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Nature Environmental Conservation & Protection

Little Black Lies

Corporate & Political Spin in the Global War for Oil

by (author) Jeff Gailus

Publisher
RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
Initial publish date
Oct 2012
Category
Environmental Conservation & Protection, Environmental Policy, Ecology
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781926855684
    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price
    $16.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781927330500
    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price
    $16.95

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Description

Beginning in 1967 and for just over 30 years, the oil industry toiled in the relative obscurity of Northern Alberta as machines peeled away earth and boreal forest to exhume what has now become one of humanity’s most precious and contentious resources: bitumen. As the years passed, the bitumen mines sprawled, poisonous tailings ponds spread, toxins polluted the environment, cancer reared its head downstream and the price of petroleum soared beyond all expectations.

 

As plans continue to build the Keystone and Northern Gateway pipelines, a growing number of scientists, journalists, First Nations and environmentalists are fighting to raise the alarm about the implications and propaganda surrounding the world’s largest energy project.

 

In his second RMB Manifesto, Jeff Gailus dissects the global war on truth that has come to define the battle for oil. It is a battle fought not with bullets and bombs but with a dark web of Little Black Lies that poses a threat not only to environmental and human health, but to our moral and social well-being.

About the author

Jeff Gailus has been writing about the intersection of science, nature and culture for over 15 years. His poignant journalism and commitment to conservation have allowed him to work with numerous non-profit organizations, including the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, David Suzuki Foundation, Natural Resources Defence Council and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. Jeff has earned a Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship, a Story of the Year award from the Associated Collegiate Press, and numerous shortlistings and honourable mentions for his magazine writing, as well as Canada Council for the Arts and Alberta Foundation for the Arts grants to work on an environmental history of the Great Plains grizzly. He has taught writing at the University of Oregon and the University of Montana, and has led university field courses for the Wild Rockies Field Institute and Wildlands Studies. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Jeff currently resides in Missoula, Montana. His first book in the RMB Manifesto series was The Grizzly Manifesto: In Defence of the Great Bear (2010).

Jeff Gailus' profile page

Editorial Reviews

Canada's tarsands are one of the handful of focal points that will decide the planet's environmental future—because there's a huge pool of carbon there, but also because, as Jeff Gailus makes clear in this revealing book, there's an epic struggle between a government that's a subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry, and a citizenry that's increasingly seeing through their lies.—Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of The End of Nature

This well-written and engaging book examines what the author calls the war on truth around the issue of oil and specifically in relation to Alberta's tar/oil sands. Gailus looks at how rhetoric and public relations have taken over the dialogue from science-based facts. He shows how both sides of the debate have been guilty of this, but concentrates more on the larger and more egregious incidents produced by the pro oil-sands side. Key references, additional reading and endnotes are included.—BC Books for BC Schools, 2014-2015

Jeff Gailus has a finely tuned bullsh*t detector and a sharp tongue. He exposes and explains the disingenuous and dangerous propaganda spewed forth by Big Oil and Canadian governments in their attempt to greenwash Alberta’s tar sands.—David R. Boyd, Adjunct Professor, Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University and author of The Environmental Rights Revolution: A Global Study of Constitutions, Human Rights, and the Environment

Little Black Lies is a must read for Canadians who believe as I do that a healthy democracy can only function if based on fact, not unsubstantiated drivel.—David W. Schindler, Killam Memorial Chair and Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta and co-author of The Algal Bowl: Overfertilization of the World's Freshwaters and Estuaries

Little Black Lies is a painstaking depiction of how the Canadian government's oil sands obsession, coupled with the United States' oil addiction, has smashed aside the once-vaunted environmental safeguards of both nations, enabling Big Oil to wreak havoc upon the health, safety, political discourse, and civil society of two failing democracies. Under these extraordinarily dark circumstances, Gailus' call for a resistance that matches the monomania of tar sands boosterism is simple common sense.—David James Duncan, author of The Brothers K and The River Why

User Reviews

Reviews of Little Black Lies from authors you know

“Jeff Gailus has a finely tuned bullsh*t detector and a sharp tongue. He exposes and explains the disingenuous and dangerous propaganda spewed forth by Big Oil and Canadian governments in their attempt to greenwash Alberta’s tar sands.”
~ David R. Boyd, Adjunct Professor, Simon Fraser University, and author of The Environmental Rights Revolution: A Global Study of Constitutions, Human Rights, and the Environment

“Little Black Lies is a painstaking depiction of how the Canadian government’s oil sands obsession, coupled with the United States’ oil addiction, has smashed aside the once-vaunted environmental safeguards of both nations, enabling Big Oil to wreak havoc upon the health, safety, political discourse, and civil society of two failing democracies. Under these extraordinarily dark circumstances, Gailus’ call for a resistance that matches the monomania of tar sands boosterism is simple common sense.”
~ David James Duncan, author of The Brothers K and The River Why

“The most serious environmental crisis we face today isn’t the threat of climate change. More Urgent, is the polluted public square that’s choked with a smog of misinformation, denial and bitter adversarial rhetoric. This book is a great effort to clean up that pollution and invite the public back to a more honest conversation about the tar sands.”
~ Jim Hoggan, author of Climate Cover Up and President of Vancouver PR firm Hoggan & Associates

“Canada’s tarsands are one of the handful of focal points that will decide the planet’s environmental future—because there’s a huge pool of carbon there, but also because, as Jeff Gailus makes clear in this revealing book, there’s an epic struggle between a government that’s a subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry, and a citizenry that’s increasingly seeing through their lies.”
~ Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of Eaarth

“An essential little book that damningly illustrates Mark Twain’s old adage about the politics of mines: a big hole in the ground with a liar on top.”
~ Andrew Nikiforuk, author of Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent and, in 2012, The Energy of Slaves

“Little Black Lies adds new meaning to the words of the Canadian anthem: ‘Oh, Canada . . . we stand on guard for thee.’ Today, it is not armed alien invaders that we must stand on guard against, but an avalanche of misinformation from industry and government. It is incredible that some of this comes from people in positions of power within our system. George Orwell would find it fascinating. Little Black Lies is a must read for Canadians who believe as I do that a healthy democracy can only function if based on fact, not unsubstantiated drivel.”
~ David W. Schindler, Killam Memorial Chair and Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta and co-author of The Algal Bowl: Overfertilization of the World’s Freshwaters and Estuaries

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