Fletcher column was ’embarassing’

Bruce Whittingdon thinks Tom Fletcher's latest column was 'just plain embarassing.'


In his latest missive, “Environmentalism for Dummies” [April 17, 2012], Tom Fletcher takes issue with the work of Dr. David Suzuki.

In typical fashion, Fletcher cherry-picks his facts to weave a tale of sinister environmental goings-on. He refers to Suzuki’s “left-wing rants,” quite appropriately, in one of his own right-wing rants.

In his column, he criticizes Suzuki’s work while praising that of former Greenpeace activist-turned-corporate-apologist Dr. Patrick Moore. He delivers a few zingers, but in the best tradition of journalists with an agenda, he leaves out a lot.

He does not tell us that Suzuki is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of British Columbia. He does not list even one of the 26 honorary degrees that have been conferred upon Suzuki, or the four international awards and prizes bestowed on him.

Neither does Fletcher tell us much about Moore’s credentials. According to Wikipedia, Moore has been involved with [and has often been paid by] multinational resource industries and the boards of industry alliances. His work, through his consulting firm, with Asia Pulp and Paper, for example, has been criticized as being industry PR, and his climate-change denial arguments are universally refuted in peer-reviewed literature. Wikipedia lists no awards or honours presented to Moore.

Fletcher is indignant that charitable organizations are upset because they cannot be politically active or they will lose their charitable status. He does not, apparently, have a problem with lobbyists funded by foreign corporations applying political pressure in the name of profit.

This kind of petulant attack is a hallmark of Fletcher’s reliably rabid and right-wing columns, but this one takes things one step further: It’s just plain embarrassing.

Bruce Whittington