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An interview with George Draffan

George Draffan is a forest activist, public interest investigator, and corporate muckraker. He has worked as a carpenter, landscaper, and librarian. He is the author or co-author of Cascadia Wild, Railroads & Clearcuts, The Elite Consensus, Strangely Like War, Welcome to the Machine, and several activist research manuals. He is a freelance researcher and writer for citizens and public interest groups. Some of his work can be found at

I interviewed him over email at the end of January, 2005.


Aric McBay: When I look at the news about Peak Oil and energy issues in the corporate-owned media, I am assured that I have nothing to worry about. If I look deeper, I might hear that there may be problems a few decades from now, but that the "experts" will have solved the problems by then. If I really dig, I might hear that the "solution" involves corporations converting to "green" companies -- like British Petroleum's advertising campaign to rebrand themselves as "Beyond Petroleum" -- and building an electrical renewable infrastructure that will require no effort or change on my part. Why do we hear this "take it easy" message instead of the more serious truths coming out of the independent media? How are those in power able to influence a supposedly investigative and democratic media?

George Draffan: The media isn't democratic and its purpose is not to investigate and provide a public service. Its purpose is to sell advertising, and that means entertainment: violence, sex, consumer products. It sometimes does that by “investigating” scandal or controversy, but sensational reporting is serving a commercial purpose. There are lots of ways to influence the media, but owning it is the best.

The industrial lifestyle depends on technology and anything that questions technology as an ultimate solutions to all our problems is a threat. The green consumer approach is palatable to advertisers, which include auto and oil companies, and it's palatable to the consumer. Few Americans or Europeans want to reduce their consumption to the level of the average person.

For full interview please go to the In The Wake website:

Editorial Notes: is self-described as 'A Collective Manual-in-progress for Outliving Civilization.' The website states that, "The writings here are based on the premises that industrial civilization is unsustainable, and that its collapse is inevitable." Their first publication 'Booklet #1: Tools for Gridcrash' is available to buy or download as PDF from the website. The site also has interviews with Matt Savinar of, and Richard Heinberg author of Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World -AF

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