Right in the centre - In defence of truth


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

The Winnipeg Free Press published a three-part series on Manitoba farmers and the farm industry. One of the stated premises of the series is quoted as follows. “Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and farmers are poised to be on the front line of the crisis, both as casualties and change makers.”

The series did a pretty good job of describing life on the farm during the hectic sowing, growing and harvesting seasons. There was only one problem with the series– they had a hard time proving their premise. That wasn’t surprising, because climate change is NOT the most pressing issue of our time. 

The media and some academics would truly like us to believe that climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. Why they like that, I am not sure. Perhaps it’s just a lack of thought, common sense or a poor grasp of history. I think the most pressing issue is that we are being led astray on many issues by misinformed writers.

I have no doubt that the climate is changing, it always has. It’s debatable if the world is warming up, it may be. To me, it’s even more debatable if mankind’s actions are causing climate change. In the Free Press article, they made the now time-worn claim that cow burps and farts are destroying the world. Isn’t it amazing that the people who live in smoggy cities know so much more about how we should live than people on the farms who live where the air is actually cleaner?

The problem with the Free Press is that they don’t really apply much original thought in their articles. The FP strongly subscribes to news cycle trendiness and it gets very tiresome.

Here are some of the accepted trends and themes we are repeatedly subjected to. Brian Pallister is always wrong, just ask Free Press columnist, Dan Lett. Conservatives are always wrong, just ask the majority of writers across North America. Christians are stupid, we all know that. Jews are closet terrorists. Criminals are just poorly adjusted people who deserve one more break in life. Oil and gas are really bad, so I am sure all the writers and academics will save our world this winter by walking to work, not driving their cars and turning off the gas meters on their houses. Oil and gas, and especially Alberta oil and gas, are outdated and must be crushed. Hydro dams are bad and only solar panels and wind turbines are any good, even though they have  a very short life span. Justin Trudeau is always right, all the other federal leaders are always wrong. You get the picture.

Climate change isn’t the biggest issue we face. People not studying history, science, agriculture and politics are our greatest threats.

Dividing people into thought camps is a threat. Good ideas don’t come solely from Liberals or Conservatives, from NDP or  Greens, from Democrats or Republicans. Good ideas come from searching out and recognizing the truth when you find it.

In defiance of the Free Press’s climate change premise and in defence of our farmers, I daresay, farmers know more about the truth than just about any other group in our society.

We shouldn’t be following mindless trends, we should be seeking the truth.

Disclaimer: The writer serves as a volunteer chair of the Manitoba Community Newspaper Association. The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being  the view of the MCNA board or Banner & Press staff.