Every day the news gets worse. Millions of people are displaced by record-breaking heatwaves and droughts, violent mega-storms and flash floods. Unprecedented wildfires burn out of control, scorching massive tracts of forest and brush, and plunging nearby urban metropolises into surreal scenes of mid-afternoon darkness. Meanwhile, scientists solemnly inform us that marine life could be wiped out by mid-century, as the oceans continue to be gradually transformed from vibrant areas of rich biodiversity into the plastic-filled graveyards of industrial civilization. Try as we might… the consequences of our consequence-free lifestyles are becoming harder and harder to ignore.
The glaciers in Alaska alone are losing an estimated 75 billion tons of ice every year. The oceans, which absorb over 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouses gases in the atmosphere, are warming and acidifying, melting the polar ice caps and resulting in rising sea levels and oxygen-starved ocean dead zones.
It’s almost two years since BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, scientists say they have found deformities among seafood and a great decline in the numbers of marine life. Dahr Jamail reports from New Orleans.
The new film is a powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of ’embedded’ and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq. As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an ‘electronic battlefield’ in which journalists play a key role, and civilians are the victims. But who is the real enemy?
by Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld t r u t h o u t (see photos by Erika Blumenfeld)
Sunday 22 August 2010
The scene is post-apocalyptic. Under a grey sky, two families play in the surf just off the beach in Grand Isle, Louisiana. To get to the beach, we walk past a red, plastic barrier fence that until very recently was there to keep people away from the oil-soaked area. Now, there are a few openings that beach goers can use. The fence is left largely intact, I presume, for when they will need to close the beach again when the next invasion of BP’s oil occurs.
A father jokingly throws sand at his little boy who laughs while dodging it. This, against a background of oil rigs and platforms looming in the Gulf. In the foreground, littering the beach, are tar balls. We stroll through the area, eyeing even more tar balls that bob lazily underwater, amidst sand ripples in the shallows … they are in the same location where the father sits, grabbing handfuls of sand to toss near his son.
Interview with Dahr Jamail, award-winning, independent journalist and author of “Beyond The Green Zone” and his most recent book “The Will To Resist” and website “Mideast Dispatches”. Interviewed by Cindy Piester with PULSE TV. Discuss Ft. Hood, Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers’ resistance and U.S. foreign policy including Obama administration. Produced by Maverick Media and filmed at CAPS TV Channel 6 in Ventura, CA on Nov. 9, 2009.
Dahr Jamail, one of the few unembedded journalists to report extensively from Iraq during the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation. Jamail is the recipient of the 2008 The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.