ReThink, ReAction

I belong to a mailing list. Well several of them actually, don’t we all. And recently this email showed up in my inbox. I thought it was an excellent email, well formed (concise) and well put. I wanted to share it with you because it shows that some who are working for change truly do care about the bigger picture while others tend towards fanaticism and drama.

You may have noticed the recent “Rethink Alberta” anti-tourism campaign and wondered whether ReThink Red Deer is associated with it. No, we’re not. “Rethink Alberta” is a rather misguided attempt by a California-based group to draw (negative) attention to the oil sands in northern Alberta.

The campaign tars all of Alberta with a rather black brush. It advocates boycotting Alberta (especially Alberta tourism) in order to get Alberta to clean up the oil sands.

We at ReThink Red Deer are certainly all for examining ways that we, as individuals and as a society, can reduce our energy consumption and our dependence on petroleum products. We do so knowing that those products generate huge economic benefits for Albertans and Canadians. So the solutions are not simple. And certainly, boycotting Alberta tourism will do exactly zero to change government or industry attitudes towards oil mining.

We do encourage people to “rethink Alberta” – but in a more meaningful way than the group Corporate Ethics International has suggested in their campaign.

A number of excellent editorials have made similar points. Here are links to just a few:

Calgary Herald
Edmonton Journal
Wall Street Journal

And our favourite is this Fast Company parody of what anti-tourism campaigns might look like for a number of U.S. States, if we took the same approach.