Friday, June 24, 2011


Copyright © 2011 C. R. Edmunds June 24, 2011

Spin is a term used to describe a process of twisting strands of fiber together to form thread, yarn, rope and such. It is also used to describe twisting information in a way so as to create a new description of reality, a new thread of thought so to speak. At its darkest, spin is a way of manipulating the thought of others as a means to an end that the others might not agree with if they were told the same story with all the facts unspun.

Let me give you a couple examples of this thing I call envirospin, taken from a pair of news releases put out just today by Wild Earth Guardians and Defenders of Wildlife. Both of them basically are some quick spinning of facts to “prove” that environmentalists aren’t to blame for the massive catastrophic wildfires now occurring around the US.

WEG’s envirospin is in the form of a kind of sleight of hand in their news release, “Lack of Logging Isn’t To Blame in Massive Forest Fires”. Here we have the statement that there have been “few lawsuits challenging sensible fuel reduction on the national forests in the last decade”. On the surface that’s of course true – but only because a) all the suing was done before the last decade, b) the definition of “sensible” fuel reduction is defined by the environmental groups themselves, and c) this decade’s “few lawsuits” doesn’t include all the habitat litigation that has the same effect, since endangered species lawsuits stop work in the forest just as effectively as logging lawsuits do.

Few lawsuits maybe, but to make sure everyone toes the line, the various environmental groups send a representative to every planning meeting to make sure that all understand the threat. It’s kind of like the mob sending a hit man to your restaurant for lunch to remind you how risky it would be to not pay your protection. So yes, not so many lawsuits about logging these days if you believe the envirospin – but that doesn’t mean that the lack of logging isn’t to blame.

DoW ‘s email news release this morning, “Wildlife Alert”, is another envirospin magic trick. DoW says that humanity is the root problem, because people cause climate change (note that environmentalists don’t use “global warming” any more - too many freezing people are dubious of that concept). DoW snuck wildfires into the news release, hoping that no one would notice their clumping of “forest health” with all the other natural-type stuff like droughts, storms and floods. This unbelievable spin would have the reader believe that human management of forests, particularly environmentalist dictated management practices, is not a factor of catastrophic wildfire. Oh yeah, humans are the cause – envirospin tells us that humans are the source of everything bad – but environmentalist humans are not the problem in any way.

Envirospin is interesting in how similar it is to other serial criminal activity. The perpetrators get more and more confident and less and less circumspect. They figure no one can catch them out. They begin to believe they’re invulnerable.

Oh, I don’t think so.

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