Year 1, Month 1, Day 7: Boston Globe

Sent this morning to the Boston Globe. In keeping with the doctrine of recycling, if they don’t print it, I’ll send it to some other papers in the next couple of days.

The writer Brian Aldiss defines civilization as “the distance man has placed between himself and his excreta.” Our civilization has done a wonderful job of distancing us from our waste in general, as witness the fact that while the world’s largest landfill contains millions of tons of plastic trash and occupies an area as large or larger as the continental United States, it’s smack in the middle of the Pacific ocean, out of sight and out of mind. Similarly, our emissions of carbon dioxide (even as they reside in our atmosphere, all around us) are kept at a great mental distance; it’s much easier to think about Tiger Woods’ marital problems and the latest episode of a popular television program than it is to confront our own waste and wastefulness. Emerson said that the human race will “eventually die of civilization.” The ever-increasing likelihood of catastrophic global climate change makes the Sage of Concord’s words ring all too true.

A properly functioning print and broadcast media would be educating the public about these issues, making a clear distinction between scientific truth and irresponsible denialism. Instead we are treated to a never-ending parade of distractions and irrelevancies, while the world’s ecosystems crumble and the possibility of a happy and sustainable life for future generations grows ever dimmer.

Warren Senders

Have you written to your local branch of the Corporate Media today? You should. It will give you a few fleeting seconds of satisfaction.

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