Volatility

July 28, 2018

The Lying Media-“Political” Culture of the Climate Crisis

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Disaster Capitalism, Mainstream Media, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 5:49 am

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The corporate media has failed abysmally at preparing the public for a climate changed world, let alone reporting on it. According to a Media Matters survey:
 

Throughout the recent record-breaking heat wave that affected millions across the United States, major broadcast TV networks overwhelmingly failed to report on the links between climate change and extreme heat. Over a two-week period from late June to early July, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired a combined 127 segments or weathercasts that discussed the heat wave, but only one segment, on CBS This Morning, mentioned climate change.”

 
Ten years ago the mainstream media was full of stories about the real effects of climate change. They ran regular features summing up the science and the prognosis.
 
Today the coverage is very different. As the survey cited above demonstrates, the media has jettisoned most real-world reportage on the climate crisis. Instead they’ve gone back to reporting on “natural” disasters: (1) as if they actually were natural rather than man-made; (2) as ad hoc things that happen at random rather than part of a coherent trend.
 
The media’s coverage of climate change has departed from the real world and instead focuses only on certain fake political angles, such as “Trump” taking the US out of the sham Paris agreement, as well as the alleged virtue of the sham agreement itself. This normalizes the climate crisis, or more specifically having fervid “opinions” about it, as just another lifestyle ornament. Just another part of fake celebrity and culture-war pseudo-politics.
 
The main reason the media used to report on the climate crisis in a semi-serious way is that it took some years for the corporate sectors to reach a consensus on downplaying/denying the crisis. At first they left this to Big Oil, led by ExxonMobil. Other sectors were uncertain what it all meant for them. Wall Street seriously considered trying to blow up a bubble based on cap-and-trade, “offsets”, and derivatives based on such scams. The frackers took potshots at the coal industry. Monsanto and the biotech sector touted the scam of “climate-smart agriculture”, as well as fraudulently citing climate denial in their propaganda even though they themselves are climate deniers. Those are examples of why climate change used to get more play in the corporate media. But by now, although there’s still some of this exploitative propaganda, the corporations largely have decided they want to deny the whole thing. Some still engage in de jure denial, most have joined the liberals in de facto denial. This means expressing “right belief”, paying lip service, shedding crocodile tears, emitting sham proposals, but never really proposing to do anything but continue to emit and destroy.
 
The hand-wringing, virtue-signalling, and fake prescriptions of the climate crocodiles – Keep Shopping! Shopping Uber Alles! for example, replacing fossil fuels with corporate-industrial renewables; Keep Driving! hybrids and electric cars of course; never mind that most of the emissions and environmental destruction are bound up in the initial manufacturing process – fits in well with this since little of this is actually going to be done, and if it were done it merely would add to civilization’s consumption and destruction maw while doing nothing but making the climate crisis worse.
 
Meanwhile for as long as modern civilization staggers along, emissions will continue to rise and sinks will continue to be destroyed. All the other ecological crises will continue to get worse.
 
But it’s always been true that there is one and only one solution to avert the worst of climate chaos:
 
Stop emitting; stop destroying sinks; rebuild sinks.
 
All else is a lie. Most of all, that anything constructive can be done within the congenitally destructive framework of the economic civilization.
 
 
 
 
 

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