I’m sitting at my desk, typing away, wrapping up the first draft to my book The Critical Century. I have my TV on, as usual. I’m watching news, as usual. Yesterday I had it on too. I watched news, a couple of documentaries and a variety show; while I was writing, of course. Something struck me. Something I have been talking about for years, but somehow yesterday, it struck me and today it’s self evident. Where is the public interest messaging?
Where are the messages that would make me into a better citizen? Where are the messages about the important things like climate change, water, energy, over population? Why are we so few to seemingly care about impending issues that may, and likely will, turn out to be disasters? As we blindingly gallop forward through this century, we are impervious to the obvious; why? I say, in large part, because of this media deficiency, because of the insufficient messaging.
Of course, if you want to find public interest messaging it is out there. There are limitless web sites sounding multiple alarm bells. There is information. There is evidence. There is discussion. But it is not mainstream. It is not as loud as it should be. Case in point, when there is an approaching tornado, all sirens are ablaze. My smartphone rings, my pad, my computer, my TV, the radio announces it and in many counties, the sirens wail. In a historical context, many of the issues I speak of regularly, are of tornado urgency. A hurricane approaches slowly, but when it nears the shore, its impact is disastrous and sudden. The wall of the eye hits hard and mercilessly. The population curve is just such a wall. So too is the melting of our ice and rising oceans. So too is water. And not least of all, so too are potential pandemics.
Call me an alarmist. Call me a fatalist. Call me anything quite frankly, but then you will have to call the woman I saw interviewed on TV yesterday the same. She was in Illinois where over fifty tornados struck two days ago. One of them took away her home with parts of it being found 75 miles away. She told the reporter that she wished this on no one but regardless, never thought it would happen to her. “Tornados happen to other people,” she thought.
Climate change, etc… yeah, that happens to other people! Or not. It’s time the messaging ramps up.