[This callout has been syndicated here on HuffPo.]
After America’s Veteran’s Day militarism hangover, I scanned what few trustworthy journalism outlets are left but still couldn’t avoid the headhunters. They were looking to scalp CBS supermodel Lara Logan and Washington Post fossil Richard Cohen for fucking up the low-hanging fruitcake of Benghazi and interracial marriage.
Which is a serious problem: Too many credible journalists and outlets are caught up in the mundane routine of pointing and grunting at obvious tools like Cohen and Logan. Rather than, say, reporting as vigorously about the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, or harrumphing just as gleefully and loudly for the jobs of sellout journos and scientists nakedly dissembling on global warming.
This should be a no-brainer. The UNCCC convened hot upon the heels of destructive Typhoon Haiyan, which today may be the strongest recorded to ever hit Earth, but certainly not for long. (Bank on that, disaster capitalists.) It is there that the Philippines’ chief climate negotiator Yeb Sano powerfully warned, “What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness. We can stop this madness. Right here.”
Image: NASA. Typhoon Haiyan, intensified by global warming, downplayed by sellouts.
Yet in that heroic quest, Sano could use not just the aid but also the attention of the United States and its addled populace. The smarter of which are…doing what? Calling for the heads of Logan and Cohen, when they know quite well that no intelligent person still cares about CBS or Washington Post? Or again reminding us, daily, what ridiculous propaganda is coming out of Fox or its obsolete Republican bankrollers?
I mean, who looks to any of those corporate losers for deep analysis on pressing existential emergencies like the perpetual war of global warming? No one with long left to live, that’s who.
Few look to Time either, which got away with excreting a worse journalistic transgression on the same day as the Cohen/Logan lovefest took over Twitter. The headline given Bryan Walsh’s flaccid analysis — “Climate Change Didn’t Cause Supertyphoon Haiyan” — was almost as much of a bitchslap, especially to those of us who don’t dissemble about global warming, as the sidescraping Chevron ad running alongside it. “Which industry is creating jobs and strengthening the economy?” Chevron’s banner ad asked. “The answer is energy.”
Image: Me. And Time. And Chevron. And Haiyan.
How can anyone take anything Time says about climate change remotely seriously with such a dead-giveaway layout? Or Walsh himself, whose related story — written below his refusal to link Haiyan to the obviously warming atmosphere and rising waters that set the table for its shoreline wipeout of the Philippines — was bestowed the not-prescient title, “Silent Hurricane Season Adds Fuel to a Debate Over Global Warming.” (Emphases added by me while laughing hysterically.)
Sorry, but I cannot link either of those lame examples here, and the same goes for Keith Kloor’s equally insulting bitchslap at Discover, which called out officials like Sano and journos like myself, who link catastrophes like Haiyan to climate change, as …. “ambulance chasers.” Why would I? Why would anyone route precious time, which is money, or precious money to either of these sloppy clowns? I mean, every time you click on Time and Walsh’s claim that global warming didn’t intensify Haiyan — perhaps the most intense typhoon ever recorded, it bears reminding — Chevron clocks another whatever for the click, thanks very much. What real money Chevron actually makes from such advertising is worth nothing compared to the stand Walsh and Time are not taking on global warming with diplomatic yet pointless words.
Plus, Bad Astronomy wrote the same article but tweeted it out as a mea culpa and owned up to being, like science itself, more in love with obsessive causality than the simple and obvious interconnectedness that philosophers thousands of years ago regarded as an obvious first principle. “Things are more interconnected, I think, than we thought,” Columbia University’s Braddock Linsley told New York Times‘ enviro journo Andrew Revkin, sounding like he hadn’t thought too hard about it for too long. Linsley and Rutgers’ Yair Rosenthal published a new study in basically concluding that, shocker, everything is connected, and that when it comes to perception of accelerated global warming, narrow nationalism has indeed supplanted cosmological sense.
“We can’t think of these as just European events or Northern Hemisphere events,” Linsley added, explaining ancient disruptions like the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period as well as our own ongoing Holocene mass extinction. “These events are global and we would expect other events to be, as well.”
Other publications and scientists are similarly confusing themselves on accident, or us on purpose, trying to dodge truths they know will find them all eventually. Even the IPCC can’t escape its own lethal conservatism. I lambasted it in 2007 for being behind the curve in a probably too hesitant think piece on exponology — and its forthcoming report reads like it’s suffering from the same crippling fear of peering into our dystopian war on terra and honestly reporting back what it finds. Instead, the IPCC falls back — like lazy enviro journos and scientists — upon focusing on tired narratives about being, gosh, unable to draw lines from one thing to another. All while our galactically singular globe suffers a trophic cascade failure.
So listen up, headhunters! If you’re looking to take some jobs, then do us more globally concerned citizens a favor and save some outrage for the greater sellouts among us. At this accelerated rate, our globally warmed future is a planetwide hellscape we’re carelessly handing to our children while we dive down the escape hatches of our phones, laps, pads, glasses, whatever. Let’s pull down the harder fruits out there, shall we?
Trust me, your kids will thank you for these paltry kindnesses. When it comes time to look back and wonder why their predecessors were getting paid way too much to destroy their world, they’ll be happy you weren’t talking instead about a spy-fi fuckup in Libya or a has-been whining about whites marrying blacks.
Your kids will be happy you at least talked about global warming, even if all you talked about was not being sure how to connect with it.