Ignorance is bliss…

Published: Wed 30 Apr 2014
A blog entry by Alexandra Ashikhmina

Contributed by:

Alexandra Ashikhmina
Oil Council

Alexandra Ashikhmina's Blog

Do you ever feel like joining one of those passionate debates that appear like weed around every shale gas article in mass media? I do all the time but feel that I consistently lose the argument no matter what I do or say.

Environmentalists use so many things against me:

1)      When I say anything positive about oil and gas (creation of job opportunities, investments in local content, starting a car in the morning) I somehow automatically either “work for oil and gas” or “sponsored by oil and gas to say what I say”. Following this logic, anyone who switches on light in the house is sponsored by oil and gas and anyone who drives a car surely doesn’t believe in climate change

2)      I am Russian. I take weekend baths in pure diesel and I use motor oil as a moisturiser. Oil and gas is my religion and my family

3)      I wrote a few of these blogs already therefore I’m brainwashed by the industry and you should feel sorry for me. After all, don’t they use “military tactics” and hypnosis when working with communities?

Every time I ask the “frackoff” bloggers to explain the risks posed by fracking and where they got their figures from it comes down to other bloggers' sites, conspiracy theories and the fact that our governments lie to us. They call me ignorant for trusting what I read. How do you argue with this? How do you prove your point to people who prefer to trust Josh Fox than a scientist? Oh, I forgot, every scientist is bought by oil and gas industry.

The question is: how do you avoid bias when providing information about a sensitive subject? How do you appear objective?  Can you be objective … or … no matter how hard you try you will always have an agenda?