An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Anne B. Ryan:
We cannot all be official, designated leaders, but if leadership is about taking risks and bringing other people along in a new vision, then we can all do it. We need to rid ourselves of the idea that only experts can lead us. A leader is anyone who wants to help and leadership is an everyday thing, not something apart from day-to-day living. It’s not confined to those who have decision-making power in institutions or states. We can all, irrespective of age, occupation or role, regularly ask questions about how we should live, what is good, how we can achieve well-being for everybody, how we can respect the earth and how we can take the long-term view and try to see the whole picture. We can engage in conversation with others about these issues. A society that does not cultivate the art of asking questions cannot count on finding answers to its most pressing issues.
And thus the dilemma….
“Leaders” in the fossil fuel industry and their preferred media outlets work very hard to make sure their part of the story about pressing issues regarding future energy supplies gets the most coverage. The problem is that their part of the story is only their part of the story, and it’s one light on facts and context.
It’s the one with lots of Happy Talk and undying faith in the Technology Fairy and don’t-worry-be-happy creeds. Their audiences are left with little to make informed decisions or plans. Why?
As Ms. Ryan suggests in the quote above: “We can all, irrespective of age, occupation or role, regularly ask questions about how we should live, what is good, how we can achieve well-being for everybody, how we can respect the earth and how we can take the long-term view and try to see the whole picture.”
So we must. Anyone waiting for the fossil fuel industry and its joined-at-the-hip media to start providing citizens with more than just their side of the story is in for a long wait. Without adequate information and full disclosures, citizens dependent solely on these others to educate and provide will face daunting challenges with little preparation or understanding.
Not a good strategy. More information is always good. Without it, asking the right—or any—questions can be a pointless if not frustrating exercise. Then again, perhaps that is part of the strategy….
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