Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kai Nagata, The Tyee & the Far-left's Ethical Oil Strawman

There was once a time when the left despised McCarthyism.

But as I consider the left's most recent anti-oilsands talking point -- raising the spectre of Chinese communism vis a vis Sinopec's interests in the Alberta oil sands -- it becomes impossible to believe that's still true.

It seems that the left actually loves McCarthyism -- when it's baselessly turned against their opponents.

In a recent YouTube video, produced by far-left propaganda rag The Tyee and uploaded to YouTube by none other than Kai Nagata -- who left a cushy job at CTV because it simply wasn't left-wing enough for him -- two Muppet-esque puppets, K Mart and Ezy E, rap about their dedication to the oilsands.

The video is actually everything you've come to expect from the far-left, a near-three minute mashup of ad hominem attacks on Ezra Levant and Kathryn Marshall. But it concludes with what is actually the most intellectually dishonest argument anti-oilsands argument the left has offered yet: that anyone supporting the oilsands and the Keystone XL pipeline have become handpuppets for Mao Zedong.

Ignore the obvious (that Zedong has been dead since 1976) and the even more obvious (that China is no longer actually a communist state in anything but name) and perhaps this seems like a devastating argument. But considering that the logical and factual shortcomings of the argument are so purely evident, and that individuals like Kagata continue to use it, and a simple, undeniable fact emerges:

These are people who just don't respect the intelligence of Canadians.

Even if China were a communist state, this would also a drastic about-face on the approach the left demanded be taken toward communist states since the 1960s, when the left insisted that the way to approach communist states was to engage with them, not attempt to isolate them. Isolating communist countries, they insisted, would only cause them to re-trench.

Not to mention a policy of isolation is just exceedingly poor geo-politics.

Simply put, China is not a country that will simply consent to being isolated, politically or economically. An inability to import oil from the oilsands won't reduce the Chinese economy's demand for oil one iota. Instead, China will seek to satisfy that demand by purchasing even more oil from places like Saudia Arabia, Iran, and the Sudan.

Whether Nagata and the rest of the far-left like this fact or not, that one's inescapable.

So it's a very simple question of whether these people think Chinese funds would be better spent purchasing the most ethical oil on the planet from Canada, or purchasing conflict oil from the Sudan, or oppression oil from Saudi Arabia or Iran.

Regardless of how they may try to squirm out of answering this question, it's predicated on an inescapable fact: China will import oil. Knowing that, it's a question of where they will import that oil from.

And where has their inability to answer this very simple question taken them? Into the dark realm of McCarthyism. One they used to hate, but now they indulge themselves in.

All the ad hominem attacks and McCarthyite strawmen in the world will not change this one inescapable fact, and it will not make this one inescapable question go away.

1 comment:

  1. The non-democratic nation of China owns the largest share of oil sands leases in Northern Alberta. The wealth generated goes back to perpetuate a non-democratic regime.

    But we shouldn't buy 'unethical oil' because it perpetuates non-democratic regimes.

    You attack the left for being simplistic but this logic is equally as simplistic. All the oil in the world is being aggressively pursued and it is being done not on a political basis but an economic one.

    If we don't buy 'unethical oil' someone else does (including eastern Canada) so at the end of the day we still need to discuss Alberta's ecological integrity and the risks associated. The entire 'ethical oil' campaign is a straw man argument because comparisons to nigeria do not influence whether or not the Athabasca river and the populations downstream are slowly being poisoned.

    Also, "isolation is just exceedingly poor geo-politics"... so we should we isolate Saudi Arabia and Sudan... I don't follow this.

    If we're so concerned about China's importation of oil, why don't we strap on conditions and say "you can't extract oil from Alberta if you don't buy from Sudan and Saudi Arabia". But that wouldn't work, because once again economics, not politics dictate petrol markets.

    Environmentalists aren't saying buy from opec, they are saying lets transition to something else and not perpetuate a carbon based energy economy. Land mines: It's not that we should be saying buy land mines from Canada because they are 'ethical' its that land mines are fundamentally bad and we shouldn't pursue them.

    Love always @seldomsmith