The war in Ukraine has taken much of the attention of the media. The saturation coverage displays subservience to state power and omits many important aspects of the current crisis. This double issue of Left Turn features many pieces offering alternative perspectives and correcting for the media’s omissions. Additionally, the media are ignoring the other ongoing war against the planet we inhabit. In this issue, Aviva Chomsky’s essay deals with the looming climate catastrophe. The message of ecological crisis has as yet to make its way to the mainstream. Perhaps readers may think that it has. It has not, not in a critical way. When the media and politicians pay attention to climate emergency, they do so in a way that equates the status quo with the normal.
To convey the seriousness of the climate crisis, scientists have taken to civil disobedience. This April, Scientist Rebellion, a global movement of scientists, organized a wave of civil disobedience actions in more than 25 countries. A group of them were arrested after they chained themselves to a JPMorgan Chase building in Los Angeles to protest its financing of fossil fuels. One of them, Dr. Peter Kalmus, a NASA scientist, broke down in tears in a video pleading with people to take the issue seriously. “We’re going to lose everything,” he said. “And we’re not joking, we’re not lying, we’re not exaggerating.” The protests came after the release of the latest UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on 4 April that warned the planet is “firmly on track toward an unlivable world,” unless global greenhouse gas emissions peak no later than by 2025. The report “is a litany of broken climate promises,” said the UN’s Secretary General António Guterres. “It is a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unlivable world.” If we cannot avoid the looming ecological catastrophe, nothing else we do matters.