Media and scientists aren’t so far apart
while “dancing with the media” (October issue)
makes a valid argument about why academics
become wary after the media distorts their research
findings, its lead example seems quite askew. If
you look at what the media reported about the
study by Andrew Weaver and Neil Swart (which
compared the environmental impact of burning
different fossil fuels), and how the analysis was
headlined, you will find nuances galore.
For example, a Globe and Mail headline says,
“Science rides to aid of oil sands; Respected cli-
mate researchers report that, while no oil is good
oil, the impact of Alberta’s resource has been
overstated.” The Victoria Colonist headline says:
“Coal bigger threat to climate change than oil-
sands: study; But tarsands industry also a huge
contributor to Canadian emissions.” A Post Media
headline reads: “All fossil fuels must be cut to
avoid global warming: scientists.”
It’s true that a Canadian Press headline does
say: “Climate expert says coal not oilsands real
threat” but the piece itself concludes with para-
graphs quoting Dr. Weaver saying, “This idea
that we're going to somehow run out of coal and
natural gas and fossil fuels is really misplaced.
We’ll run out of human ability to live on the
planet long before we run out of them. I have
always said that the tarsands are a symptom of
a very big problem. The problem is dependence
on fossil fuels.”
Maybe there is more to the skewed reporting
of this story than can be easily accessed today,
but on the surface it seems that this is a striking
example of how the media and scientists are on
the same page. And if they aren’t to begin with,
they very quickly get there.
We’re out there
there’s a pile of leisure professionals out here
in the world at large, lurking in many forms, in
many places, in many capacities (“The how and
why of leisure,” August-September issue). Recreation and leisure programs of the past – and
some that still exist – gave many of us a broad
understanding of the social phenomena that
many strive for daily but don't necessarily understand. It’s one of our biggest opportunities, to
work with other fields building quality of life.
We still can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound
or create world peace; however, we’re committed
contributors to society and we know who we are.
Making a difference? I think so.
Ms. Driedger has worked in the field of recreation, leisure
and wellness for over 25 years and is owner of the company
Fourward Thinking in Calgary.
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