Sunday May 24, 2015

In defence of hypocrisy

Environmental activists in a kayak flotilla protest the arrival of the Polar Pioneer, an oil drilling rig owned by Shell Oil, on May 14, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The rig is part of a fleet that will lead a controversial oil-exploration effort off Alaska's North Slope.

Environmental activists in a kayak flotilla protest the arrival of the Polar Pioneer, an oil drilling rig owned by Shell Oil, on May 14, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The rig is part of a fleet that will lead a controversial oil-exploration effort off Alaska's North Slope. (Karen Ducey/Getty)

Listen 4:10

Some media in the American city of Seattle have branded a group of anti-oil activists as hypocrites, because they recently protested in kayaks made from petroleum by-products. The same label has been used used in Canada as well, for example, when anti-oil sands protestors travel to their destinations by car, plane or bus.

So, is it hypocritical to protest oil extraction while in a kayak, while taking flights around the country, or while powering your amps with electricity? 

This week we hear from Adam Kingsmith who says the answer is YES, but that's kind of the point. He is a self-proclaimed hypocrite, who says he can use his hypocrisy to make change.