If they gave Oscars for journalism, these would be our nominees for this year in the categories newspaper, radio and TV. (Photo by Cliff1066/Flickr)
The Lamestream (news) Media (thank you, Sarah) don’t get much respect here or anywhere else these days, because they mostly do not deserve any. But now and again, traditional journalism rears its gorgeous head, and uses words and images to reveal and explain the realities of our world in riveting and memorable ways. Typically, such works sink from sight and remembrance like stones tossed in a polluted river, so let us remove our hats and mumble a few respectful words over three masterful works that appeared in the past few days — one in a newspaper, one on the radio (remember radio programs?) and, yes, even one on TV. Continue reading
The biggest and most persistent myth about the Dust Bowl of the 1930s? That it is over.
If we were to forget all about climate change and peak oil, the two most real and present dangers to our future (of course it’s a silly thing to do in the face of the evidence, but do the exercise: pretend you’re an American politician), we would still be confronted by the third, and conceivably the gravest danger — peak food. The strains on the natural systems on whose health we depend for life itself are titanic (pun intended) and growing. A breaking point has already come for millions of the world’s poor, and cannot be far off for the world’s most privileged. Continue reading
First you blame me for global warming cause I get gas. Now you tell me there's crap in your water? (Photo by Gabrielle Gagne)
California’s Central Valley is probably the best example of the past success and imminent failure of industrial agriculture. The signs of the scope and proximity of the failure are accumulating fast, but while the past success has many wealthy fathers, the coming failure is an orphan. Continue reading
Relentlessly, our industrial society continues to destroy the natural resources essential to its survival, with industrial agriculture leading the way. Perhaps the worst — and least recognized — example, in terms of the accelerating pace and ominous portents of the destruction, is the depletion of water resources by overconsumption. Continue reading
In the new lexicon of the increasingly desertified American West, red snow is what you get after the wind has deposited what’s left of the disappearing soil on what’s left of the disappearing snow pack; adobe rain is composed of the mud splatters you get when rain has fallen through a dust cloud; and rippin’ your strip — taking out your lawn and replacing it with gravel or seriscape — is the West’s new black.
This is all laid out in a riveting article by Chip Ward, just posted on TomDispatch, titled “Red Snow Warning.” It’s a terrific elaboration on, and confirmation of, Chapter 3 of Brace for Impact, “A Drinking Problem.”
Check it out. Then tell me if you still think that we who see the whole industrial edifice coming down are alarmists. Then do something to secure a sustainable water supply for you and your family.
The current financial meltdown offers a good model for other, far more serious disruptions that are on their way. If you think the greed-maddened, amoral stupidity of the investment bankers was unique, take a closer look at the masters of our supplies of food, water and energy. Continue reading