Media Failure And The Dying Oceans

CNN takes detailed note of the grim future of oceans, and the fish and mammals that live in them:

Remoteness, however, has not left the oceans and their inhabitants unaffected by humans, with overfishing, climate change and pollution destabilizing marine environments across the world.

Many marine scientists consider overfishing to be the greatest of these threats. The Census of Marine Life, a decade-long international survey of ocean life completed in 2010, estimated that 90% of the big fish had disappeared from the world’s oceans, victims primarily of overfishing.

Tens of thousands of bluefin tuna were caught every year in the North Sea in the 1930s and 1940s. Today, they have disappeared across the seas of Northern Europe. Halibut has suffered a similar fate, largely vanishing from the North Atlantic in the 19th century.

In some cases, the collapse has spread to entire fisheries. The remaining fishing trawlers in the Irish Sea, for example, bring back nothing more than prawns and scallops, says marine biologist Callum Roberts, from the UK’s York University.

“Is a smear of protein the sort of marine environment we want or need? No, we need one with a variety of species, that is going to be more resistant to the conditions we can expect from climate change,” Roberts said.

The situation is even worse in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, people are now fishing for juvenile fish and protein that they can grind into fishmeal and use as feed for coastal prawn farms. “It’s heading towards an end game,” laments Roberts.

It’s as dismal a picture as you can imagine, and the collapse of fisheries and acidification of the ocean, apart from the moral failures involved, will have profound effects on humanity’s future. Usually, if self-interest is at stake, people care.

So here is my question: why are these global threats–to the climate, to the oceans, to other species–not front page news each and every day on every media platform modern man has devised? They are existential threats, threats that dwarf the issues and problems that regularly get coverage, threats that dwarf most challenges we have ever faced because they are truly global and go to the core of how we live.

I am sure that media companies would answer that the public doesn’t want to read or hear about the scale of the problem, and the role of humanity and its hyper-materialistic culture in creating the problem. Doesn’t want to hear about sacrifice and the need for change. Covering that stuff is a money-loser.

But if Hitler or Dr. Evil, or an alien invader was threatening to heat up the planet, acidify the oceans, and force mass extinctions, I assume mainstream media would think that was newsworthy, and the public would agree. The occasional due diligence report, like this one, just doesn’t cut it. We need to be going to Defcon 1, and instead we are being hypnotized by the modern opiate of the masses, celebrity worship and endless and feckless video distractions.

Here is one point of agreement I have with Sarah Palin. Mainstream media = Lamestream media. And its failures, like ours, will seem criminal and shockingly blind to future generations trying to cope with the compromised planet we have bequeathed them.

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