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Get Your Operating Manual For the Earth

Why do Republicans hate public media? Is it because they’re genuinely afraid it could lead to Communism? Such fear would make no rational sense, given that public television and public radio have been in existence for almost two generations, and not brought the United States closer to living in government-run communes during that time.

Is it because spending on public television and radio are bankrupting the federal government? That would be silly for anyone to claim. It would take 31,381 years for elimination of federal spending on public radio and television to pay off the federal debt. It would take only 15 years for elimination of federal spending on the military to pay off the federal debt. Public media isn’t the source of our nation’s budget problems.

Republicans hate public radio and television because these media sources, flawed as they are by association with corporate underwriters, do the best job in TV and radio in educating Americans about scientific issues. The scientific facts available on public TV and public radio are profoundly irritating to industries and cultural groups that prosper through the exploitation of ignorance.

If you want to see the value of broadcasting simple facts, take a look at the new PBS special: Earth – The Operators’ Manual. In 53 minutes, the show offers a strong, understandable, up to date communication of scientific understanding about climate change and energy alternatives to fossil fuels. That’s threatening to the fossil fuel industry, which would see its profits shrivel if the United States began transitioning to sustainable energy sources at a reasonable pace.

3 comments to Get Your Operating Manual For the Earth

  • Tom

    Your last statement is incorrect since it would take many years to transition to any new source (while the oil fields dry up) and we would continue to use oil in many other ways (lubricant, plastics, etc.) even if we completely moved to another energy source. If the people that run the oil companies (and coal too) had any sense (of long term planning) or cared about humanity at all they’d be embarking on this and leading the way through investment, innovation and market-share. They don’t and aren’t so we’re stuck with a non-responsive government (where’s Obama’s “green energy” investment or even jobs for that matter?) that only bides its time until the collapse (probably sooner than we think).

  • Mark B.

    While it is true that public media are good for working largely outside the influence of corporate interests, your article seems to go further and imply that the cause taken up by the hour-long special is struggling against plutocracy, even in just getting its message out.

    I’ll grant- how could I not- that carbon-capping policies will be met with resistance by certain corners of the energy market, with plenty to lose. Let us not forget, however, that there is plenty to gain from such policies for the timely investor. Green tech magnates, venture capitalists, and renewable energy company executives have a financial interest in this game, and contribute at least their fair share of plutocratic influence. When Prop. 23 was up last Nov. in CA, the opponents of the measure outspent the supporters 3-1. Much of this money came from the aforementioned interests, just like much oil money went to the Yes campaigners. While CA is not representative of the country at large, this would imply that the game of plutocracy, green plutocracy taken into account, does not have the carbon-cappers backed into a corner. They may even be winning that struggle.

    As for the seeming implication that the message of catastrophic-warmists finds little hearing in the corporate media, I beg to differ. Every time we have a hot summer- global warming. Just read the papers; they’ll tell you as much. Whenever we have an especially snowy winter- global warming. The papers will dutifully print the news. We don’t even get to have *seasons* anymore- everything that can be grist for the mill is instead global warming. The willingness of the media to print the case of warmists is so extreme as to furnish ludicrous examples… from narwhals suffocating:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8972000/8972021.stm
    to no more Olympic Games:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/30/olympics-tokyo-environment-idUSLU38985020090930
    —————————————————-
    All the best,
    Mark

  • Carrie

    If you enjoy learning about Dr. Alley (featured in Earth: The Operators’ Manual”) and his studies, you might be interested in some of these other videos and interviews with the renowned scientist. Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/h8EY6q
    Take care.
    - Carrie

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