Everything is NOT Awesome

Till this day, my 20 year old little brother still loves to wander into LEGO stores to unleash his inner kid. Since 1949, the internationally acclaimed construction toy company have grown immensely. Their global popularity has developed from supporting movie, games, competitions, theme-parks and corporations. One partnership in particular has recently sparked controversy. Please watch the video below. LEGO’s partnership with the Royal Dutch Shell pIc, also commonly known as Shell the multinational oil and Gas Company, started in 1966. Shell’s logo is featured in several LEGO promotional sets such as in the blockbuster hit, The Lego Movie. Environmental activist group, Greenpeace and London based agency, Don’t Panic, teamed up together to create “Everything is Not awesome”. The viral video is designed to be a double edge sword, intended to pressure the big toy makers of LEGO to drop their partnership with Shell and to highlight their new campaign targeting Shell’s motivations to drill in the Arctic for Oil. LEGO believes that their partnership with Shell will help them achieve their mission to expand their network reach, increasing children’s access to their toys, which will further help explore their creativity and innovations. However, partnering with the gas company goes against LEGO’s progressive environmental views and policies. Every company has the responsibility to choose their partners and suppliers ethically. It is hypocritical to align yourself with companies that fail to represent your core values. Brands and logos are all around us and influence our purchasing power. Children are extremely impressible and LEGO’s association with Shell will heavily influence children to associate Shell in a positive light believing that the company is a safe, acceptable and ethical option. The partnership will also improve Shell’s public image by diverting attention from their plans to raid the Arctic for oil. LEGO says it wants to leave a better world for children and has progressive environmental views and policies but partnering with Shell, one of the biggest climate polluters on the planet and threatening the Arctic, clearly goes against their core values. We need to be reminded that “Everything is Not Awesome” is not against LEGO or about the oil industry in general. It is about preventing companies, in this case Shell, from drilling for oil in the Arctic. Shell’s desire to drill in the Arctic can have devastating impacts on the natural surrounding environment which will heighten the effects of climate change especially if there were to be an oil spill in Arctic.  An oil spill in the arctic will affect the wildlife in four major ways

  • Drilling oil in the Arctic will melt glaciers at an faster rate causing glaciers to break away
  • Oil on fur will reduce the thermal properties of animals which will affect their inability to keep warm
  • There will be a spread of toxic contamination found in oil if ingested, inhaled or absorb by animals and surrounding environment
  • A reduction in food if prey or other resources becomes unavailable or inaccessible

It is important that we take action and urge LEGO to do the same. I urge you to sign Greenpeace’s petition, pressure LEGO into re-thinking their relationship with Shell. LEGO needs to stand up for the Arctic, for our environment, and for our children and future generations. I urge you to stay informed of the partnerships and endorsements that household brands commit to. And with that I ask you your thoughts and opinions on this matter.

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Harper’s Muzzle on Scientist

I miss the days when news segments had real solid news worthy stories about local, national and international issues and that lasted longer than 10 minutes. I miss the days when journalism was about getting to the hard truth, finding evidence and bring those stories to the viewers at home. But lately I’ve found that news stations and journalism has become about stories that are trending on social media and will get the most buzz worth attention. The warrant for Justin Biebers arrest gained more air time than real current events that were affecting the lives of many Canadians and global citizens. The lack of coverage on prevailing issues affecting climate change and the Canadian environment is largely at fault by Prime Minister Harper’s communication directive that prevents scientist from speaking to the media without permission.

The Harper government has redownload (3)stricted the ability of Canadian scientist to speak to the public, media, and other scientist regarding climate change and other environmental issues. Scientist have been asked to exclude or alter technical information in government documents for non-specific reasons and have been prevented from responding to the media or the public.  As a result, media coverage on these issues have significantly drop by 80% since 2007.Scientists are required to get permission from their political superiors before answering any media request. This hindrance has further reduced the number of request for climate change coverage and detail of accurate information within governmental reports. It is clear that the Canadian government is doing all that they can to monitor and restrict the flow of information especially concerning research into climate change, fisheries, and anything to do the Alberta Tar Sand.

Which leads us to question if Harper’s regime has begun to follow a Big Brother system, regulating and controlling the information that is readily available for the public. Without this information present it will guarantee an increase in public ignorance regarding these issues. It is obvious that the Harper government is more concerned with keep professionals from talking about these issues rather than fixing them.image

Mr. Harper couldn’t care less about the environment and this form of censorship compromises the health and safety of Canadians.  Scientists lose their ability to develop effective and sufficient policy laws and programs that are based on scientific evidence and facts that will ensure a better/safer environment for further generation.

Society has lobbied against many different international regulatory bodies for their form of censorship but it is time that Canadians stand up to the Harper government and gain back our freedom and the freedom of our scientist to do the duty to share and inform the public about their research and findings. The Canadian government must be held accountable for their actions, especially at the stake of the future generations.  Canadians must raise up and force our federal government to be more transparent about their action.

Feel free to voice your comments, concerns, questions and opinions. And with that I leave with Rick Mercers views on muzzle on scientist.