(Not) connecting the dots

Since I’ve just mentioned that NPR is among the mainstream media outlets essentially ignoring Bernie Sanders and his presidential campaign, allow me to point out another sizable and ongoing omission by NPR that I’m also pretty sick of.

I was listening to Weekend Edition on NPR yesterday, when a story came up about the effect of Hurricane Katrina on Waveland, Mississippi. True to form, there was absolutely no linkage to climate change, which there should have been. As Ross Gelbspan wrote in 2005, Katrina’s real name should have been global warming. This glaring lack of identifying the root cause behind the continued suffering of not only Waveland, Mississippi, but also that entire region, was made even more ridiculously egregious when the story, which included one store owner who was wiped out by Katrina, goes on to report:

“Pinn reopened her gift shop in 2007, in the city’s other commercial area away from the beach. But the recession that took hold the following year walloped her business, and it closed in 2009. Pinn remained hopeful about coming back to Coleman Avenue, but then the BP oil spill happened.

“And a lot of people who were thinking about — that was about 4 1/2 years, about five, into the recovery — that just stopped a lot of growth that would have come in that point in time,” she says. “Just made everybody rethink it.”

Two years ago, Pinn and her husband moved to Illinois, where they have family.

LiLi Stahler Murphy served as an alderwoman in Waveland for eight of the past 10 years. She thinks the oil spill made a big difference in the trajectory of the city’s sluggish recovery.

“We had just opened our brand new fishing pier, and then the beach was closed for that whole summer,” Murphy says. “That, I thought, was going to be our real breakout summer. And that was rather disheartening and not our fault, but it is what it is, and it slowed us down a lot.”

Does NPR need formal written permission from the oil and gas industry before they’re willing to point out the irony here? The devastation of Katrina, whose strength was intensified by global warming, which is caused by the fossil fuel industry, is made even worse when BP (who are among the same bunch of crooks that caused the problem in the first place) dumps a ton of oil right back into the same area, forcing people to just give up and flee the state.

It would be funny. Except that it’s just sad. And complicit.

The audio of that story is below. The link to the NPR story is above.