Saturday, January 5, 2013

Underreported Stories Of 2012

I thought I’d start the year off with my list of underreported stories for 2012. It is based on my knowledge and so I may have missed some.

The Environment Cliff: Much has been made about the American so-called Fiscal Cliff, but we hear little of the environmental cliff, which we are rapidly plugging over and from which there is no return. It includes not only climate change, but the greatest period of extinction since perhaps the Permian Period, when about 90% of all life went extinct. Each year we’re losing several species, some unknown to science. Some of these might have given us the next cure for some disease. Another part is the global water crisis and the quality of air, except for the summer smog alerts.

Loss Of Democracy: Very little has been said about this in the media. We go through the motions of elections, but little discussion is made in the media about how more and more our lives are governed by big corporations, other special interests and the super rich. They are controlling more and more what can be said and done in society. For example SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public participation) are used to silence critics of business when they want to do something that others don’t want them to do.

Concentration Of Wealth: Each year the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class shrinks. Government in the name of austerity are cutting back on social programs, while increasing benefits to the wealthy. Unions are being crushed under freedom to work legislation. Part of this is the policy of deliberately keeping interest rates low and the other part is by destroying credit.

Loss Of Press Freedom: Press freedom is being lost through the concentration of the media into the hands of a few and through restricting free access to information. A recent article in the Toronto Star through delaying tactics and making the cost of obtaining this information prohibitive except for wealthy institutions and people.

Deflationary Depression: In all the talk about the economy, politicians and the media are strangely silent about the possibility of a deflationary depression. When it strikes it will come as a complete surprise to most people. The government warns people about high debt, but fail to heed their own advice.

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