Viewer Beware!

A pro-nuke video featuring “former” anti-nuclear activists is making the rounds.

Pittsylvania Co., VA– Two local groups aimed at bringing uranium mining to Pittsylvania County will be showing a movie this weekend to inform the public of its benefits.

Read about it here.

PANDORA’S PROMISE asks whether the one technology we fear most could save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty. In his controversial new film, Stone tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone a radical conversion from being fiercely anti to strongly pro-nuclear energy, risking their careers and reputations in the process. Stone exposes this controversy within the environmental movement head-on with stories of defection by heavy weights including Stewart Brand, Richard Rhodes, Gwyneth Cravens, Mark Lynas and Michael Shellenberger. Undaunted and fearlessly independent, PANDORA’S PROMISE is a landmark work that is forever changing the conversation about the myths and science behind this deeply emotional and polarizing issue.

Pro-nuke film reviewers love it.

Bored by the tranche of lefty-liberal journalistic documentaries which attempt to uncover the manifold ills of the modern world and bring sickening tyrants to justice? If so, Robert Stone’s Pandora’s Promise could be the documentary you. It’s not a film which tells us something we already know from reading the newspapers in an emotive and informative way, it’s a film which dares to challenge ingrained perceptions and offers radical new perspectives on a taboo subject.

Others do not.  Beyond Nuclear published a report in direct response to the film.

Pandora’s Promise, is a new pro-nuclear propaganda documentary released theatrically in the US in July 2013. It is funded in part by individuals with a vested interest in seeing the development of new reactors and is seemingly a vehicle by which to raise the profile of the anti-environmental Oakland think tank, The Breakthrough Institute, whose personnel feature prominently in the film. Despite the film’s premise and early claim that it features “a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists” who now support nuclear energy, no one in the film ever led the anti-nuclear movement. Nor was any credible, independent scientific or medical professional with expertise in the areas covered in the film consulted or featured. Beyond Nuclear has bird-dogged the film from the beginning, and has produced numerous critiques. We have also published a definitive report – Pandora’s False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda – and a two-page synopsis. These documents address virtually all of the myths, lies and omissions typically found in pro-nuclear rhetoric and are intended to address these long after Pandora’s Promise fades into deserved oblivion.

The good news is that when CNN aired it, few watched.

CNN’s airing last night of the documentary Pandora’s Promise delivered a wet 345,000 total viewers in its 9-11 PM time slot and just 145,000 among adults 25-54. The heavily promoted Robert Stone-directed film was way, way down from the 1.36 million that CNN Films’ Blackfish drew in total viewers in the same slot two weeks beforehand.

It seems folks are more interested in films about killer whales than pro-nuclear propaganda.  Thank goodness!

May the film fade into obscurity…

Saskatoon newspaper pulls in a ringer to smooth it over

Apparently, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix has experienced a bit of grief over their nasty editorial of May 8. They’ve pulled in a ringer, Murray Mandryk, from their sister paper, the Regina Leader-Post, to quell the fires. Here’s his piece, reproduced in its entirety here because it is a voice of reason. That said, his focus is too narrow. We need an open, honest and thorough debate about Saskatchewan’s energy policy, not just about nukes.

Neither party fit to oversee reactor
Murray Mandryk, Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-Post
Published: Friday, May 09, 2008

If ever an issue in Saskatchewan needed open, honest and thorough debate, it’s the building of a nuclear reactor.

That neither side in the legislative assembly has been willing to provide us with the even the most basic information about the reactor — information already compiled at the taxpayers’ expense — is more disconcerting than talk of a reactor, itself.

This issue is all about trust. It’s about answering basic questions such as: Where will it be built? Who will build it? How much will it cost taxpayers? What are the potential environmental impacts? What are the benefits? What are the potential risks, especially to the water supply?

Instead, what we have had is duplicity and deception from the NDP and Saskatchewan Party both.

Let’s review what neither side wanted us to know:

The NDP government received in February 2007 a rudimentary study that determined the preferred location for a nuclear power plant is the east side of Diefenbaker Lake, near Elbow. The negatives are its proximity to populated areas and fact that the lake provides the water used by 40 per cent of Saskatchewan households.

But what’s alarming about this 53-page, $60,000 study is that, until a copy of the report was leaked to the CBC, the former New Democratic government didn’t think we needed to know about it. In fact, it wouldn’t even confirm in its last eight months in office that such a study existed.

According to former premier Lorne Calvert, there was no need to do so because his government was focused on wind power and had no intention of building a reactor. Yet deputy NDP leader and former Crown corporations minister Pat Atkinson, who admitted Wednesday she hadn’t even read the study, said her government actually never had ruled out building a nuclear power plant.

As farfetched as her response seems, it is consistent with the words of former deputy premier Clay Serby, who said in October 2005:

“We should never say never about anything.”

But lest anyone is left with the impression that secrecy and duplicity begin and end with the New Democrats, let’s check the Saskatchewan Party’s equally unimpressive handling of the nuclear file to date.

Despite an initial commitment from Premier Brad Wall that any previous studies on nuclear power generation would be made public, the government no longer sees it as a priority to tell us that the preferred site to build a nuclear plant is one that provides water for 40 per cent of province’s population. Far more important, we’re told, are the confidentiality agreements signed by the NDP government to keep this report secret in the first place.

However, the confidentiality provision didn’t apply to Saskatchewan Party ministers such as Lyle Stewart (Enterprise and Innovation), Nancy Heppner (Environment) and Bill Boyd (Energy), all of whom had access to this document for the past six months.

Unfortunately, like Atkinson, they never read it, either. Heppner even claimed she couldn’t find a copy. Let’s be thankful someone found one for the CBC.

Through the magic of this newfangled Internet, the report now can be shared with Atkinson, Heppner, Boyd and even the rest of us among the uninformed masses.

Of course, his complete lack of basic information about a site for nuclear power generation was not the kind of impediment that would prevent Boyd from meeting in Alberta with officials from Bruce Power to make a case that Saskatchewan is a better home for a 4,000-megawatt nuclear plant than is Alberta’s Peace River region.

Boyd tells us not to be alarmed because these discussions are exceedingly preliminary. But Crowns Minister Ken Cheveldayoff then tells us Thursday there isn’t time to hold a referendum on nuclear power because his government will have to make a decision before the next election, slated for 2011.

Through all of this, we’re still supposed to trust the good judgment of these people — politicians who don’t think voters need to have the most basic information on nuclear power in Saskatchewan or even feel any need to read this information themselves.

Far more frightening than a nuclear power plant in Saskatchewan is the thought of either side of the legislature being in charge of running it.

CD now blogging!

I see that Canadian Dimension magazine has taken up blogging with an International Women’s Day post by Dr. Joyce Green who teaches in the Political Science department at the University of Regina.

Status of Women is now prohibited from funding work that can be considered “political advocacy.” That’s rich. The Conservatives will consent to funding shelters for battered women, but not organizations advocating for an end to violence against women and children. We can bind the wounds but not question the structures and processes that wound in the first place.

A hearty “Welcome to the Blogosphere” to the radicals at CD!

Women and the Media

Another from the inbox, this, an excerpt from Jane Fonda’s speech to a conference on media reform: A Powerful Media Can Stop a War (What would the world look like if the female half of the population had an equal share in the media?) Edited to ad a link to her full speech at YouTube.

Media must be the defenders of democracy.

We need a media that strengthens democracy, not a media that strengthens the government. We need a media that enriches public discourse, not one that enriches corporations. There’s a big difference.

When we talk about reforming the media, what we’re really talking about is creating a media that is powerful, not a media that serves the interests of the powerful; a media that is so powerful that it can speak for the powerless, bear witness for those who are invisible in our world, and memorialize those who would be forgotten.

A truly powerful media is one that can stop a war, not start one.

As Bill Moyers said at this very conference last year, “the quality of democracy and the quality of journalism are deeply entwined.” But when the media does not reflect the vibrant diversity of the people on this planet, both the quality of journalism and the quality of our democracy suffer.

At this National Conference on Media Reform, our shared goal of creating a truly progressive, democratic media — vital, fair, investigative, and truth-telling — is ultimately unreachable if we do not address the persistent, pervasive inequalities that exist in media. These inequalities exist even outside of mainstream media, even in the alternative and independent press.

The existence of independent media has been severely threatened. We’ve seen a new concentration of media ownership in conservative hands, and the erosion and elimination of federal regulations that promoted a diversity of viewpoints. This has weakened our country — morally, physically, and spiritually.

The Free Press has done a great deal to show how people of color have increasingly been marginalized as media monopolies grow. It’s shown how ownership of television and radio stations by people of color is at its lowest levels since the government began keeping track; how a scant 13 percent of newspapers in this nation employ people of color in the same percentage as their readership; and how issues affecting diverse communities have been underreported and ignored.

But the media environment that is overwhelmingly white is also overwhelmingly male. And a media that leaves women out is fundamentally, crucially flawed.

Why? Simply because you can’t tell the whole story when you leave out half the population.

Read the whole piece.

 

U.S. Women

U.S. citizens elected a few women in their midterm elections.  That has brought forward a lot of inappropriate comments in the media.  From feministing.com:

Clearly, American voters are taking women politicians seriously. Too bad everyone can’t do the same. Some men have been coming out to describe their displeasure with women’s wins in what can only be described as a “girls are icky” line of argument (whining).

Echidne points
to a report from Media Matters; during MSNBC’s election coverage, Chris Matthews said that that Senator Clinton gave a “barn-burner speech, which is harder to give for a woman; it can grate on some men when they listen to it — fingernails on a blackboard.”

He also said that Pelosi will “have to do the good fight with the president over issues” and asked: “How does she do it without screaming? How does she do it without becoming grating?

Nothing like the sound of an uppity woman, huh Chris?

Dennis Miller’s appearance on Hannity & Colmes may take the cake though. Miller rambled off a list of reasons why Pelosi would be a terrible Speaker of the House, most of which could have been summed up with, “But she has a vagina!”

My favorites:

“To think that a C-minus, D-plus applicant like this, who no doubt would have been drummed out of the Mary Kay corps after an initial four-week evaluation period, might have a seat at the table of true powers, the speaker of the House, is absolutely insane.””Every time I see Pelosi in her little Chanel suits — a latter day “Wacky O” — regurgitating the Democratic talking points that she had to learn phonetically because the word “grasp” is not even vaguely in her vocabulary, I shake my head so badly you could blend paint colors in my mouth.”

Even President Bush got into it, announcing that, in his conversation with Nancy Pelosi,

“in my first act of bipartisan outreach since the election, I shared with her the names of some Republican interior decorators who can help her pick out the new drapes in her new offices.”

Why this incessant need to belittle women?  Does it make these privileged men feel more powerful or what?

Mercer’s hot; MacKay is not!

Peter MacKay is pretty easy to make fun of, but no one does it better than the CBC’s Rick Mercer. This week’s Rick Mercer Report had me belly-laughing more than a couple of times. I’ll admit I haven’t laughed a whole lot over this linguistic affair because it’s difficult to see all my fears about the Cons materializing. But this spoof was good! It was a spoof of a dog food commercial, a long, drawn out commercial featuring Peter MacKay Dog Food! It’s available for viewing on the show’s website.

The misogyny of the latest Con to speak on the MacKay comment is over the top! The reason this story has legs, according to former Mulroney aid and former Ambassador, Norman Spector, is not because the Cons are tripping all over the place, but because there are women in the Ottawa Press Gallery. OMG! Those damned uppity women cannot keep their mouths shut, I guess. Now CTV is reporting that Spector’s comments have brought calls for Spector to be dumped as a political pundit in the media.

I suppose, in a way, we should be thankful for all this as it points to the fundamental need for increased, not decreased, funding to Status of Women Canada!

Rick’s visit to 24 Sussex and the sleepover on PMS‘s couch was good for a laugh, too, especially when PMS handed Rick his lunch bag and gave him a hug. Gotta wonder how hard that was for PMS! And, Rick’s Rant of the Week was good, too. The video’s on the show’s site and the text is available at Rick’s blog. He rants about Fortier not running in the upcoming byelection in Montreal and makes some very good points about democracy as well as provides links to the two petitions he’s set up.

Oh, there’s a new Photo Challenge, too.

Thanks to skdadl at Peace, order and good government, eh? for the heads-up on the Spector story.

UPDATED 23:29 PM to link to the Feminist Toronto blog post on this issue.

Inuit Women Speak Out

From Pauktuutit, the national voice of Inuit women.  Will Inuit women now qualify for funding from SWC?  Because you can be certain the funding they have received from Indian Affairs has not proven to be enough to make the necessary societal change.

MEDIA ADVISORY

KEEPERS OF THE LIGHT: INUIT WOMEN’S ACTION PLAN 2006-2010

October 10 2006, Ottawa – Immediate.  Martha Greig, President, Pauktuutit
Inuit Women of Canada, is pleased to release Keepers of the Light: Inuit
Women’s Action Plan
.

President Greig noted, “The matters raised in Keepers of the Light are
urgent and have daily consequences in the lives of the women we serve and
their families.”  Keepers of the Light outlines Pauktuutit’s vision for a
strengthened partnership between Canadian Inuit women and the Government of
Canada.

“Inuit women play an integral role in governing our communities and our
society. Inuit women are the links to the past and to the future; Inuit
women are the vessels of culture, health, language, traditions, teaching,
care giving, and child rearing. These qualities are fundamental to the
survival of any society. Keepers of the Light reflects this perspective.”
Ms. Greig added.

Inuit stand out from other Canadians in that they have by far the highest
rates of poverty, the highest rates of unemployment, the lowest levels of
formal education, the highest cost of living, the lowest levels of housing
quality and availability, and one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
Since Inuit women truly are the ‘Keepers of the Light‘[1], the impacts of
many of these appalling circumstances are disproportionately borne by Inuit
women.

Pauktuutit’s mandate is to foster greater awareness of the needs of Inuit
women and to support Inuit women by providing leadership, voice, and project
excellence in the areas of equity, health, social well-being, cultural
traditions and economic development.

When it comes to implementing the Government’s Inuit policy agenda,
Pauktuutit is the primary, and often the only, national organization to
develop and implement northern community-based programs. Pauktuutit
identifies four priority policy areas that require immediate attention.
These are:

1. EQUITY AND EMPOWERMENT
Despite the breadth of Pauktuutit’s work, the organization has always been
marginalized in influence and limited in resources when compared to those of
Canada’s other five National Aboriginal Organizations (NAOs). Though
Pauktuutit is broadly recognized as one of Canada’s six NAOs, this status
has yet to be acknowledged formally by the most senior levels of the
Government of Canada. Pauktuutit must at last, be recognised for the
independent national voice of Inuit women that it is, and supported to
contribute optimally to the creation of solutions to the critical issues
facing Inuit women, their families and communities, with the same stature,
resources, responsibilities and influence afforded the other five NAOs.

2. HEALTH AND SAFETY
The Government of Canada must engage Pauktuutit to play a pivotal role in
bringing about practical, real and lasting change in the critical program
areas of the health needs of Inuit women, their families and communities and
the related issue of violence and abuse – a multi-faceted problem that is
undermining the health and well-being of everyone in Inuit communities.

3. STRENGTHENING INUIT FAMILIES
A strong partnership between Pauktuutit and the Government of Canada
necessitates consistent and adequate support for Pauktuutit’s work in the
areas that benefit Inuit children and youth. Childbirth, FASD, teen
pregnancies, early childhood development, and child sexual abuse demand
attention. Pauktuutit has years of experience dealing with the full
dimension of these problems extending from birth to the intergenerational
legacy of residential schools. It builds upon experience and employs
practical, measurable solutions that offer long-term results.

4. INUIT WOMEN’S INDEPENDENT VOICE IN GLOBAL ISSUES
Pauktuutit has a history of contributing to international issues.  We have
been granted special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and
Social Council and have earned a national and international reputation in
the realm of intellectual property rights (IPR) and protection of Inuit
traditional knowledge. There is a need for the Government of Canada to
establish a predictable and reliable strategy to support Inuit women’s
participation in international issues and events.

CONCLUSION
These four broad themes do not lend themselves to containment within
specific or separate sectors, government departments, or agencies.
Pauktuutit hopes that they are taken as a whole, to inform all programs and
services that are developed by, for, and with Inuit.

Pauktuutit gratefully acknowledges funding provided from the Inuit Relations
Secretariat of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to undertake and complete
this important work.

Pauktuutit Contact:
Jennifer Dickson, Executive Director
1 800 667 0749 ext. 226

_____

[1] The light

The qulliq is a traditional crescent- shaped Inuit stone lamp. It was
used to light and heat the igloo, melt ice for water, dry clothes, and cook
food. A wick made of moss or Arctic cotton was used to draw seal, caribou,
or beluga oil to the flame. In the winter, it was the only source of light.
It was the woman’s responsibility to make sure that the qulliq was always
lit. Without it, Inuit would not have survived Canada’s Arctic conditions.
The qulliq symbolizes survival and Inuit physical and emotional well-being.

____