We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, February 24, 2017

Extreme Weather and Global Warming: News Abuse and The Enviornment

Click here to access article by Ruben Saucedo, a a mechanical engineering student at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, California.  
In the United States, the corporate media dictates public information which heavily impacts the public opinion.  Stories of little importance permeate coverage and relegate relevant issues that the country is currently facing.  In addition, important stories addressed by the corporate media are constantly obfuscated or hidden entirely for a multitude of corporate and political reasons.  The result is an uninformed or misinformed public, unaware of important issues that affect the world and the next generations.  In 2016, the corporate media ignored the critical connection between extreme weather and global warming while the independent media covered it.

In 2016, the independent media covered the correlation between extreme weather and global warming.
Although I don't know what grade I'd give to this paper (simply because I don't know what material he has studied), if I were Saucedo's academic advisor I would direct him to political sociology sources that could explain why corporate media are very selective in what they publish or broadcast. (In another post for today is an illustration of this type of censorship.) I would suggest books like Imperial Brain Trust by Shoup and Minter and other books on my list of recommended readings.

Such books and materials would explain to him what kind of a society that he lives in--something which humanity courses use to attempt to provide. It is no accident that humanity courses have been slashed from university budgets and cut from academic curricula. If students like Saucedo really understood the fragmented class nature of our society, the capitalist class domination of every institution in the US for self-serving purposes, and the critical nature of class rule under capitalism that provides private ownership over socially produced goods, services, ideas, and inventions, and that this capitalist regime (def. 2) gives enormous benefits in terms of wealth and power to this class, he might very well understand why the directors of this class would insure that media under their control would not publish or broadcast any content that might undermine their system.

I would also advise him that some media sources that appear to be "independent" are not so because they receive funding from capitalist class sources. Such information is usually carefully hidden from the public. This applies to Democracy Now which he believes is an independent media source. I would also advise him that the ruling capitalist class often fund people who appear to be independent to use them as gatekeepers of information to guide dissidents away from issues they regard as critical to the legitimacy of their rule and regime. This class will fund such "independent" gatekeepers in order to keep many dissidents away from knowledge about major crimes that they have committed in wars, their involvement with assassinations of major political figures, 9/11 and other terrorist events, etc. For example, "Democracy Now!" have never had anyone on their program who seriously questioned the official story of 9/11.

Of course, no one like me would be hired as a professor in any respectable institution of higher learning. I would have been (and was) filtered out long before even applying for such a faculty position. (Read Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmidt)