Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Media blackout of environmental disasters and protests continue
The commercial media continues to report on environmental disasters one at a time before quickly forgetting them without making any attempt to report on how many of them are happening. One of the latest is an Oil spill that closed part of Mississippi River in Louisiana. This was reported this weekend but only briefly and there are many others including disasters that happened in Kentucky, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Mississippi and presumably many more if I look for them. When these are reported on the national level they are not reported extensively and there is little or no follow up; in most cases they're only reported at local levels.
In the past when I try to find out how many are happening by Googling them it doesn't take long to find many that I would never have known about if I didn't search for them and the vast majority of the public is almost certainly still unaware of how many they are and how much of the global environment is being damaged or destroyed. Some of these efforts to find out how extensive they have been, and how many protests have been going on, some of which have been successful, were reported in North Dakota explosion forgotten already now Walpole, Omaha, Mississippi, and many others also quickly fading into memory hole, Indigenous Protesters in Brazil, Burma, Nigeria and other poor countries lead the way protecting the environment, and BP is just the tip of the iceberg. It is usually much more reliable to find out about these types of news stories from alternative news outlets like Earth First! Journal and Common Dreams.
The same goes for an enormous amount of protests which aren't being covered much if at all in the commercial media. Earlier this month there were a lot of protest organized in only a couple of days after the State Department released a report and I wouldn't have known anything about it if I had relied solely on the commercial media.
In 2011 the Occupy Wall Street protests were so large that the commercial media felt they had to provide some coverage of it even though they didn't provide good coverage. There are still an enormous volume of these protests but they no longer feel obligated to provide even a token amount of coverage, except, perhaps, low profile stories at the local level where some of the biggest protests take place.
I guess they might think that some people would be more suspicious if tehy didn't provide a token amount of coverage; but if you see one report about a local protest in your local news there are almost certainly dozens more that you aren't hearing about.
One individual has been quoted as saying "I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like last night." However other stories have been reported including some by Bill McKibben about how they have done this before and gained a lot of attention, at least at the grass roots level even if the commercial media refuses to report the news.
This might seem like they're wasting their time but I suspect that the percentage of the public that doesn't recognize how unreliable the commercial media is slowly but steadily declining and more people are checking alternative outlets. The progress may be slow thanks, in part, to the refusal of the commercial media to report on many of these incidents properly but there are a growing number of successes, mostly at the grass roots level and if more people recognize that they need to get their information from alternative sources then that could grow dramatically. This could be even more effective if more people are elected from real grass roots levels at least at the local level and that is already happening as well, although the commercial media isn't reporting it.
One of the protest that isn't being reported by the commercial media that successfully shut down an Australian coal mine, at least temporarily, Batgirl Shuts Down Boggabri Coal Mine. This may seem a little sensational and I wouldn't recommend relying on it too much if people get the sensation mixed up with the real story, but it is the type of thing that the commercial media would normally like. This may be in Australia but I doubt if they would cover it much even if it was in the US, except perhaps at the local level.
What is more surprising is that the anti-fracking movement has a new ally, at least when it comes to one project, Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil.
I did not make this up.
Apparently when it comes to fracking in his own back yard he is opposed to it although when it comes to fracking tar sands or any other kind of profitable energy projects in the back yards of those without political power he supports it.
This has even been reported in the print media and on line by traditional outlets starting with the Wall Street Journal, Exxon CEO joins lawsuit citing fracking concerns; although I haven't found any reporting of this on the TV networks even searching for articles of it online, which often accompany their news stories.
However they continue to play those propaganda ads that the energy companies are buying up all the time. those will almost certainly be repeated over and over again long after many people forget about this story assuming they hear about it at all.
Of course it is the alternative media that is running with this much more than even the few print and on line articles about it from the traditional press with articles that include, Exxon CEO Comes Out Against Fracking Project Because It Will Affect His Property Values and Texas Size Hypocrisy: ExxonMobil CEO Opposes Fracking-Related Water Tower Near His Home.
Clearly they think they should be able to profit as much as they want to all over the world except when it comes to their own back yard. Perhaps, if someone poisons their drinking water or air they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law but but if they poison the water of millions of people they should be able to buy up studies confusing the issues and drag it out indefinitely assuming they have to address it at all.
Another amazing thing that they often seem to do is try to portray those that want to prevent environmental destruction as "terrorists" while ignoring the violence that takes place on behalf of the oil companies.
There may be some examples where their are disputes among the environmentalists including some that include some property destruction or on rare occasions violence; but they are trivial compared to the enormous amount of damage that is being done by corporations with the help of state sanctioned troops; and at least they're the ones that are trying to prevent the enormous amount of pollution. Wars fought over oil make minor incidents that they refer to as "terrorism" seem trivial when a closer look is taken. Especially with some of the protest groups like 350.org which makes a point to renounce violence and do all their protest peacefully.
Yet that doesn't stop some people from trying to portray them as "terrorists" if they think they can get away with it.
Our government spends an enormous amount of money preventing these protests from getting their views across but instead of spending money to prevent the pollution they spend money to subsidize the corporations that are doing it.
If these corporations also happen to donate an enormous amount of money that they get from their customers to campaigns, presumably that is just coincidence.
Here are just a handful of the news stories that aren't being reported as widely as they could be or in as organized a fashion.
Really these are only a handful if you compare them to a much larger number of stories that I didn't take the time to find.
Chevron’s Lobbyist Now Runs the Congressional Science Committee
California's Water Woes Deepen: 'A Bellwether of Things to Come'
Study Confirms Tar Sands Contamination First Nations Warned of for Years
Fossil Fuel Co. CEO: Fracking Now, Fracking Tomorrow...
'Unjust' mining laws slammed by former judges
A Toxic Culture of Violence and Shame: How DGR’s Denial of Transphobia Exposes Worse Tendencies
Cleanup Continues After Mississippi Train Derailment
Canadian Smelter Spills 25,000 Liters of Chemical Solution into the Columbia River
Brazil: Munduruku People Kick Miners Off Indigenous Territory, Seize Equipment
Duke Energy Waited 24 Hours to Report Major Coal Ash Spill into Dan River
Duke Energy Spills 82,000 Tons of Coal Ash into Dan River
How America Helped Build Africa’s E-Wasteland
Train Spills 12,000 Gallons of Oil in Minnesota, No Major Cleanup Effort Planned
Moroccan Villagers Occupy Silver Mine
River Contaminated with High Levels of Lead, Arsenic, and Mercury after North Carolina Coal Ash Spill
Ohio Oil Industry Paying to “Educate” Public School Teachers About Fracking
Three Oil Spills in Two Weeks Foul Singapore’s Waters
American Petroleum Institute Kept Tabs on Enviros
Chinese Villagers Attack Factory after Reports of Polluting
Protests Rise against Britain’s Gas Grab in Algeria
Another Day, Another Industrial Disaster: Gas Pipeline Explosion in Kentucky
Another Hour, Another Industrial Disaster: Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails and Spills in Pennsylvania
Mysterious Cracked Earth Oil Spills in Alberta Damaging Cold Lake Ecosystem
Leaked Pennsylvania JTTF Presentation Profiles Earth First! as Environmental Extremists and ecoterrorists.
Mexico: Resistance to Construction of 112 Dams in Veracruz
Pipe Bombs Found in RV Parked at Calif. Power Plant
Eco-warrior or Eco-terrorist? Mongolia Jails Environmentalist for 21 Years
Elderly Nun Sentenced to Nearly 3 yrs for Tennessee Nuclear Break-In
Chevron Apologizes for Fracking Well Explosion with Coupons for Free Pizza
“Frackgate”: Ohio Regulators Planned to Subvert Eco-Groups, Promote Fracking in State Parks
Environmentalist and Communicator from the Siria Valley, Honduras Denounces Threats
Coal Ash Still Contaminating NC River, But State Response Lags
URGENT: Idaho “Ag-Gag” Law Would Make It Illegal to Photograph Factory Farm Cruelty its sponsors are saying undercover investigations by animal welfare groups are terrorism.
Pressure to Construct Xalalá Hydroelectric Dam; Local Opposition Remains Strong
Tests show different arsenic levels in NC spill