Environmental news – the black sheep of news circles

By Justin Blake

News, the art of keeping people informed. An industry constantly churning, never ceasing in the production of endless amounts of text and images, video and audio, newsletters and click through url’s. An advertisers delight with the emergence of online publishing and pay-per-click advertising. Business and finance, politics and health, even celebrity gossip (or court cases) has readers coming back for more. Environmental news however enjoys only a fraction of the readership, the black sheep of news circles. The ugly duckling shunned to the other end of the pond.

Blacktip shark - Justin Blake

So why don’t we read, follow and really get involved in environmental issues and campaigns? Why don’t we make a real difference? Is it too much effort? Not enough time in our busy lives? Is it the way it makes us feel guilty about destroying those coral reefs or that habitat for those winsome panda cubs?

Maybe, like the proverbial frog in the pan, we are getting used to the idea that we are destroying things. Some of us hear it every day; ‘first tiger shark shot as part of a cull’, ’10 animals that went extinct in 2013′, ‘sign this petition to save some animal somewhere far away’ or ‘write a letter to stop a store from selling live pets’.

The shifting baseline we are subjected to offers us the opportunity to shrug off the fact that we are, as everyone keeps telling us, impacting on our planet. We are over-fishing and we are culling animals crucial for our own health. For no good reason other than to find a culprit, appease the masses, to reduce bather anxiety, or make another buck. We hear it so often we are getting used to it – destroying the planet has become the norm.

Could the constant reminders actually encourage us to accept the fact and commit less time to thinking about it? Could the way that this kind of information is conveyed be the very basis of our seemingly collective indifference to the issues at hand?

Maybe it is just me, maybe what I see through my oft-jaded lenses has prescribed for me a skewed perspective. Perhaps there is a better way?

There is so much out there to celebrate, so much to see and so many amazing creatures to meet. Nature provides idiosyncrasies beyond our wildest dreams, crazy adaptations that even the smartest of the smart cannot explain.

I’m looking for a means to approach things differently, to look at the natural world from a different perspective. To share what is out there and maybe, one day, to find a real way of keeping some of what we still have.

Maybe we can continue going back to visit those innocuous, peculiar or mighty marvels some people have the passion and drive to dedicate their lives to understanding, and protecting.

There are so many people out there who celebrate what we have, love getting outdoors and seeing what people living conservation-oriented lives do. If you are one of these fortunate environmental enthusiasts then get in touch, write us your story, tell us some news (justin[at]biznews.com).

If you’re not familiar with our natural wonders then I urge you to get involved in environmental issues, share stories with friends and family, promote and talk about the wonders around us. It’s not too late, and there is a lot to share. If we each make just one or two small changes to our lives we can hold on to our natural heritage which, like it or not, is a part of each and every one of us. JB

Republished, with a few changes, from thisaquaticlife.com

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