As I scanned my daily International news websites, especially BBC and CNN for a glimmer of hope in what they all seem to describe and report as an age of hopelessness with ever increasing mega storms, wars, disasters, mega crime rates, mega sexual abuse cases and social, political and sex scandals; I began to wonder whether I had mistakenly surfed into the Internet Movies Data base website (IMDb) and was reading a summary of ‘2012 Ice Age’ (2011), or The Day After Tomorrow (2004) or Krakatoa East of Java (1969), Magma-Volcano Disaster (2006) ‘Silence of the Lambs’ (1991), or Psycho (1960).
The last two days have seen the BBC news service headline such graphic pessimistic stories like, ‘Polar Vortex Grips North America’ (BBC News World Service, 2014), the possibility of Yellowstone National Park erupting and obliterating North America and sending the rest of the globe into an apocalyptic climate change nightmare (BBC News World Service, 2014), and a timeline of the future from 1000 years to 10 quadrillion years, which details the ultimate destruction of all human civilizations as we know them today along with all life and the current known universe (BBC World News Service, 2014). CNN didn’t offer much more hope either; ‘Deadly Winter Blast Spreads Wider’ (CNN, 2014), ‘Merkel Fractures pelvis’ (CNN, 2014), ‘Is Globalization Over?’ (CNN, 2014), ’10 Things You’ll Pay More For’, (CNN, 2014).
Not all news is good, but neither is all news bad. The point is any random surf through major news websites or online broadsheets will result in around 80% of the stories in the negative and fewer than 20% with a resounding glimmer of hope for humanity. For example, the stories relating to discoveries in the IT industry and the health sciences which show how humanity is making progress in fighting disease and improving the quality of life are seldom headlined. Furthermore, given the 7 billion plus people on the planet, statistically I’d hazard a guess that 90% of the world’s population try to earn an honest day’s living (even on $2:00 a day!) and don’t commit serious crimes, like murder, grand theft, fraud, abuse children, slap babies, torture animals, and bully children, teenagers and other adults, or commit hate crimes and bully those who are different, or rob banks or steal from one another as a way of life. Yes, we all have problems, we love and hate, and life evolves as an endless cycle of joys and sufferings never seemingly allowing us to find a balance where we think we’ve grasped a lesson or two here or there from anyone or anything.
Similarly, winters come and go, as do spring, summer and fall all with a wide range of weather patterns and subsequent problems associated with the seasons, some of which are man made. Also, war sadly is still a feature of human life in the 21st century-because emotions of rage and anger seem not to have been harnessed or managed in a humane way like say our genetic make-up through the human genome project, or our ability to give joy to childless parents through human surrogacy. Yes, bad things do unfortunately happen and overtime the weather and the natural elements like earthquakes and tsunamis act out their fury regardless and in defiance of all life on earth.
But creating a climate of fear through an endless parody of news reporting on the negative aspects of life on earth and overstating these is just as irresponsible as not reporting them at all. A balance is needed and a more honest way to communicate in way which sees a light at the end of the tunnel, not a series of super volcanoes about to explode and obliterate all life on earth or the planet about to enter a new ice age through the rapid growth of a massive polar vortex!
BBC News World Service. (2014, January 7th). North America arctic blast creeps east. Retrieved January 7th , 2014, from BBC.CO.UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25632586
BBC News World Service. (2014, January 6th). Supervolcano eruption mystery solved. Retrieved January 7th, 2014, from BBC.CO.UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25598050
BBC World News Service. (2014, January 6th). Timeline of the far future. Retrieved January 7th, 2014, from BBC.CO.UK: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140105-timeline-of-the-far-future
CNN. (2014, January 7th). CNN Set Edition US. Retrieved January 7th, 2014, from CNN.Com: http://www.cnn.com/