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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.


  1. I’m Canadian….. so supposedly according to Klein I should agree to her statements… but I don’t. What is this?

    First off, I have no issue with the principles she upholds – they’re all values I myself support to an extent – but I simply have to appreciate the irony of these kinds of speeches. I’ve worked in research on oil (tar) sands and have to say some of the statements she makes are either simply wrong or grossly oversimplified. But the irony for me really emanates from the need to point out the hypocrisy of governments (in this case that of Canada) for making statements, implementing policies and encouraging ventures that are unrepresentative of the will of the people, and that often go against campaign policies…. only for her to make similar idealistic, ill-researched statements and claiming the majority of Canadian support.

    Now like I said, on principle I have no issue with opposing oil sands and especially not with condemning such campaigns as labeling them Ethical Oils as that is frankly a bit too much to swallow. But equally as hard to swallow is Klein’s arrogance, lack of pragmatism and overtly reactionary attitude. Can she not make suggestions that display evidence of real reflection on the subject matter, an amount of consideration for the difficulty of economic and cultural conditions (other than her crap about free trade being a cause for the current recession… that is too much of convoluted, dismissive attitude for me to even consider right now) and maybe, just maybe recognize that there are no perfect solutions, that compromises must be made and that antagonizing massive industrial projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline is probably what has lead its supporters to dismiss her opinion in the first place.

    I don’t want to needlessly rant, but this kind of thing really get’s me going. Is it not possible to have a ‘debunking’ that doesn’t take things to the other extreme? Or someone just as well-intentioned as Klein but less zealous and a with an ounce more sensibility?

  2. Hey Louis,

    Feel free to rant away.

    Firstly, I’d say that this is Naomi Klein, a woman who makes sure she researches assiduously to back up what she says. This is the woman who, in debate with someone from the Economist magazine over capitalism, used the magazine’s own statements and data to prove her point in debate. Her books are massively well researched. It’s unlikely she has not done her homework here.

    Also, I too have researched the Tar Sands. It was one of my first pieces of Greenpeace lobbying last year. Which point in particular do you disagree with?

    As for the point on her tone etc; this is a political rally to protest against the devastating pipeline, which is only going ahead thanks to, among other things, excessive corporate lobbying. So there’s a lot of anger here. A lot of people who need the zing of a major academic figure I believe she also pointed out other options (green jobs), but again – a political rally, a protest speech. I’m sure she has calmer discussions behind the scenes, but what would you expect the tone to be at something like this?