Not your typical Earth Day post
There are only two roads in life, growing and dying. Tolbert McCarroll, Notes from the Song of Life
Earth Day 2022. If you want to know how it all started, you can read last year’s post on the first Earth Day. If you want to know how we’re doing (così così — so so in Italian), you can read Jeff Goodell’s article in Rolling Stone this week entitled, The Climate Fight Isn’t Lost. Here are 10 Ways to Win. And if you want to know where to hide until it’s all over, read Paul Greenberg’s Is Anywhere Safe From Climate Change which is a solution for maybe less than one half of one percent of us, but I totally get the sentiment. The real truth is, Environmental Justice is critical as Adele Costa tells us in her article Hog Waste Plastic Petals, and Cancer in the Air: The Intersection Between Environmental Justice and Women’s Health, and if we don’t take care of the most vulnerable among us, it will be lights out for all of us.
When Al Gore wrote An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, the world yawned. Honestly, I don’t understand why no one takes that guy seriously, but I guess it’s a testament to how fractured society has become thanks to many things, but mostly, just how much money there is to be made in politics and how politicians will do anything to stay in power, including disgracing, dishonoring and discrediting even the most noble the truth tellers. If we would have taken most or all of the steps Gore recommended 16 years ago we probably wouldn’t be staring into the abyss right now, but many in Washington, including some that are supposed to be on the side of We the People come at climate change as if it’s all a game and we aren’t really at the 11th hour Before the Flood.
Is it time for despair? Well, yes and no. Despair has been on the menu for years now. The whole climate change issue has become a fait accompli, and that is Goodell’s point, but you know what? If you live in Tonga, or New Orleans, or any other coastal or island paradise where sea level rise is chipping away at your security a little bit each day, perhaps you don’t see it that way.
In The Social Dilemma, a 2020 Netflix documentary, the filmmakers discuss how everything we do online is being tracked, how tech giants like Facebook are able to influence social behavior through their algorithms, and worst of all, how disinformation travels six times faster than real news, making it difficult for Truth to find a voice in the face of such adversity.
Maybe some don’t think this is so bad, especially if you are a fan of authoritarian regimes. And yes, reasonable minds can differ; problematically, many people today are not reasonable.
So what to do? Well, maybe it’s too little too late, but I think we could start with bringing back the the fairness doctrine. The FCC fairness doctrine of 1949 required broadcast licensees to provide both sides of controversial public issues. Ronald Regan abolished it earning him the moniker The Father of Fake News and while it only applied to broadcast licenses, it did require a level of truth telling that is not apparent in the world today. Just look at Sydney Powell’s no reasonable person legal defense when called before the court to explain her rhetoric regarding Trump’s allegations of a stolen election. Why were her admitted lies given such a large platform? This is what Fox News does everyday; they don’t report the news, rather, give their slanted opinion. Well, I have to tell you, folks, there is no space for a slanted opinion when it comes to the State of the Earth in 2022. There is only space for the truth, and the truth is some scary s#i+.
Bring back the Fair and Balanced Act. Make news newsworthy again. Tell We the People the truth and let The People make their own decisions about what we value. Because I’m pretty sure the most of us would choose to keep living on this planet rather than watch it all blow up so some small percentage of the world can survive.
Tell the truth about climate change, that is, if we don’t reign it in now, there very well might be 1.2 billion climate refugees on the borders of those lands that are still viable and livable. We have time. It’s barely minutes in the earth’s rotation, but they are precious minutes. Tell the world the truth and let’s all work together and DO SOMETHING STAT. It’s now or never. The planet’s people can’t wait.
Although, spoiler alert, if we do nothing, the Earth will be just fine; it’s just We the People that will become extinct.
pam lazos 4.22.22