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Old 09-27-2013   #21
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928

I can't address the complexities of the first question/issue.

To the temporary nature of power sources.....I think that is an unfair comparison. Have you spent much time in Lake Powell over the last decade? The temporary nature of that reservior is obvious to me. Compared to coal power plants, as I understand, that system is doomed much sooner. The power capacity of Powell has diminished rapidly since day 1. On the other hand, no one I know would argue that we are running out of coal at the same rate.

And I think that is one of the points of the article.....the framing of energy narratives is antiquated. Labeling hydro, especially like Powell, is simplistic and ignores the reality on the ground. It ignores too many factors to be accurate. The entire renewable vs. unrenewable labels are so contextual as to be useless outside the specific context of each particular project.

I for one believe that there are times that hydro power might be the "best" available option. But I think this article does a good job at highlighting how language and history can get in the way of fully realizing the full costs of such energy production.

And I think your argument of flood control ignores one important aspect....historically, in the western US at least, major populations did not deal with floods the way we have until we built dams. Just look at the issue of Mississippi Basin. As I understand it, populations have moved into areas that would have been problematic in the past under the guise of flood control. Ironically, dams along that entire system have just increased the breadth and depth of flooding downstream.

Maybe it times we abandoned such phrases as flood control .... even the USFS learned how dangerous the word control was in their actions....they no longer talk about controlled burns the way they did in the past.

I won't claim I think some panacea exists in a world without dams. But I think analyzing how our language and historical approaches have led to unpredicted and negative outcomes is the way we move forward to better solutions in the future. If we are not willing to analyze how we frame and describe these issues then we are stuck with the same old choices that are not providing the outcomes we so desperately need. Because I think we all agree we aren't succeeding right now.


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Old 09-27-2013   #22
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
And to better understand my just have to look to SW Utah (where I live) as a model......water boards are trying cap our local use of aquifers and regional waterways to force us to use a proposed Lake Powell pipeline. They want us dependent on a resource that is already stretched to diminishing returns. That is the logic behind such reservoirs.....push more and more people to be reliant on them to make them justifiable. They want counties like Washing Co. in Utah to have cancerous growth even in places that can't possibly support themselves or be sustainable because it justifies their dams and reservoirs.

It becomes a case of the chicken or the egg......that is the practical outcome of how we historically label dams.

I may not agree with everything the author states but I think we need more people educating us on the broader consequences of our actions. Getting past simple labels is one such way.

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Old 09-27-2013   #23
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 71
Originally Posted by restrac2000 View Post
Critical analysis would require citing your definition in broader context:

Your Wiki source:

"Propaganda is a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of the community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda statements may be partly false and partly true. Propaganda is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes.
As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political, religious or commercial agenda. Propaganda can be used as a form of ideological or commercial warfare."

Bolding by me as I think its fair to say the article doesn't fit those definition well at all. There is a difference between a persuasive argument with the purpose of influencing its readers and propaganda. Historical context matters with words, as well as full definition.

This is the most common definition that I am aware of:

1 [mass noun] information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view:
he was charged with distributing enemy propaganda

The misleading component of the definition is important.

Scientific knowledge isn't always dispassionate and unbiased. Entire fields of scientific research are conducted with priorities and points of view. That said, there is a very big difference between propaganda and trying to persuade people that an alternative approach exists.

Your ideas of propaganda would leave all forms of communication and knowledge as simply forms of propaganda...which in my view ruins the importance of the word itself.

We can agree to disagree on this one. The evidence of propaganda is no better illustrated than in the Title of this thread, as chosen by the Author.

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