Friday, April 11, 2008

Serious denial

Reading the newspaper and seeing the news on television is starting to be a surreal experience for me, as if, like Alice, I have fallen down a rabbit hole and am in some crazy place. The price of food and fuel have quadrupled in the last two years, as a result there is great suffering among the poorest of the poor, food riots are breaking out in some countries and yet most people in this country are oblivious.

We are in our fifth year of a "preemptive" invasion and occupation of Iraq. Over 4000 American service people have been killed, tens of thousands have been maimed for life and perhaps hundreds of thousands will suffer mental health problems for decades to come. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, trillions of American tax dollars have been wasted and serious people on television talk about how bad things might happen if we withdrawal, as if extremely bad things have not been happening and will continue to happen as long as we stay. Yet people who call themselves liberal and progressive support a candidate who voted for the war and refuses to repudiate her support of it, citing domestic issues as reasons why she is the superior candidate.

There is overwhelming scientific evidence of global warming, the polar regions are shedding their ice faster than any of the scientists projections, raising the specter of sea level rising and disruption of the Gulf Stream – which would cause northern Europe's climate to resemble that of Siberia. Yet people who describe concern about global warming as hysteria and a hoax have their views regularly presented in the media as if they were one side of a still open question upon which reasonable people might differ. See here and here and here and here.

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