Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Thursday, 4 August 2016

The climate crisis is already here – but no one’s telling us

Although not using the term 'Abrupt Climate Change' - George Monbiot picks up the issue of 'failure to inform' on this crucial issue in an article in the Guardian. He summarizes most of the startling events that have occurred this year - but places the responsibility for this failure on those in his own profession - journalism.

This does seem a too harsh a judgement. Perhaps with one or two exceptions, editors will decide what is published in their paper - but will also be guided, greatly, by the wishes of each paper's owner. Since the ownership of the UK national press is in the hands of just a few - it is not so surprising that an issue, even as important as climate change, can be suppressed - if that is these owners wish. Just to reiterate what is highlighted in 'The MSM' above:

For anyone who does believe that the Mainstream Media is to be relied upon – and that seems to be the majority – here is a quote from 1860:

Asked to give a toast before the prestigious New York Press Club, John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff at the New York Times, made this candid confession [it's worth noting that Swinton was called "The Dean of His Profession" by other newsmen, who admired him greatly]:

” There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.

I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.

If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell the country for his daily bread.

You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press. We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance.

Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.

Nevertheless, it is astonishing that an issue as critical as global warming - one that currently looks set to make the planet uninhabitable for we humans and many other species within a few decades - can be kept from the people's attention.

In a democracy - it must be our elected representatives who are to blame. One can only speculate on the web of corruption that must exist within our main political parties and 'The Establishment' to allow such a circumstance to exist.

Our best hope is that one of the existing political parties take up the issue, as was the case with Brexit [whatever your view of the result], and explain in full honesty what is going on. It seems certain that such a party would receive a great deal of support - particularly at a time when the existing parties are viewed with such mistrust - enough support , we must hope, to lead to the UK to playing its full role in tackling this huge threat.

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