that the big companies are indeed trying to fix the issues they've created. The most biased one i saw was the eco friendly groups they can't seem to get there mind out of the proverbial gutter. From what i can see is that maybe just maybe they're trying to fix it.

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  7. Suncor used a very good way of swaying my opinion. They played a movie with happy music showing an old pond being replanted. The Suncor video also only showed thing s that they wanted us to see like the heads of the company smiling and laughing. The Greenpeace videos didn't work so i read a post about a protest at parliment hill which didnt sway my opinion very well. The oil lovers seem to be much better at swaying my opinion.

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  8. The Industrial lobby was able to sway my view and opinion a lot more about the tar sands than the environmental lobby. Not only did the Alberta oil sands explain how serious the problem is, they also provided information as to how they are monitoring the situation. This link gives many examples as to how the tar sands can be fixed in the future such as choosing 12 independent experts to help create a word-class environmental monitoring system. Although the Sierra Club from the environmental lobby are holding a Canadian action against the tar sands on September 26, they only discuss the damage the tar sands have created and are not doing anything to help solve the problem. In the end I think that the industrial lobby is much more effective and will continue to help get the job done.

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  9. That Girl Beside BlaykeSeptember 23, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    In the Issue of the Tar Sands it honestly depends on what you believe in most, the environment or the human race. In the eyes of someone who is passionate of the environment the sands are a huge foot print of global warming and is considered ground zero. They try to convince people the sands are killing our earth and the companies are doing nothing about it. Although our world runs on fuel they try to shut them down. The companies are just living for today and letting tomorrow deal with the issues. What about the companies who deal with the Sands? what do they say?
    One million new jobs for "Americans" Some commercials proclaimed. But another from the same company then said 9.3 million. Why the huge leap of numbers? Yes they claim to be trying to make the sand more environmental yet they still use fresh water. One that would be Pro for Our economy and the development of the human race see the sand as a great industry bringing in tons of money! But the money just goes to the big companies and America. They Have the most power over the sands even though it's Canada's soil. The world is starved for energy and the sands have it! what does that mean for the rest of the world? Everyone will want our energy, but what will they do for it?

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  10. the industrial lobby made ads that dont have much information all they are trying to do is make it look like all there is to it is having more jobs and making money off of it. the only reason people may vote for them is because they say they are going to recycle 80 percent of the water. when really it could pollute the environment and kill endangered animals or any animals for that matter.

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  11. The environmentalist groups seem to be using terms such as "rapidly dropping" and "dramatically" to describe the effects of the tar sands while deeming the alternative as"clean" and "sustainable." They tend to point out the flaws and mishaps of the oil companies rather than point out the benefits of their own. On the other hand, the oil companies are glossing over their negative points and focusing on the good ones. They put emphasis on the "big difference" they make on the economy and the number of jobs that are opened up. Also, the websites say that they are better about their water usage than other fossil fuel companies and have limits and checks on their facilities. However, environmentalists say that oil companies have pressured the Alberta (Champ) government to keep quiet against taking initiatives against their companies and the environmental damage.

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  12. Wow - I am impressed with the general tone and completeness of your comments. You seem to have been thoughtful about what you wrote and for the most part, stayed away from slang or idioms or cliches - very professional and mature work. As far as your understanding of lobbying and bias, you seem to have a good understanding of how they can affect a political issue and the associated opinion. I hope this exercise helped you to see a little bit more clearly how government policy could be affected by outside forces such as lobbyists. All-in-all, excellent work!

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  13. Finished Comment:

    The environmentalist groups seem to be using terms such as "rapidly dropping" and "dramatically" to describe the effects of the tar sands while deeming the alternative as"clean" and "sustainable." They tend to point out the flaws and mishaps of the oil companies rather than point out the benefits of their own. On the other hand, the oil companies are glossing over their negative points and focusing on the good ones. They put emphasis on the "big difference" they make on the economy and the number of jobs that are opened up. Also, the websites say that they are better about their water usage than other fossil fuel companies and have limits and checks on their facilities. However, environmentalists say that oil companies have pressured the Alberta government to keep quiet against taking initiatives against their companies and the environmental damage

    True, the oil companies pollute the environment, but they provide hundreds of jobs and most of Alberta's economy. And the environmentalists do have an excellent cause: The Athabasca tar sands are damaging the environment in some ways that are unrepairable. However, is it nessasary to completely
    abolish their practices? Neither side is good or evil. When both companies and environmentalists realize that, they will be able to make a compromise that will sustain the environment and maintain the tar sands.

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