I am still stammering at the offensive, incompetent and hysterical goofiness of Terence Corcoran’s diatribe yesterday in the Financial Post.
I have a longish list of complaints and objections, but let me present just two here today.
First, the suggestion that I have an anti-corporate bias is silly. (And the implicit anti-Islamic characterization is, at the very least, racially offensive.) For the past 25 years, I have been running a nicely successful public relations business, which itself is incorporated. I have been doing all those things that corporations do: paying rent, paying taxes, paying employees, participating in the economy in a direct way (rather than as a voyeur) – and giving the best advice I can think of to other corporations.
Second, the notion that concern about the environment equates to socialism is equally inane. For the record, I have given money over the years to both Liberal and Conserative candidates – usually based on the strength of the individual. As it happens, I have never given money to – or voted for – the NDP.
But the real crime in Corcoran’s piece is that it should appear at all in what might otherwise be a reputable newspaper. Corcoran reflects the worst kind of ideological myopia – a condition in which everything that business does is, by definition good, while everyone who questions business ethics, motives or actions is, by definition, bad.
This, too is silly. The tobacco industry, the automotive industry, the oil industry, the chemical industry, the forest industry: all these and more have thrown up terrible examples of crimes against people and against the environment. Denying that businesses (Enron, say) do bad things is as ridiculous as suggesting that there are no ill-informed dough-heads in the environmental movement (see, for example, http://desmogblog.com/penn-and-teller-uncontested-experts-in-bullshit).
That Mr. Corcoran can hold such views while serving as business editor at a national newspaper goes a long way to explaining why the credibility of business in Canada is at an all time low.
There are quite reasonable arguments to be made for progressive business practices – and there is big money to be made in everything from recycling to making more environmentally conscionable cars. (Check the stock value of Toyota against GM and then ask yourself which company would be more likely to hire T. Corcoran as a policy director.)
Corcoran also seems to be arguing that no one – not the deSmogBlog, not the Globe and Mail – should question his Friends of Science. Here is a group that actively concealed the source of its energy industry funding while pursuing a public relations campaign to question the science on climate change. If that’s not wrong, why did they work so hard to hide the funding source?
And why does the mere posing of that question make the DeSmogBlog the “al-Jazeera of climate theory”?
Can’t wait for an answer. So far, nothing we have seen has damaged the credibility of the climate-change deniers more completely than Terry Corcoran’s clumsy defence.