Disasters & Extreme Weather

Published on September 17th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

US Media Ignore Pakistan's Worst Disaster in Modern History

US Media Ignores Pakistans Worst Disaster. Global Warming

TIME magazine once gave us the photos that were painful to accept of the Vietnam War, so did our TVs, and Walter Cronkite. Due to these images, we rose up as a country to question the status quo. These days, the Great Pakistan Deluge happens, and what does TIME magazine do? Pull the story.

An “unprecedented” disaster in Pakistan’s modern history occurs, TIME — a once trusted and important source of national and global information — publishes it as its cover story everywhere else, but pulls it from the American version of the magazine, even though President Obama has repeatedly said that Pakistan is central to our own safety.

Is this a pattern in mainstream US media? Yes. Are the shades of suppression coming from a media dependent on selling the next drug with 20 side effects or a false sense of security, instead of supplying education on huge current events? Who knows? But they are coming from somewhere.

Pakistan is the sixth largest country in the world (in population), and also a major non-NATO ally of ours. We should be interested if these people are dealing with a deluge. 20% of it was flooded and how much attention and care did we give? As reported by Nathanial Gronewold of Climatewire on Scientific American:

The flooding witnessed in the Indus Valley is unprecedented in the country’s modern history and was caused by a combination of increasingly warm ocean water and a mysterious blockage of the jet stream, which drew warm, water-laden air north to Pakistan, over which it burst in sheets of raging liquid. If the floods that followed prove a harbinger of things to come, then they are a milestone in our experience of global warming, a big story in its own right.

As educator, commentator, and modern-day historian Juan Cole put it: “out of sight, out of mind.” He points out that the failure to report on this is also a threat to our own national security. It seems to be a trend in corporate media to control the news on global warming-related current events. Just act like it is in a different dimension where children and climate don’t matter.

Does it follow that we are lacking in empathy due to our complacency, a pre-condition for denial? More from Juan Cole’s discussion: “No rock concerts were organized to help Pakistani children sleeping on highways or in open fields infested with vermin. No sports events offered receipts to aid victims at risk from cholera and other diseases.” Beyond the consciousness of Americans are the happenings that lead to our future where complacency and accountability are issues that may only, but eventually, wake us when it is too late.

The UN secretary called it the worst disaster he had ever seen -– more terrible than the tsunami and the Haitian earthquakes. With about a 4% extra amount of water in the atmosphere (due, most definitely, to global warming), it is difficult to miss that that provides plenty of moisture for storms such as this. The prospects of these kinds of things happening again are only increasing.

Continue reading about the Great Pakistan Deluge and US media on the next page…






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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009.

Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity.

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  • @hn, I seriously doubt if u know what u talkin abt. U totally left the point, which is; why is there a blackout of info in the states? is it on purpose, and to what end?

  • But…. I knew there were floods in Pakistan even though Time magazine didn’t cover it. I don’t read Time magazine, and not everyone does. They are but one source among many.

    • @Gina: you knew there were floods, but how much did you know about it, how much coverage was this. this disaster was several times greater than Hurricane Katrina in many respects.

      & did you read the article? bcs it wasn’t only about TIME.

  • I don’t remember any country running to us after Katrina or any other national disaster(including 9-11)! I understand that we are compassionate Americans… but where dies it stop? You’re worried about Pakistan….when was the last time you took a look around you. We have millions of our own home less and jobless people walking the streets of America and you’re worried that we aren’t hand feeding the same country that habors Bin Laden. This country is falling apart at the seams and we better wake up; if it’s not already to latr!

    • @Kevin: we got a lot of help in those disasters. despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

    • Who says anything about “hand feeding” Pakistan? The very fact that Pakistan is such a volatile country in an unstable region of the world is all the more reason why the media needs to cover what is going on there – especially while such an unprecedented disaster is happening. Ignoring it has impact on this country that is “falling apart at the seams.” One reason for that, if it is true, is our ignorance of the world around us.

  • the people of pakistan wants to support the taliban so let the taliban support them in their time of need

    • @todd: this is definitely an over-generalization.

    • Oh? I wasn’t aware that you had met with ALL the Pakistanis in the world and got a hold of their affiliation with the doesn’t-even-exist-is-an-excuse-to-invade-a-country-harbouring-nuclear-weapons Taliban. But of course there was that small incident were the US illegally invaded Iraq because of there being weapons of mass destruction, killed several people, left the country in turmoil – but left Korea alone.Gee, what could the reason for that have been? cough-oil-cough

      Admit it, America kinda deserves to die. I mean, its understandable why so many would hate it. Besides being a great power consumer it has also almost destroyed/bombed many countries in the past. It has never IMPROVED the world. Only destroyed what it did not understand.

      And don’t find a justification for your own racism and passivity to so many people left scattered in Pakistan.We all know how you ‘Todds’ are.

  • hn

    Well, Pakistan want US money, also want to burn US flag, and pro Chinese brother. China is rich country now. China can take care Pakistan as little brother. It does not hard to understand.

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