Salmon Wars, New Interviews, and an Unexpected Honour
Our first full-length documentary, Salmon Wars. A new Green Interview. And the Order of Canada for your humble scribe here.
It's been busy, friends. And wonderful.
You haven't heard much from The Green Interview over the last few weeks, which I regret. But we've been having an exciting time around here — and unfortunately, communication has suffered. Here's what's been going on.
Salmon Wars: Salmon Farms, Wild Fish and the Future of Communities, our first full-length video documentary, can be streamed here on TheGreenInterview.com, the same as any other of our videos. Or you can go to the film's dedicated web-site, SalmonWars.com and download it to view at your leisure.
Salmon Wars is something new in film-making, or so it seems to us. This is a full-length show funded by citizen donations and intended to be released free of charge to viewers anywhere in the world.
As I reported in my last blog post, the show came into being after I published a newspaper column in early 2011 challenging plans for a huge expansion of net-pen salmon aquaculture in Nova Scotia. A concerned reader, Henry Hicks, called me and asked how we could keep the issue in the public mind. Knowing that The Green Interview team could do guerrilla television quickly and effectively, I suggested a video designed to be shown in community halls and church basements, on cable television and over the internet. Henry liked the idea, enlisted some friends and set out to raise the money. The Ecology Action Centre agreed to administer the funds.
Travelling to British Columbia, Seattle, Toronto and New Brunswick as well as various communities in Nova Scotia, Chris and I interviewed salmon farmers, scientists, conservationists, lobstermen, tourism operators, politicians, bureaucrats, and people who were doing other forms of salmon aquaculture – like raising the fish in tanks on the land rather than nets in the sea. Some of the interviews — Alanna Mitchell, Daniel Pauly, and Alexandra Morton – became Green Interviews, and all three appear in the show. David Montgomery does not, and nor does Betty Krawczyk, whose interview isn't yet posted.
We released the show on June 13, in a memorable event that involved an audience of 300 in Halifax, and smaller audiences in Freeport, Jordan Bay, Port Mouton and Wolfville viewing the film and discussing it via the internet. It has caused quite a lot of controversy, and we hope it will cause a good deal more. Salmon farming is an unsustainable industry that thrives only because its true costs are paid by the environment and the government. Please take a look!
In the meantime we were also working on Green Interviews. In Vancouver we interviewed James Hoggan, father of DeSmogBlog and author of Climate Cover-up: The Campaign to Deny Global Warming. We've just released that interview on the site. Hoggan is a fascinating man – a highly successful public relations consultant who knows exactly how to engineer public opinion, and tracks the very sophisticated PR campaign that has virtually taken global warming off the public agenda. Hoggan also serves as chair of the David Suzuki Foundation and a Trustee of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, and was formerly the chair of The Climate Project Canada, Al Gore's organization. We had an absorbing conversation.
We were slow posting the Hoggan interview because we were having trouble with the limitations of our video hosting service. Eventually we moved the hosting to Amazon, which has a very robust and flexible service – but in the meantime we were unable to post videos for several weeks. We hope that the Amazon service will solve the problem permanently.
And finally, on Canada Day, I was appointed a member of the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honour, for my contribution to the nation as “journalist, writer, educator and community activist.” When I got the phone call, my first thought was that the Governor-General had slipped a cog, and was giving me an award intended for someone else. I continue to be astonished, thrilled and humbled in roughly equal proportions. It is truly a huge recognition, and I am deeply grateful. Sometime within the next year I will be summoned to Ottawa, where a formal investiture will take place at Rideau Hall. But from now on I am Silver Donald Cameron, C.M., no matter when the investiture happens.
It's been a busy spring, and it's proving to be a busy summer. This is written from my little seasonal home in Cape Breton, where we are doing major renovations – tearing down a huge stone chimney and installing a modern circulating fireplace, fencing the yard, and repainting the whole house. And this is the season for family gatherings…
Look, it isn't that I don't love you. I do, I do. Forgive my silence. I promise to do better in the future.
Coming soon: interviews with Brian Brett of Trauma Farm, with Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men, with composer Scott Macmillan and librettist Jennyfer Brickenden about their masterful environmental composition, The Celtic Mass for the Sea. Not only that, but we'll be bringing you a performance of The Celtic Mass itself, right here on The Green Interview.
Stay tuned. You'll like what's coming up.