What the mainstream press ignores

In Russia Madness on the Eve of Destruction: Hegemony Trumps Survival,  from the independent on-line news source ‘Truthdig’, the following observation is offered:

The fact that the world stands at the eve of ecological self-destruction, with the Trump White House in the lead, elicits barely a whisper in the commercial news media. Unlike Stormy Daniels, for example, that little story—the biggest issue of our or any time—is not good for television ratings and newspaper sales.

The article comments on the press obsession with Russia’s recent conduct that is returning the international political situation into dangerous territory once more, but points to the failure to report on the far more dangerous trajectory of climate change:

 We have 20 to 30 years (to be generous) to get off fossil fuels and curb mass consumption or it’s curtains. We are currently on pace for 500 atmospheric carbon parts per million—a level of warming likely to melt much of the world’s life-supporting Antarctic ice sheet—within 50 years, if not sooner.

The author offers public ownership as a solution, quoting a Marxist analysis:

The potentially disastrous effects from higher temperature, rising sea levels, and extreme weather formations will be hugely damaging especially to the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet. But industrialization and human activity need not produce these effects if human beings organized their activities in a planned way with due regard for the protection of natural resources and the wider impact on the environment and public health. That seems impossible under capitalism. … What is really needed … require[s] public control and ownership of the energy and transport industries and public investment in the environment for the public good. …

Previous societal collapses illustrate how weathy and powerful elites remained blind to the impending disaster that impact first upond the common people:

[T]he Elites—due to their wealth—do not suffer the detrimental effects of the environmental collapse until much later than the Commoners. This buffer of wealth allows Elites to continue ‘business as usual’ despite the impending catastrophe. It … explain[s] how historical collapses were allowed to occur by elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory (most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan cases). This buffer effect is further reinforced by the long, apparently sustainable trajectory prior to the beginning of the collapse. While some members of society might raise the alarm that the system is moving towards an impending collapse and therefore advocate structural changes to society in order to avoid it, Elites and their supporters, who opposed making these changes, could point to the long sustainable trajectory ‘so far’ in support of doing nothing.

There is much more to contemplate in this attack on elites, profit-driven capitalism, mainstream press neglect of top news, the US assumption of its right to ‘rule the world’. I find it hard to disagree with the main thrust of the analysis, but find the ‘solution’ of a swift enough transformation to global public ownership and socialist planning highly unlikely.

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