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Great has been shocking to me how ignorant the left in central and eastern Canada has been about the tar sands development until very recently, particularly of its implications beyond the most obvious environmental ones. And I completely include myself in that. So thanks for posting this, and please share with us any future insights and reflections you have on the topic!

I think the left in Alberta is not entirely aware of the implications. I've noticed that much of the political discussion centres around the environment and I think we need to extend the analysis, as mentioned.

There are some amazing activists though here like Grant Neufeld and Mike Hudema who are working hard around these issues.

I think all Albertan activists welcome cross-regional alliances; we're sometimes a lonely bunch here.

Here is the link to the main tar sands group:

I've just come across this Council of Canadians web site on the Security and Prosperity Partnership:

They have some informative documents on energy issues:

(I'm not a member, by the way. They just happen to be the ones raising the issues.)

It's good to have people like Mike Hudema creating awareness of the environment and various other causes my only question is what part of the Alberta population is he trying to spread he message to? Let's face it, Alberta is a hick province where people only start to care about something when it affects them personnally (not in my backyard). Martha and Henry Albertan could care less about the environment or any other cause unless something happens (tornado, power line, toxic slug) to them personnally. So, instead of trying to be in people's faces and trying to create awareness shouldn't Mike and Greeenpeace's strategy instead be a little more subtle. It's kind like a commercial or tv show. If the commercial or tv show comes off being loud and abbrasive (which Martha and Henry Albertan feel about Mike and Greenpeace) they will tune out and make some ignorant comment like he's crazy, dumb ass, what a goof etc. However, if the commercial or tv show is more subtle then people will be more inclined to tune in to the message.

Well, I think there is a problem when activism turns into sloganizing and not consciousness raising. I am not wholeheartedly a fan of Greenpeace and, apart from tactics, I think there is a failure to connect to environmental issues to some broader economic and social ones...

Having said that, I think some of the methods are very good...guerrilla theatre and art-in-action like the see no evil protest can be subtle enough to penetrate thought.

Also, if things get harder for Martha and Henry Albertan, they may be grateful for people like Hudema who will be the one physically blocking development and putting himself on the line...

A message that doesn't reach someone right away may well burrow into their brain and germinate (if only after it's reinforced from another source).

I also think that it's important to try to avoid watering down a message. Otherwise some of the fight is already lost before the message is even out.

Extremely good point, TB, and well said. I agree.

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