September 24, 2019
September 24, 2019 11:18 PM EDT
This version of the photo that was posted to the Green Party website shows Elizabeth May holding a reusable cup with a metal straw that were Photoshopped in.Green Party of Canada
So Elizabeth May got caught Photoshopping a reusable coffee mug with metal straw into her hands in a Green party promotional photo.
All right, May probably didn’t do the image-doctoring herself. She likely didn’t even approve the fakery. Blame the Green party spin “machine.” (Think the election equivalent of a push lawn mower.)
Still, the hoax is significant not so much for what it says about May’s or her party’s honesty as for how it exposes the hollowness of the entire green movement and its obsession with meaningless virtue-signalling gestures (such as banning single-use plastics).
The controversy also shows how fixated people (including we in the media) have become with the unimportant. What should be being discussed during this campaign is May’s environmental platform, which is far more outlandish than her phony propaganda tactics.
If there is a minority Liberal government after the Oct. 21 election, the Greens could hold the balance of power. That means May’s completely daft plan to phase out Canada’s oil industry (plus probably most mining and logging, too), while at the same time somehow magically causing no economic dislocation for oil workers, miners and loggers, could become official federal policy.
The possibility of a Liberal minority held in office by a Green rump is so real voters should be giving a very close look at May’s proposals and the potential impact they could have on Canada’s economy and Canadians’ way of life. Instead, the biggest story yet about the Greens is digital jiggery-pokery.
May is seen on the Green website in a photo taken at a Victoria coffee shop earlier this year. In her hands is a Green party go-mug. It’s plastic, which nowadays is usually decried as a bad thing. But in this case because the mug is washable (and not disposable), it is celebrated as a good thing.
In the mug is a metal straw, which, of course, is morally superior to a plastic one. Message: Elizabeth May cares — twice.
The problem with this image is that neither the go-mug nor the straw was in May’s hands when the shot was taken. They were added later by Green party campaign staff.
This is not as big a hypocrisy as a preachy anti-racist getting caught three times (at least) in blackface, but it is a hypocrisy.
The Green party told the National Post, which broke the photo story, that May was holding a reusable mug in the photo when it was taken, just not one with a Green party logo on it. But we’ll have to take their truth-altering word on that.
They admit there was no straw at all. The metal one was added presumably to make May seem doubly righteous.
But all this points to how unrealistic (and utterly meaningless) most green initiatives are.
If the Liberals and Greens get their way, after 2021 we will no longer be able to get plastic straws, plastic grocery bags, cardboard coffee cups with plastic lids, plastic garbage bags or plastic bags for fruits, vegetables and bread.
This will make daily life far less convenient and potentially less healthy. (Most alternatives to plastic bags breed far more bacteria.) However, it won’t save a single turtle or make a dent in ocean plastics. (Almost none of Canada’s plastics make it into oceans.)
The reality, though, doesn’t matter to environmentalists. It’s the symbolic self-flagellation that counts.
We need to suffer and tens of thousands of resource industry workers and their families need to be thrown into unemployment and poverty to prove we care about the climate “crisis.”
It’s the thought that counts; the road paved with good intentions and all that.
May and her party are a threat to Canadians’ standard of living, but instead we’re discussing her photographic sleight of hand.