Congratulations to natural climate change believers!

You can now stop trying to save us from Al Gore, environmentalists and scientists who have tried to “scare” us all into a “New World Order” of tyrannical government imposed environmental tax hell. Thanks to your tireless efforts and billions of dollars of mainstream media corporate propaganda that’s sown the seeds of doubt, fewer Americans than ever believe in Global Warming. Only 57% of them in fact – the lowest figure for three years.

The corporate world must be delighted. Congratulations. I’m off to burn this since the Earth obviously isn’t warm enough for some.

UPDATE 17/11/09: And then there’s the other smaller scale type of anti man made global warming propaganda YouTube videos like this that seem to imply that Al Gore was responsible for the collapse of the US auto industry and erm, the price of gas. Not quite so clever this kind of propaganda but for those that genuinely hate anyone who tries to suggest mankind may be responsible for unnaturally quick global warming and those that like Christmas song parodies, then I’m sure it’s very effective and hilarious.

It’s understandable why many people are falling for this propaganda. There’s quite rightly a lot of cynicism towards politicians and what they’re doing with public money and the corporate media are exploiting this terribly. But believing some of the junk highlighted above is simply running into the wide open arms of the corporate world who are lapping-up the confusion they are causing over climate change.

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Santa’s Workshop: Inside China’s Slave Labour Toy Factories

This Christmas, few people probably gave any thoughts to where the toys they bought have come from. If they saw Santa’s Workshop however, they may have thought twice before filling their kid’s Christmas stockings.

Santa’s Workshop: Inside China’s Slave Labour Toy Factories is a Swedish documentary which looks at how and where the toys we buy in the West are manufactured. In particular, they look at the Swedish market with a focus on huge companies such as ICA and Coop and how their supposed ethical standards are violated by Chinese sweatshops.

The filmmakers go to Hong Kong (where they are at least legally allowed to film) where they find that many toy manufacturers have left and gone to China where factories pay workers menial wages for working 12 hour days. Union activity is banned and as one of the factory managers says, 90% of the workers are women because they are “easier to manage”. Salaries are so low, that workers can hardly survive in the outside world. In the end, most of them live within the confines of the factory walls in virtual prison cell accommodation or even sleep on the factory floor itself. Added to this is the chronic environmental pollution that the factories cause by pumping sewage into local rivers.

The documentary features secret interviews and filming within China’s factories as well as a Christian organisation that is one of the few fighting for the rights of  workers. As one of the Swedish commercial agents summarises at the end, the problem they have found is that if they do increase prices of toys to enable workers to get a fairer wage, consumers stop buying the products. I wonder however if Swedish consumers are truly aware of some of the conditions the toys they are buying for their kids are produced in.

The question is, if they were, would it make any difference? After all, it is only by pressure from consumers at the end of the day that will bring any kind of change. Are we all so desperate to save a few euros or dollars that we don’t care how goods are produced? I’d like to believe that most people do care and Santa’s Workshop is a good starting point for considering this moral dilemma in more depth. This brave and disturbing documentary deserves to be seen widely.

8/10