Connect with us

Media

Climate crisis behooves Canadian media to craft better response to disinformation – Straight.com

Published

on


(Warning: this commentary is longer than what often appears on media websites.)

On Boxing Day, I read an enlightening essay by NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen about the mainstream U.S. media.

It highlighted the “strategic blindness” of NBC political director and Meet the Press host Chuck Todd and others in dealing with the Trump administration and the Republican Party.

Rosen described Todd’s response to the onslaught of lies as “malpractice” and “willful blindness to what the Republican Party had become”.

“The right wing ecosystem for news does not operate like the rest of the country’s news system,” Rosen pointed out. “And increasingly conservative politics is getting sucked into conservative media. It makes more sense to see Fox News and the Trump White House as two parts of the same organism.” 

Yet Meet the Press and other mainstream current-affairs network programs operate on the premise of a “symmetry between the two major political parties”, according to Rosen.

He insisted that mainstream media figures like Todd have no idea how to respond to the spread of disinformation that occurs on their shows.

Here in Canada, media outlets face a similar predicament, though not quite as obvious because Fox News doesn’t have a large footprint in this country.

The Conservative Party of Canada and its provincial allies, including the B.C. Liberals, refuse to acknowledge the gravity of the climate crisis.

They’re ready to march straight into the abyss by promoting more fossil-fuel production and more fossil-fuel exports.

The Liberal Party of Canada professes to accept the reality of climate change. But in government, it continues approving fossil-fuel projects, ensuring that the country won’t meet its international obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Both major parties are aided by mainstream media reporters, columnists, and editors, who are willfully blind to the magnitude of the problem. And it can be argued that many of them, like Todd, are committing “malpractice” by failing to focus sufficient attention on the climate. 

Since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, the U.S. mainstream media has given him a platform to spread lies and disinformation.

Canada’s major issue is fossil-fuel production

Meanwhile, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers forecasts daily production in Canada to rise from 2.9 million barrels per day in 2018 to 4.25 million barrels per day by 2035.

CAPP states that global demand will rise by 12 percent by 2040, reaching 106.3 million barrels per day.

It’s surreal.

But this math is very rarely seriously challenged in the Canadian mainstream media. Nor is it often juxtaposed with the national carbon budget under the Paris Agreement.

The Global Carbon Budget project noted this month that annual emissions of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2019 will likely be 62 percent higher than when the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was prepared in 1990. That’s appalling.

“Oil Co2 emissions are dominated by national transport with almost linear growth over five decades,” the Global Carbon Budget project stated. “Road transport is half the total growing at 1.9% while national and international aviation is 8% growing at 3% per year.”

In B.C., the NDP government talks a good game on the climate. Its CleanBC plan will take the province part of the way toward its legislated 2030 emissions targets.

But Premier John Horgan remains on exceptionally good terms with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Both support a greenhouse-gas-spewing LNG plant that will gobble up an increasingly large share of the province’s carbon budget.

This will likely make it impossible for B.C. to meet its targets, according to Green MLA and climate scientist Andrew Weaver. 

By 2030, Horgan and his environment minister, George Heyman, will have likely sailed into retirement, leaving the problem for future generations of politicians.

Horgan also shows no signs of using every tool in the toolbox, as he promised, to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

It will generate more downstream emissions each year than those emitted by the entire province of British Columbia on an annual basis. This fact is almost never mentioned in mainstream media coverage of the issue.

The $9.3-billion pipeline project won’t lower gasoline prices in B.C., as commentator Martyn Brown has documented. And this mania for fossil-fuel production is leaving Canada ill-equipped to adapt to a world in which there’s far greater demand for renewables.

This year, about 50,000 square kilometres of land have been scorched by wildfires in Australia.

That’s double the amount of land burned in British Columbia over two springs and summers in the record wildfire years of 2017 and 2018.

This was entirely predictable more than a decade ago, according to climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf.

In November, he coauthored a commentary in Nature stating that the “growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions”.

The scientists pointed out that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change introduced the idea of tipping points two decades ago.

Back then, it was believed that “large-scale discontinuities” in the climate system were likely only if global warming exceeded 5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

That was reassuring at the time. But more recent IPCC special reports have come to a sharply different conclusion—these tipping points are now possible if warming only increases between 1 and 2 °C.

This should be a wake-up call to media around the world because the average world temperature has already risen by about 1 °C over the pre-industrial period.

The scientists also noted that Greenland’s ice sheet “could be doomed” at 1.5 °C of warming.

At 2 °C of warming, 99 percent of tropical corals are likely to be lost, having a devastating impact on marine biodiversity.

“With the Arctic warming at least twice as quickly as the global average, the boreal forest in the subarctic is increasingly vulnerable,” Rahmstorf and the others wrote. “Already, warming has triggered large-scale insect disturbances and an increase in fires that have led to dieback of North American boreal forests, potentially turning some regions from a carbon sink to a carbon source.”

And on it goes.

Yet it’s full steam ahead when it comes to Canadian and global oil production—with the full support of Canadian premiers and the prime minister.

Alberta premier Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appear to be on different sides of the political spectrum, but they both agree on ramping up fossil-fuel production.
Adam Scotti/PMO

Symmetry just isn’t working very well

So, getting back to NYU professor Rosen’s essay, how should the media respond to politicians who mislead the public on important issues like climate change?

During the recent federal election campaign, I chose not to accept an invitation to interview Max Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada.

It just felt wrong to give a platform to a politician who was going to spew nonsense about global warming and immigration.

I also had a problem with Bernier campaigning vigorously for a candidate who wanted to roll back the LGBT-friendly SOGI 123 initiative in B.C. schools. 

I wasn’t put on this Earth to help him undermine the human rights of transgender kids.

The old paradigm of symmetry, as Rosen points out, isn’t working in a world in which politicians deliberately pick fights with the media to pander to their base.

It’s time to tell the truth about the climate—and the politicians be damned.

That should be the new media standard on national current-affairs shows like CBC TV’s Power & Politics, CTV Question Period, Global TV’s The West Block, and CBC Radio’s The House.

Nobody’s under any obligation to give a platform to the likes of Bernier or Alberta premier Jason Kenney, for that matter.

Especially if they’re spreading disinformation in order to promote an industry that’s threatening the very existence of millions of people on Earth. 

More

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Media

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers – The Battlefords News-Optimist

Published

on


TORONTO — Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is calling on Parliament to restrain social media platforms from distributing harmful or hateful content by applying the same laws that publishers and broadcasters already face.

The lobby group’s executive director says courts should be penalizing social media platforms that knowingly spread harmful content.

article continues below

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper that argues social media platforms aren’t passive or neutral when it comes to content distribution.

The report says platforms like Facebook and YouTube routinely exercise editorial control by promoting content that users have never asked to see or sometimes conceal content without consulting users.

The report says traditional publishers can be held partly liable under Canadian law for harmful content but the same standard hasn’t been applied to internet platforms.

The report was released as members of Parliament return to Ottawa this week and the Trudeau government prepares to lay out its plans for the coming session.

Among other things, Bernhard said that social media tell regulators and advertisers that they have very detailed knowledge of what’s being posted on their platforms and exercise control over what is made available to the public.

“(Facebook CEO) Mark Zuckerberg has claimed under oath that Facebook takes down 99 per cent of terrorist content before a human user ever sees it (and) 89 per cent of hate speech supposedly comes down before a human ever sees it,” Bernhard said.

He said that means Facebook in particular, and social media in general, should have the same responsibility to abide by Canadian laws as conventional publishers and broadcasters.

“If a judge finds that the content is illegal and that a platform has amplified it, the platform should be held responsible. And not only that, but that the penalty should be commensurate to their revenue and size so it hurts accordingly,” Bernhard said.

Facebook has said internet platforms are recognized as intermediaries, not publishers, under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement.

But Zuckerberg has also said Facebook has a responsibility to keep people safe and suggested new regulations could provide a standardized approach.

“These are complex issues and we are always open to discussing these important topics with the government,” a Facebook statement said Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2020.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Pegatron plans to invest $1 billion in Vietnam plant: state media – TheChronicleHerald.ca

Published

on


HANOI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s Pegatron 4938.TW> is seeking to invest $1 billion in three phases in production facilities in areas such as computing, communication and consumer electronics in Vietnam, state-media reported on Tuesday.

Pegatron, which is a manufacturing partner of Apple , Microsoft and Sony 6758.T>, had received licenses to initially invest $19 million in the city of Haiphong, the Hanoitimes and Tuoi Tre newspapers reported, citing a report by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Pegatron was also seeking licences for a $481-million second phase and $500 million in 2026-2027, the papers said, adding these were expected to create 22,500 jobs and contribute around 100 billion dong ($4.31 million) to the state budget per year.

Reuters was unable to obtain a copy of the report and calls to the ministry were not answered.

Pegatron did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Under the plans, Pegatron would join Apple’s two other iPhone assemblers, Wistron Corp 3231.TW> and Foxconn 2317.TW>, in developing more capacity in Vietnam.

Apple has been producing its wireless earbuds AirPods Pro in Vietnam since May.

Su Chih-Yen, acting director of the Investment Commission of Taiwan’s Economics Ministry, told Reuters it had not yet approved such an investment, but declined to comment on whether they had received an application.

In a bid to skirt U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, Taiwanese companies have been particularly active in either moving production back home or elsewhere in Asia.

Another Taiwanese company, Universal Global Technology, which produces smartphone and earbuds parts for Lenovo 0992.HK> and Sony, was also looking to set up a plant in Vietnam, Hanoitimes cited the report as saying.

ASE Technology Holding, parent company of Universal Global Technology, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Additional reporting by Khanh Vu and Jeanny Kao in Taipei; Editing by Ed Davies)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers – Chilliwack Progress

Published

on


Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is calling on Parliament to restrain social media platforms from distributing harmful or hateful content by applying the same laws that publishers and broadcasters already face.

The lobby group’s executive director says courts should be penalizing social media platforms that knowingly spread harmful content.

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper that argues social media platforms aren’t passive or neutral when it comes to content distribution.

The report says platforms like Facebook and YouTube routinely exercise editorial control by promoting content that users have never asked to see or sometimes conceal content without consulting users.

The report says traditional publishers can be held partly liable under Canadian law for harmful content but the same standard hasn’t been applied to internet platforms.

Facebook didn’t immediately comment on the research paper or Bernhard’s remarks.

The report was released as members of Parliament return to Ottawa this week and the Trudeau government prepares to lay out its plans for the coming session.

Among other things, Bernhard said that social media tell regulators and advertisers that they have very detailed knowledge of what’s being posted on their platforms and exercise control over what is made available to the public.

“(Facebook CEO) Mark Zuckerberg has claimed under oath that Facebook takes down 99 per cent of terrorist content before a human user ever sees it (and) 89 per cent of hate speech supposedly comes down before a human ever sees it,” Bernhard said.

He said that means Facebook in particular, and social media in general, should have the same responsibility to abide by Canadian laws as conventional publishers and broadcasters.

“If a judge finds that the content is illegal and that a platform has amplified it, the platform should be held responsible. And not only that, but that the penalty should be commensurate to their revenue and size so it hurts accordingly,” Bernhard said.

David Paddon, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won’t find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending