Recently my work creating Along the Pipeline was singled out by TransCanada and their (former) PR firm Edelman as a threat to their Energy East project. The statement in question comes from a Reasearch Synthesis that was leaked to Greenpeace and can be found on page 11. It reads:
I don’t know if I should be shocked or honoured that I seem to have the ability to ‘create an emotional response that can override logic and reasoning.’
Along the Pipeline has always been about the stories and opinions shared by people that I met on my journey. Along the way I encountered people that agreed with the project, disagreed with the project, and those that are still making up their minds.
These documents clearly show that TransCanada was considering using deceitful tactics to attack environmental advocates, and also one of their key worries is the spread of real stories from real people. They would prefer to write the script for stories from a fabricated grassroots movement – with comments disabled – while attacking and silencing the voices and opinions of regular people along their pipeline route. It is clear that TransCanada is interested in pushing one-sided spin, and is not comfortable with an honest, open debate about impacts on communities and the climate.
Targeting artists that share real stories is the sign of a company that knows it’s losing its social license. If they can’t be trusted to engage in fair, democratic debate, can they be trusted to build a pipeline 4500km across Canada, over hundreds of waterways, enabling an explosion of tar sands growth? Or do we want a different future?
If you believe in the value of real stories then take a moment to watch and share this one from Nora Gould in Alberta.