One of the environmental issues we have not heard much about this year highlights the importance of how the environment is portrayed in the media. There have not, to my knowledge, been any local stories about West Nile Virus, this year, but that does not mean that this new disease (actually an old disease, but newly transported here in the late 1900’s) is going to go away. In fact, climate change predictions in our area say that we could have more cases of this disease. This article ( Rise in Cases of West Nile May Portend an Epidemic - New York Times ) in yesterday’s New York Times states that we even might be on the verge of an epidemic of this disease.
The point about the media is that, as the New York Times is doing, this issue should be brought to the forefront of our attention each summer at about this time because, whether there are present cases or not, the possibility that West Nile Virus will spring up again this year or any year at this time is good. I have a lot of information about this disease in our area on this page West Nile Virus,.
But, while I’m speaking about the New York Times, I want to commend them for archiving West Nile Virus free (most of their online articles are not) on this page West Nile Virus - Health News - The New York Times. My hope is that all the media in our area will take the New York Time’s lead in using their powerful influence as a major print media in our country to bring this issue up at an appropriate time and keep all information available free and open to the public.
Yearly attention about an issue like West Nile Virus that may not be what we want to read about, as there are certainly more compelling things going on in the news, but this Environmental Issues we should pay attention to whether we like it or not. There are many non-toxic, behavioral precautions we can take during the latter part of each summer, and like fire drills at home and in the office, we should review at this time these precautions—instead of our usual behavioral towards environmental problems, ignoring them until they’re overwhelming.