The Monster Among Us

There is a monster loose on our Central Coast. Yes, there is a very real monster lurking in the shadows of our coastal community. It feeds on fear. It enters the brain through the eyes and ears. It infects unsuspecting people with its venom of mistrust and divisiveness. It spins fanciful stories and uses imagery designed to attract its victim deeper into its grasp. The monster is then able to manipulate the actions and emotions of its prey. The victim, once bitten, will not even realize they have become a puppet to their new master. Once infected the victim is mobilized to attract more brains for the monster to control. 

The monster is called misinformation. It has recently been summoned forth by powerful elites in the resource extraction industries to sow lies and false claims about green energy. They have already released the monster on the east coast to do their bidding and now they have summoned it here. 

These elites, notably Koch Industries, have a strategy to halt or obstruct any efforts to move away from our dependency on fossil fuels. They have created a sophisticated network of climate-denying nonprofits and conservative “think tanks”. Unfortunately, many well-meaning and concerned citizens have been infected by these lies and now they too are spreading the misinformation monster. 

The fossil fuel industry does not want green energy projects, like offshore wind, to compete with them. They continue to deny the impact and severity of climate change and they continue to spread misinformation and false claims. 

The only way to protect yourself from this misinformation monster is to critically assess the credibility and origin of any information regarding clean energy projects, such as offshore wind. On local social media you will see outright false and sensationalist posts opposing offshore wind projects. These posts are often presenting “evidence” that, in reality, is simply speculation. 

These offshore wind opponents hope they can infect us at an emotional level with their anti-green energy propaganda. They know once a person has been triggered emotionally by a shocking headline or image it becomes very difficult for the victim to objectively consider an alternate view. The REACT Alliance Facebook page is filled with images of dead whales (emotional trigger) and assertions that the offshore wind industry is responsible. These allegations have been widely disproven, but the monster has a strong hold on its victims. 

We are in a race to save our planet. We cannot continue to delay our transition to cleaner energy sources. All the major environmental groups support offshore wind: Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Greenpeace, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation and World Wildlife Federation. We need to inoculate ourselves from the lies, greed and self-interest of the few for the benefit of everyone and everything. 

Mark and Susan Garman 

Cambria

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