Read this or else…

May 25, 2009

Despite the supposed increase in environment consciousness, very rarely does environment news make headlines. When it does, it usually involves some sort of disaster like an oil spill or some unlucky chap attacked or eaten by a wild animal.  More often than not, environment news is passed off as a ‘special interest story’ usually when the Taliban are taking a siesta or Kim Jong II isn’t being an attention-seeking dictator. I am guessing the environment figures somewhere between ‘Interviews with contestants bumped off the latest episode of American Idol’ and ‘Talented pets’. Which is why I can’t get why they come up with such boring captions for environment related articles. Common culprits include;

1. Generic Gloom & Doom: You know the type. “Latest studies shows that X number of species are facing extinction, our coral reefs are dying, X million hectares of forests are being converted to palm oil plantations, soya, cotton-candy…” We know things are heading downhill but please don’t keep harping on the same generic stuff over and over. Give us a new perspective, angle or outlook on the issue and don’t patronise us.

2. Doomsday warnings: Food shortages, water crises, economic recession, natural disasters and climate change have managed to dispel the notion that we are invincible. But do we really need to know exactly when our grandchildren will be annhilated by rising sea levels, droughts, floods, McDonalds…?

3. All Aboard the Guilt Trip: We are the only animal that recognizes we could influence the future by what we do in the present. We are also a species that hates being reminded of our collective failures. Pity us and leave the emotional blackmailing to our mothers.

4. Government Speak: We know our governments are selling out to oil/mining/automobile lobbies and trying to squeeze out of environmental commitments at international conventions. Why then do we have to hear/read their bleeding heart speeches or look at pictures of them planting saplings? Spare us their self-indulgence.

5. Pointless awards: I am all for celebrating worthy achievements but who cares about vague awards for vague accomplishments. Even more puzzling is the increasingly set pattern of the award being sponsored by an oil company and presented by some member of minor royalty. Yawn…

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