Saturday, April 14, 2007

World Is Ending, Film at Eleven

I am on an email list maintained by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Periodically I receive an email newsletter with items related to sustainability issues--climate change, air and water pollution, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and so on. (If by chance you are interested in receiving this kind of news, you can sign up for the newsletter here.)

Each newsletter begins with a list of that issue's headlines. Here are the ten headlines from the latest edition:
--MBA Toolkit For CSR: Corporate Communications
--ConocoPhillips to push for mandatory emission curbs
--Roads 'good for the environment', says study
--Singapore summit seeks solutions for world's thirst
--Sustainability commitments and supply chains
--EPA Guides Top Industries on Energy-Saving Strategies
--Deforestation's effect on climate differs in North, South: study
--Global warming to slam world's poor, may unleash major species extinction
--Nestle reports on sustainable water use
--Honda and Toyota world's cleanest automakers
Seems to me this list is a striking illustration of the kind of amazing time we are living in. It's an era when relatively mundane news items like the first one (many business schools are now teaching courses on corporate communications) and the ninth one (Nestle is working to save water at their factories) can be sandwiched around an item like the eighth one--which describes a UN report predicting that, in the coming century, "billions of people will face water scarcity and hundreds of millions will likely go hungry, mainly in the poorest regions least to blame for spewing the fossil fuel pollution that is responsible for driving up temperatures" and that up to thirty percent of the world's species may also face extinction.

Am I crazy, or does a story like this maybe deserve a little more prominent placement in any reasonable news summary? Or have we become so inured to horrendous news that it doesn't even ring alarm bells any longer?

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