During the past democratic debate on CNN, there was a profound question asked by Anderson Cooper; he asked each candidate what is the most dangerous threat facing America’s national security today. This question is very important because it truly narrows down each candidate’s focus in terms of policy. While the candidates gave some reasonable answers, including terrorism, the correct answer, specifically given by Sanders and O’Malley, is climate change.
It seems to me that climate change takes a back seat to other issues, despite its level of devastation, because it lacks flashing lights. In other words, unlike terrorism, there is no immediate disaster, at least it is not presented that way by the media. People, for the most part, understand how detrimental this issue is to our very existence, yet, because it does not seem as scary as ISIS, it loses airtime. This, in turn, leads me to a position of cynicism towards the mainstream media.
Be it Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN, each twenty-four hour news outlet must strive for strictly sensational fluff in order to maintain a steady and expansive audience. Of course, this is all in the name of profit, for each news channel is at the demand of corporate interest. Okay, this is old news. Yet, under the microscope, this is a very scary reality.
In this moment, the Earth rests on a crossroads of irreversible meltdown and possible recovery. We do in fact have a chance to turn around our mistreatment of the planet and implement greener policies for future generations. Although politicians, our leaders, fail us repeatedly in this fight to resuscitate the environment, it is and should always be the role of the media to fight on behalf of the American people. The media is there to inform us and to question the government. Unfortunately, it has failed us as well.
When future generations look back on us, what will they think? Will it be like us today when we look back on Jim Crow? Or perhaps when we look back on the social control of women during the late 19th century? I understand that time progresses forward, irreversibly, and with it we shall change and adapt. But, this issue is so grand and affects virtually every aspect of life as we know it. It is in my deepest desire that we as a species rise above the juvenility of the corporate realm and open our eyes to truth and solidarity. The mainstream media may continue to hinder the efforts of the people, but it can never hinder our spirits.