Thursday, November 22, 2007

Kill Your TV!

When you're in a hole, stop digging: Stop listening to the same media that misinformed you about the Iraq War and the dangers of Global Warming!

Why do most Americans say they are concerned about the environment (at least in some polls), but don't vote for candidates with strong environmental records. Why do we continue to living our destructive, non-sustainable way of life (the United States has only a fraction of the world's population and uses 25% of the fossil fuels) despite all the evidence that it going to be a terrific cost to future generations?

Is it because Americans are especially selfish or dense? I don't think so. I think the answer to most of our environmental problems is that we really don't get it; we don't understand the depth of our environmental problems because most of us are still trying to inform ourselves about the world in the same old way that led us to the state we are in--our environment on the brink of disaster. (By the way, if you think this last statement is an exaggeration, it's an indication that your listening to the same deluding media.)

If you live in the Rochester, NY area, there are several environmental issues that should be on your radar: Great Lakes Heath, Finger Lakes, Energy, Lead Poisoning, Recycling, Wetlands, Brownfields, Air Quality, Zebra Mussels, Deer Problem, Lyme Disease, Rabies, Urban Sprawl, Invasive Species, Global Warming, Commuting, Parks, Genesee River, Pesticides, Water Quality, West Nile Virus, Geese Problem, Wind Power, Food and the Environment, Animals and our Environment, Plants and our Environment, and Environmental Health. But are they? Granted most of these concerns won’t titillate or leave you breathless, but they’re important anyway because they'll define your existence.

Your radar? Well, this is a metaphor for those things that would have raised the hackles of our ancestors when their lives or the lives of their children were in danger. Here in the twenty-first century with our sophisticated shelters, cars, etc, we have conquered most of the things that usually kill us off immediately. But we have new long-term concerns: Mankind now influences, like never before our environment. However, we have so cushioned ourselves from the dangers of the weather, dangerous animals, and starvation that we tend to forget that Nature can still get in our face. We tend to forget because our media (which likes to please us and its corporate sponsors) tells us that things are pretty much OK and just keep listening to them. Most of the mainstream media—TV and radio—nurture the illusion that someone, somewhere is taking care of things for you.

But, they’re not. There were murmurs that Iraq was not an immediate threat and not associated with 9/11, but our media played it down. Our planet is warming up from man-made fossil fuels, but until recently (reports from the IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) this information was allowed to be blurred by critics who did not want you to change your buying habits—especially how you used energy. Indeed, there are numerous important environmental issues that get but scant coverage from our mainstream media, which is just now trying to slip a new provision through the FCC to take over both electronic and print media in your home town. (Check out: FCC Chief Proposes Letting Newspapers Own TV Stations -from FreePress )

In today’s world of hyper media hype and the consistent mischaracterization of important issues, many of the issues that truly need our attention are being subverted, ignored, or dismissed by critics with their own agenda.

How can I tell? Read some other newspapers around the world: Why is Europe more concerned about Climate Change than Americans? Look around you: Why are there so many invasive species in our area? Why do so many non-corporate media have so many stories, substantiated by a majority of scientists that many of our ecological systems are breaking down? Just remember: When is the last time you could eat the fish you caught without worrying about mercury contamination? The last time you could drink from a stream? When was the last winter that was filled with snow? Just reason: Why is transported oil considered so safe when there are so many major oil spills--note the recent San Francisco and Black Sea fiascoes? Why do so many claim nuclear power safe, when no one wants to store spend rods near them. Or, why people push the necessity of nuclar power, yet they get nervous unless the undeveloped countries are crawling with experts to see that they do get the nuclear bomb? Why do our bodies have so many man-made toxic chemicals in us (called the ‘body burden’)? Why is the animal and plant extinction rate today (now caused by humans) about the same as 65 billion years ago when the dinosaurs began to crash?

In short, there are countless instances that all is not right, that is, in a profound environmental way, but most know or care little about it all? What’s with that? What kind of self-deluding species are we? Is it just too depressing to think about the very real possibility that our way of life is threatening our very existence—or at least our children’s existence? Or, are we too busy? Maybe, like a speeding train, we’ve built up too much momentum living the way we do to consider that there might not be enough tracks to take us where we want to go?

Take a look at some of these Rochester issues that should be on your radar and consider the consequences of a bad trend. And remember, like the train analogy, most environmental trends cannot be stopped on the proverbial dime. Once upset, Nature balances itself, not caring how we might fare in the process.

What is the answer to our present dilemma? I believe that the answer is we need to change how we get information. We need to kill our corporate driven TV, radio, and movies. Or, we need to demand that mainstream media inform us correctly and continually on environmental issues in a responsible manner and with a concerned attitude. We need to consider the hypotheses of thousands (maybe millions) of environmentalist and scientists that there is something to this world-wide concern about the dismal state of our environment and actively check it out. Don't continue to listen to your favorite TV or radio host, who have their own agenda, but go research this issue yourself. Because you are alive today, you are responsible for educating yourself about the true state of affairs.

How can you, or any political party, dismiss the potentially most important issue of this century--our environmental plight--without actually checking it out yourself Dismissing it, or forming a hostile attitude towards those bringing you messages about our environment that you don't want to hear, or getting angry, but especially continually listening the the media that misinforms will have no effect on our environment. It may make you feel better, but it won't alter our plight.

When we increase global warming gases, continue to pollute our air, land, and water, destroy our biological diversity, there will be consequences that no state of denial will stop. Nature rules, there's no getting around it. When we change our environment so we cannot live it it--there you are.
So, if you're serious about informing yourself about our present Environmental plight, check out alternative choices for environmental news at Global Environmental News--and shut off the darn TV.

1 comment:

RobC said...

I took your advice and checked out Global Environmental News. It's fine for what it is, but it's just as biased as all the other news sources, including TV.

I think you have the right idea, that we need better sources of information. But it works both ways: a lot of knee-jerk environmental groups are fighting the wrong enemy. Nuclear energy is one of the few practical things we have working for us.

By the way, those of us who are pushing nuclear energy (or all the ones I know of) don't "get nervous unless the undeveloped countries are crawling with experts to see that they do [not?] get the [atomic] bomb." Nuclear reactors are not a prerequisite to making bombs. Whether or not the UN sends inspectors into certain countries depends not on whether or not they have nuclear reactors but on whether or not they are building enrichment facilities.

But your main point is spot on. The world needs unbiased news sources. Where to find them?