For a normal human being who understands the value of having clean air and water to consume, clean soil to grow food in, and of living in a habitat that can support life, it is frustrating to watch one environmental calamity occur, after another without ever seeing a mainstream, non-politicized conversation about the condition of our natural world. It seems that merely expressing concern over the direction the environment is going is enough to solicit a number of stigmatized labels, such as hippie, liberal, terrorist, downer, debbie-downer, slacker, tree-hugger, climate changer, Al Gore, global warmer, Agenda 21′er, and so on. There is an extreme cultural bias against environmentalism, from many angles. Environmentalism is not a public priority.
What is at the root of this indifference toward the quality of our natural world? We certainly are a society that is highly preoccupied with security, but, for some reason, when it comes to securing a healthy environment, most of us look the other way, or put these concerns well below others.
The public conversation on any popular issue in America today is led by a handful of media companies who provide ‘news’ and ‘debate’ on the selected topics of each day. In this way, a narrow and focused message is syndicated across America, and we hear the same news and information repeated, often verbatim, by local, state, and national media. The model of a consolidated media, working for profit, bringing us an endless narrative, is very effective at setting societal priorities, at supporting hidden agendas, and at coloring the truth on any issue.
Lying by omission is one of the most effective ways of hiding the truth. By simply not mentioning an issue, then, effectively, a lie is told that the issue is irrelevant. The total picture of the truth is manipulated in this way by our mainline media, making it unlikely for consumers of media to connect the dots about environmental issues, linking their long term fall out to developments in policy and disaster clean up.
By effectively omitting critical issues from the ongoing public conversation, this most important subject is rendered unimportant, or the illusion is created that the environment is under responsible stewardship by the proper authorities. The media plays a significant role in shaping how this nation reacts to environmental catastrophes, and time and again the tactic of lying by omission is used against us to obfuscate the truth about what is happening to our natural world.
WHO STANDS TO GAIN?
Over the course of the last century our society has been heavily influenced to value a consumer oriented way of life over traditional ways of living. Our economy is driven by consumption, and the mainline media reinforces our dependence on and desire for this lifestyle by continuously reiterating the enjoyment and value to be had in acquiring more things. If the public were to lose interest in this lifestyle, this economy would collapse entirely.
As the primary sales agent of our consumeristic cultural paradigm, the media absolutely must refrain from demonstrating how our consumer based lifestyle lays waste to the earth, jeopardizing health and wellness for all. Our mainline media must do their best to camouflage this crisis in order to keep itself alive, in order to keep it’s coiffeurs filled, and in order to keep all those involved employed. A catch-22 of Biblical proportions.
For this, the prevailing manner of reporting on the environment issues has become to ignore all stories about the environment except the ones too big not to mention, then to brush those off the radar with haste. Once an environmental story is gone from the front page it is rarely ever mentioned again, even though the effects of environmental catastrophes are felt much later than the actual event.
The point of omitting environmental issues from the discussion is to inhibit people from connecting the dots on how the pattern of serious environmental destruction is directly related to the way of life being touted by the media. If people connect the dots, they may see how participation in the economy and this way of life is participation in ecocide, and thus, suicide. Upon realizing this, they may go further to make the connection that life is more important than the quest for wealth and materialism, and change their personal behavior to support the things which support life, rather than supporting the things which extract, pollute, and rape this wonderful earth.
If too many people change their behavior, then this economic system will collapse.
At present there are a number of extremely critical environmental issues that are going largely unaddressed by our policy makers and so-called leaders. As a service to the conversation about the quality of our world and the quality of our health, here is a list of the top 20 environmental issues routinely omitted by the mainstream media.
- The Gulf of Mexico Core Exit Oil Spill
- Tar Sands Athabasca
- Appalachian Mountain Top Removal
- Depleted Uranium
- Nuclear Energy
- Pipeline Spills
- Air Pollution
- Genetic Modification of Plants and Animals
- Soil Depletion and Erosion From Mass Agriculture
- Electro-Magenetic Pollution
- Widespread Pollution of the Oceans
- Sea-life Die Off and the Collapse of Ocean Fish Colonies
- Rainforest Destruction for Industrial Agriculture and Oil Exploration
- Water Pollution
- Widespread Overuse of Pesticides and Herbicides
- Trash and Landfills
- Animal Poaching and Species Extinction
- Please Add Anything Not On This List to the Comments Section Below
Perhaps seeing all this in one place will help support the overall picture of where our lives are going if we continue to sideline and ridicule any meaningful public discussion about how our lifestyles support the destruction of the natural world. Without pigeon holing concerned people into labels like, commie, collectivist, dirt worshipper, liberal, eco-terrorist, or whatever. against our long term interests of having a planet that can sustain and and is worth living on.
Connecting the dots on these issues raises the question of how these issues are inter-connected. The continuous thread that runs through each of these calamities is an industrial hubris that seeks, first and foremost, ever-increasing profit. This is supported by governments, both corrupt and manipulated by economic hitmen. Behind this lies the arrogant human assumption that human beings are somehow separate from the earth and it’s creatures, and somehow in control of the natural forces of the world.
Whether you want to call it global warming, climate change, industrial accidents, unfortunate events, mismanagement, or what have you, the fact remains that our natural world is becoming increasingly toxic and the future for our children looks rather dim without a mass awakening and acceptance of this issue as a top social priority. As the natural world continues to degrade, it will eventually become impossible for the media and industry to hide the extent of the damage that is being done, no matter what illusions we are spoonfed.
Simple, common-sense environmentalism shouldn’t be reserved for political hacks like Al Gore or globalist supporters of Agenda 21. You shouldn’t have to be a carbon credit trader to be concerned about the radiation leak at Fukushima, and you don’t have to be a Rothschild to understand that oil in the backyard isn’t good for the family dog.
As individuals it is up to each of us to re-think our dependance on consumer culture and reinvent how we relate to the natural world. For inspiration on this, please view this thought-provoking talk by Sebastião Salgado.
Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and an avid student of Yoga and life.