Saturday, September 19, 2009

The 6th Mass Extinction: Irrefutable Proof that Gregory, Stephanopoulos, Schieffer & Blitzer are Not Real Journalists? (As if You Needed Any More)

Celtic Triple Spiral/Triple Goddess Symbol

The world's largest global investors issued a joint call today for strong action this year from U.S. and international policy makers in the fight against global warming ... Reuters, 9-16-09

Climate change risks could cost nations up to 19 percent of their GDP by 2030, with developing countries most vulnerable, according to a new report from the Economics of Climate Adaptation Working Group. Environmental Leader, 9-15-09

Failure to agree a new UN climate deal in December will bring a "global health catastrophe", say 18 of the world's professional medical organisations. Richard Black, BBC, 9-15-09

Quakes, volcanic eruptions, giant landslides and tsunamis may become more frequent as global warming changes the earth's crust itself, scientists warned ... Reuters AlterNet, 9-16-09

The 6th Mass Extinction: Irrefutable Proof that Gregory, Stephanopoulos, Schieffer & Blitzer are Not Real Journalists? (As if You Needed Any More)

By Richard Power

Baraka Obama, the President of the U.S.A., is engaging the Sunday a.m. news show anchors on the issue of health care reform. As he picks his way through their warped and loaded questions, he will by extension make them look much more like credible journalists than perhaps they really are. As you and I know, whether or not they are real journalists (or at least are performing that function at this point in their careers) is an open question.

As proof, I offer one simple term, "the Sixth Mass Extinction" together with one simple challenge: show me an instance in which any of them has uttered the term once in their broadcasts to you. (Indeed, they should be uttering it almost every single week in one context or another.)

I would be so very happy to be proven wrong.

Because the Sixth Mass Extinction is the greater reality behind the profound and destructive shift that is the Climate Crisis; and it directly threatens our species and, for lack of a more accurate word, its "civilization."

The Earth may be on the brink of a sixth mass extinction on a par with the five others that have punctuated its history, suggests the strongest evidence yet. New Scientist, 3-18-04

The Sixth Mass Extinction, already underway, is not just about the scintillant colors of butterflies or the rhapsodic night songs of frogs, or even the extraordinary healing powers held in our flora and fauna; it is also about our own survival as a species.

But you shouldn't be surprised.

After all, when Obama sits down with them, Gregory, et al, will NOT ask, "Mr. President, contrary to 'conventional wisdom,' the USA does not have the best health care system in the world, indeed, it is way back in the pack. Why is this so?"

They will NOT ask, "Mr. President, poll after poll show that a majority of citizens want single-payer health care or at least a strong public option. If that is the case, why is single-payer not even "on the table" and why have you refused to say you will veto any bill that does not include at least a strong public option?"

They will NOT ask, "Mr. President, while many citizens are going bankrupt from medical costs, and many other citizens are dying because they have been denied coverage by insurers, at the same time, insurance companies are reaping in high profits and dispensing fat bonuses to their executives. Is this why we are the only industrialized country, the only leader of the Western world, and the only great democracy, to allow for-profit insurance companies to control its health care system?"

They will NOT ask, "Mr. President, what does this current battle over health care reform in the House and the Senate tell us about campaign finance system and the need to reform it?"

No, they will not ask those questions. Nor anything similar.

Again, I would be so very happy to be proven wrong.

The remarkable political struggle to deliver meaningful health care reform that progressives and genuine "moderates" have waged over the last few months, has actually helped sharpen my focus on the Climate Crisis and the ongoing failure to deal with it.

Do not expect real journalism on either the struggle for meaningful health care reform or the struggle for meaningful climate crisis legislation from the mainstream news media.

You can't expect a corporatist, monopolistic special interest group, which is what the US mainstream news media has become, to attack other corporatist, monopolistic special interest groups with which it has interlocking boards of directors and interdependent profit motives. You might as well expect a pimp to drop his human slaves off at a women's shelter, or expect a pusher to take his addicts to detox.

Harsh language? Let's be serious. The US Chamber of Commerce spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the month of August to protect the health insurance industry's right to gauge you on every pay check and then deny you health care based on pre-existing condition, etc., and they are about to spend hundreds of millions more to thwart attempts to bring the USA into line with the desperate global demand for steep, urgent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

No, we are on our own. If we are going to save the world, we must do it in spite of the US mainstream news media. Health care reform is a life or death issue for the nation. Climate change is a life or death issue for much of life on the planet. And yet, on both issues, is the US mainstream news media anything more than a IV-drip of disinformation and denial? Again, prove me wrong -- please.

Next time you see Gregory, et al pretending to provide insight on the great political issues of our time, just yell out, "SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION," particularly if you are in a public place. It feels good, and there is magic in it.

But even more important, of course, is to start having serious discussions with your friends and colleagues, about what is already underway, and what we have to do.

You can responsibly agree or disagree with James Lovelock's conclusions about the Climate Crisis; but you cannot responsibly ignore them:

Five years ago, Lovelock's "The Revenge of Gaia" issued a terrifying warning: if humankind didn't radically curtail greenhouse-gas emissions, there would, quite literally, be hell to pay.
His new book out this year, "The Vanishing Face of Gaia," says it has now become bleakly apparent that we blew our chance.
"We have left it far, far too late to save the planet as we know it," Lovelock told AFP.
So what advice would he give to world leaders gathering next week in New York for a climate summit, less than three months ahead of a make-or-break UN conference in Copenhagen?
"Be prepared for change, and adapt to the change that is coming. And get ready for a great, great loss of life during the process," he said.
Lovelock's grim conviction that we cannot prevent a global warming apocalypse in which billions of people will perish is rooted not in what we will fail to do in the future, but what we have already done in the past.
For even if we stop spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere tomorrow, he says, the carbon dioxide (CO2) already there has triggered natural events -- the shrinking Arctic ice cap, the decay of the Greenland ice sheet, methane release from permafrost -- that will continue to drive global warming on their own.
"He says our current tendency to interpret climate change as a smooth, relatively controllable process is misleading, and that it is much more likely to be a sharp adjustment and an uncontrollable process," said Andrew Watson, a top climate scientist at the University of East Anglia, eastern England.
"That is the heart of his message."
Agence France Press, 9-19-09

Go to Stand w/ Howard Dean for more information on how to participate in the struggle to bring meaningful healthcare reform to the USA.

If you have not already joined the Alliance for Climate Protection, Al Gore and I urge you to do so. Click here.

I also urge you to participate in some way in the International Day of Climate Action on 10-24-09. Go to for more information.

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

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