Chapter Activist writes on post-truth climate politics in BC

2016 November 22, by Chapter Council

Eric Doherty

Eric Doherty

Council of Canadians Victoria Chapter member Eric Doherty recently published this op-ed, which touches on the transit and the McKenzie Interchange in Greater Victoria. If you have thoughts on the subject, please add a comment on the Georgia Straight website.

Eric Doherty: It’s time to challenge post-truth climate politics in B.C.

Oxford Dictionaries recently named post-truth the Word of the Year. And for once, Oxford has chosen a word and concept that really matters. The timing is also impeccable, with global representatives discussing the future of humanity at the UN climate talks in Morocco.

The phrase post-truth politics implies that the public is allowing truth to become irrelevant in politics. And maybe we have been. Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries, says “I wouldn’t be surprised if post-truth becomes one of the defining words of our time.” Naming a problem is an important step toward finding solutions. And resisting the trend towards post-truth climate politics is essential for avoiding catastrophic climate change.

Oxford attributes the first current meaning use of post-truth to late Serbian-American playwright Steve Tesich in a 1992 Nation magazine article. Reflecting on the Iran-Contra scandal and the Persian Gulf War, Tesich wrote “we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world.” British Columbia seems to have begun a descent into this post-truth world.

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