.Roots of the Tree of News: Our Impact on the World Goes Beyond Headlines

As I survey the news, no matter what the source—CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera or anywhere else—it occurs to me that the center of 85% of the news stories are due to just one thing. From the micro: housing/homelessness, water scarcity, farmers and Ag competing with National Park directives … to the macro: jobs, housing, good schools, immigration, food scarcity, climate change/water supplies … pick your own and see if the model fits. The roots of almost every story can be found in one place.

Although, in my observations of news reporting, I can’t remember when the reporter of the story du jour included this reason and pointed to the natural causality. Human beings have basically taken over the planet as a dominant species, and with the use of tools such as the ones invented by Remington and Colt, we have basically killed off all our “natural” predators and a hell of a lot more than that, one could argue … and for dubious value I, for one, could argue; but I digress. The word “infestation” comes to mind.

The rain forests are being clear-cut … for what? Right, farms. Water systems cannot meet the demands placed on them because more people are being added to the denominator yearly. And people are living longer, which compounds the duration of already-stressed resources. Oceans are being fished to the point of extinction, and a new, rotated fish found on plates can be seen in stores every five years or so. Thirty-five years ago, no person walking the earth would have kept a talapia and eaten it, unless under duress.

Demand on land for housing has caused people to leave the Bay Area because they can’t raise their kids with a backyard and a park down the street. Hello? Anyone see a trend here besides me? Sadly, I suspect that people do not think. They don’t think that one child can be an exponential taxation on the world for generations. Know any families with four kids, how about six, nine kids? I do. Is anyone thinking about our impact on the world in which we live? Or are we just planning to let Musk and all those other guys find us another planet to screw up?

Joseph Brooke lives in Point Reyes Station.
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