Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning
In a May 3 New York Times editorial, "Drilling, Disaster, Denial," Paul Krugman points to a Gallup poll which found: "Americans are now less worried about a series of environmental problems than at any time in the past 20 years" --- a finding mirrored by surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center which revealed that the percentage of Americans who believe "there is solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades," had dropped from 71% in April 2008 to 57% in September/October 2009.
After pointing to the catastrophic events --- the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and the fire atop a polluted Cuyahoga River --- which gave rise to the first Earth Day in 1970, the Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency, Krugman suggested that the success alleviating "visible pollution" that was involved in these "photogenic crises" led to reduction in public concern for the less visible impact "of pollution that's invisible, and whose effects unfold over decades rather than days" --- an invisibility which opened the way for hard-right, denialist, anti-environmental propagandists like Rush Limbaugh to succeed.
While there is empirical data supporting Krugman's suggestion of an adverse impact of anti-environmental propaganda, often funded by the likes of Exxon-Mobil and others in or connected to the fossil fuel industry, Krugman's analysis falls short because he fails to examine the role of the mainstream corporate media, especially television, in fostering the invisibility he decries...
--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---