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(De)Smogged Brains Trying Far Too Hard to be Clever

Apparently, DeSmog Blog's David Tracey is a rather big fan of the film Idiocracy. In the 2006 film American IQs have plummeted and the result is an anti-intellectual dystopia.

One of the reasons individuals like Tracey see the people they disagree with: as helpless rubes whose stupidity is so deeply bred into them that they have no hope whatsoever of realizing just how stupid they really are.

And apparently this is the future he sees for Alberta's children. Isn't that lovely?

"When artists depict the future, we should take the time to listen. What if they’re warning us of something that could be avoided?

'Brawndo! It’s got what plants crave!'

This slogan for the popular sports drink ‘Brawndo’ is the mantra of citizens in Mike Judge’s 2006 film ‘Idiocracy.’ It’s information everyone has memorized, word for word, ready to trump anyone who would dare to question their precious ‘Thirst Mutilator!’ And because they believe so absolutely in the claim, they can’t understand why their plants won’t grow when they stop watering them altogether, instead feeding them only Brawndo – since, of course, it’s got what plants crave.

The film depicts a society so degraded in educational norms, and so smitten by emboldened advertisement, that its members passively accept the most powerful and obvious ideas thrust upon them. The words are so loud and the font is so bold; how could it be a lie?

Education was replaced by advertisement. No one needed the slightest botanical leanings, since everyone knew that Brawndo was all that plants need. The ad had taught them this; the ad had made it clear.

What does it matter to us? We needn’t worry; it’s all comedy or science fiction. It’s just a joke.

Yet every now and then, black comedy becomes reality."

Tracey goes on to insist that the involvement of oil firms -- amongst other representatives from other industries (which Tracey oddly neglects to mention) -- as consultants in a looming revision of Alberta's educational curriculum would lead to just such a future in Alberta.

Instead of being educated students would instead be trained to spout talking points and one-liners. The horror!

There's extreme irony in this. If you want to truly appreciate that irony, attend a rally organized by David Tracey-types. They specialize in talking points and one-liners, but tend to be woefully short of facts. In other words, these aren't people who've been education, they're people who've bought into the advertising.

You'll inevitably hear this one: "Tarsands are the dirtiest fossil fuels on the planet."

That one's not even remotely true. Coal comes immediately to mind.

You'll also hear this one: "We can replace fossil fuels with wind and solar energy!"

That's a nice sentiment. But as it stands wind and solar are the most inefficient and unreliable sources of energy on the planet. Wind power is actually an energy sink from the rest of the grid, frequently consuming (not producing) electricity. And that electricity? Frequently generated by coal-burning plants.

Then of course there's the inevitable: "climate apocalypse is coming!"

Well, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's projections perhaps. But according to their observations? Well, the observed data lags behind their projections at greater and greater scope (this at a time when the IPCC insists it can boast greater confidence in their projections.)

These aren't the claims of anyone who has been educated. They're advertising slogans. As simple as that.

Tracey's silliness doesn't end there. He goes on to insist that educational curriculum should be designed by "experts." Industry, he insists, are not "experts."

Dumb.

As it turns out the reason why industry -- again, not just the oilpatch -- have been invited to participate in this curriculum re-design is to ensure that the Albertan education system is imparting upon students the skills they'll need to be able to work in Alberta. To give them the starting point toward a career in any number of fields. Certainly industry leaders are experts on that.

Of course individuals like Tracey aren't particularly interested in whether or not Albertan students will be able to go on to find employment or pursue productive post-secondary education upon their graduation from High School. Attend your typical anti-oil protest and you'll likely find what Ezra Levant has found on any number of occasions: that most of the protesters are essentially unemployed professional protesters, whose education on these issues is so woefully lacking that they have no clue whatsoever what they're talking about.

The future as portrayed in Idiocracy is a grim one, no doubt. But at least they can keep the lights on. A future decided by Tracey-types probably wouldn't be nearly so fortunate... and not a whit more intelligent.

Of course, then there's Tracey's unwitting confession in all of this: Idiocracy presents a world intellectually deranged and degraded because unintelligent people bred like rabbits while intelligent people did not reproduce at all.

Seems to me like maybe David Tracey has a lot more on his mind.