Monday, November 05, 2012


The media’s deadly omission: climate change

by Larry Geller

There are a couple of articles on climate change in this morning’s paper, on the editorial page. Kind of Climate Change 101, info that has been in the alternative press and shouted by activists for years. Plus a weak lament that politicians and the press have ignored the issue.

Too little and too late, say I. Where is the coverage about how the US has been sabotaging international agreement on action against carbon in the atmosphere? Where is discussion of how this country is poised to mine and drill for even more fossil fuel to worsen, not cure, the damage?

Besides the national failure, what about the local news media right here in Hawaii? How many criticized development plans in the inundation zone on the Kakaako peninsula, for example? Where are the multi-part series on how rising ocean levels will affect homes, airports, tourist facilities, even military facilities? Where is the media on weighing development against sustainability? The coverage of the UH blunder on a Stevie Wonder concert has been relentless—what about applying the same energy to something important to Hawaii’s future?

Where is the local press on our shortage of ER capacity on Oahu? Suppose we had a storm and hospital generators failed as they did in New York City? Even without generator failures, do we have the emergency medical capacity we would need in an emergency? If not, what’s the plan?

Where is the local analysis of FEMA’s response to relief efforts in New Jersey and New York, with an eye, of course, to what might happen out here in middle of the Pacific should a similar disaster befall us? Criticism is mounting around both FEMA and Red Cross failures to provide effective relief.

As frustration grows around the city about the pace and effectiveness of the response from FEMA, and other government agencies and the Red Cross, I imagine both concerned New Yorkers and storm victims alike will remember who was out on the front lines.

[Slate, Is Occupy Wall Street Outperforming the Red Cross in Hurricane Relief?, 11/4/2012]

Yes, Occupy Wall Street is coordinating and leading relief efforts in several neighborhoods:

So how did an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, best known as a leaderless movement that brought international attention to issues of economic injustice through the occupation of Zucotti Park in the financial district last year, become a leader in local hurricane relief efforts?  Ethan Murphy, who was helping organize the food at St. Jacobis and had been cooking for the occupy movement over the past year, explained there wasn’t any kind of official decision or declaration that occupiers would now try to help with the hurricane aftermath.  “This is what we do already, “ he explained: Build community, help neighbors, and create a world without the help of finance.

For a current summary of conditions in NYC and progress of relief efforts, see this morning’s Democracy Now.


Voting is one of the only ways we have to make our voice heard. If you think that there is any chance that climate change is real, then vote for the people most likely to reverse climate change (the president isn't the only influential person being elected). The results of this election will change the world.

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