How to Spot Propaganda Techniques of the Wind Industry

1.  NAME CALLING or STEREOTYPING:
Giving a person or an idea a bad label by using an easy to remember pejorative name. This is used to make us reject and condemn a person or idea without examining what the label really means.    Example: NIMBY

2. BAND WAGON:
This common propaganda method is when the speaker tries to convince us to accept their point of view or else we will miss out on something really good. The Band-Wagon technique is often used in advertising.    Examples: “This is the wave of the future”, “Your community will be the leader!”

3.  DEIFICATION:
This is when an idea is made to appear holy, sacred, or very special and therefore above all law. Any alternative or opposite points of view are thereby given the appearance of treason or blasphemy.     Example: “Mother Earth”

4. TRANSFER:
Transfer is when a symbol that carries respect, authority, sanction, and prestige is used along with and idea or argument to make it look more acceptable.    Examples: Hired Doctors and Wildlife “experts” paid by the wind industry.

5. TESTIMONIAL:
When some respected celebrity claims that an idea or product is good (or bad). This technique is used to convince us without examining the facts more carefully.  Example:  David Suzuki

6. PLAIN FOLKS:
This is a way that a speaker convinces an audience that an idea is good because they are the same ideas of the vast majority of people like yourself.    Example: “Only a small minority are against…everyone else is on our side.”  

7. VIRTUE WORDS or GLITTERING GENERALITY:
These words are used to dupe us into accepting and approving of things without examining the evidence carefully.    Examples: “Clean”, “Green”

8. ARTIFICIAL DICHOTOMY:
This is when someone tries to claim there are only two sides to an issue and that both sides must have equal presentation in order to be evaluated. This technique is used to dupe us into believing there is only one way to look at an issue, when in fact there may be many alternative viewpoints or “sides”. Like most propaganda techniques it simplifies reality and therefore distorts it, often to the advantage of the speaker.   Example:   Accusing anyone who questions their claims of being paid by the oil, nuclear or coal industry.

9. HOT POTATO:
This is an inflammatory (often untrue) statement or question used to throw an opponent off guard, or to embarrass them.     Example “Why do you hate the planet?”   

10. STALLING or IGNORING THE QUESTION:
This technique is used to play for more time or to avoid answering a pointed question.  Example: “More research is needed…”  

11. LEAST-OF-EVILS is used to justify an otherwise unpleasant or unpopular point of view.  Example: ‘”Would you rather have a coal plant in your backyard?”.

12. SCAPEGOAT:
This often use with Guilt-by-association to deflect scrutiny away from the issues. It transfers blame to one person or group of people without investigating the complexities of the issue.  Example:  McGuinty:  “It’s the NIMBY’s fault “.

13. CAUSE AND EFFECT MISMATCH:
This technique confuses the audience about what is really cause and effect. In fact the causes of most phenomena are complex.   Example:  “We will run out of power without wind turbines”

14. DISTORTION OF DATA or OUT OF CONTEXT or CARD STACKING:
This technique is used to convince the audience by using selected information and not presenting the complete story.  Examples: “This wind project will power 500,000 homes”

15. WEAK INFERENCE:
Weak inference is when a judgment is made with insufficient evidence, or that the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the evidence given.  Example: ” Health complaints come from those who don’t host turbines so therefore it is only because they aren’t getting money.”      

16. FAULTY ANALOGY:
This is when a comparison is carried too far.   Example: “Wind turbines do not emit CO2 therefore they are completely benign.”

17. MISUSE OF STATISTICS:
Some examples: Average results are reported, but not the amount of variation around the averages. A percent or fraction is presented, but not the sample size as in “9 out of 10 dentists recommend…”. Graphs are used that, by chopping off part of the scale or using unusual units or no scale, distort the appearance of the result. Results are reported with misleading precision.

18. FEAR:
Global warming will destroy the earth unless we get these things up now!!

5 thoughts on “How to Spot Propaganda Techniques of the Wind Industry

  1. Propaganda: If repeated often enough and loudly enough — and accompanied by pretty pictures with small innocent children — even a blatant lie becomes accepted as a truth by some.

    Big Wind = Big Lie

  2. The Wind Industry has forgotten that most people in Ontario have an education and can read and do know the difference between right and wrong. Silence from a majority of citizens is not a “carte blanche” endorsement of their BS!

    Never undersetimate a person who has lost their home and health due to a malevolent action by another!

  3. Pingback: How to Spot Propaganda Techniques of the Wind Industry « Allegheny Treasures

  4. Pingback: All else being equal, vote for the skeptic of industrial wind. « Allegheny Treasures

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