Kos told me DK ‘cares’ about the environment.
That care is proving to be worthless.
PeterOlandt recently published a ‘barn burner’ of a diary calling out DK for its abject failure in covering the WORLDWIDE climate rallies this past weekend.
This diary is a response to his and if you have not read his, I’d suggest you do. My intention is to both support, as well as reach outside of the scope of what Peter addressed in his post.
I’ll start with the comment I left for his post:
“All issues are interconnected and the War in Ukraine is not taking place in a petri dish. Deciding that when the environment is correctly identified as the penultimate of issues, that it threatens the attention other issues deserve, is a defensive maneuver to excuse the neglect climate has been suffering — not just on this site, but globally. And the answer is indeed to ‘walk and chew’. Not covering the environmental rallies speaks to deeper issues of denial and cognitive dissonance on the part of DK and it shares kinship with the FF Industry which can’t change course even though their agenda is insuring their own destruction. DK’s own existence is of course threatened by environmental collapse, but, ironically the bigger threat here is that made to DK’s ‘business as usual’ comfort zone. At this point DK suffers from a form of split personality, every bit as dangerous as the profound bipolar condition of the American political system. The bottom line is that the climate rallies should have been extensively covered by DK as part of the leading political issue of our times. By not doing so, DK crosses the line and enables the agenda of the FF industries, wealth interests, corporations and corruption. It is time for everyone on this site to do some deep soul searching.”
I’ve listened to my own advice and accept the fact that in many ways and for a variety of reasons, this was not just a failure across the board, but a personal failure on my part, on a number of fronts. First, there was nothing stopping me from either writing a diary about it or reaching out to see if anyone else was. To make matters worse, I thought of doing so a couple times, but didn’t follow up as I was at work on other diaries and allowed distraction to undermine me.
I’ve mentioned recently that I have come to see the Climate Community as a loose confederation of individuals, each working on their own with limited inter-community coordination. That we need to try to improve this, is made clear by our insufficient coverage of the climate rallies. Better teamwork will be essential in the face of mounting environmental collapse. This was a missed opportunity and I am not happy about dropping the ball. That said, with the exception of boatsie, La Feministra, M.B. ,SninkyPoo and various commenters here and there, I don’t know of others in our group that got the word out.
There is the possibility that many were waiting for someone else to step up, in which case this was an organizational failing. Each of us had our own reasons, valid or not for remaining silent and each of us can benefit from self-reflection.
Although those writing about climate are part of the much larger Daily Kos community, we are all volunteers and sacrifice rather than profit from our efforts. For this reason, I think Peter was justified in taking DK management to task for failing to organize any level of coverage, let alone a proper level of coverage of these rallies.
This dereliction is made more glaring because, as Peter pointed out, DK could have simply run AP coverage.
The environment seems to remain shut outside of some sort of ‘pay wall’ mentality that maintains a firm grip on the ‘anti-climate’ side of DK.
Although that phrase may seem harsh and unjustified, it unfortunately ‘stuck to the wall’ when I tossed it, because at this point you’re either ‘solution’ or ‘problem’ and the non-climate side of DK has become a problem (a long time ago).
While I have always chalked this disconnect up to denial and cognitive dissonance, in these circumstances, this particular neglect alludes to obstructions that are outside of those boundaries. At this critical point, especially after what we have witnessed this summer, this failure steps over negligence and walks right up to the edge of —conflicting interests? — while raising very uncomfortable questions.
We are witnessing environmental collapse and the potentially imminent extermination of our species — now writ large by El Niño, for all the world to see. That Peter and I should still be trying to bring this to the attention of DK, so that it can fulfill its mandate by aggressively pursuing environmental political action, is beyond surreal and laps on the shores of insanity.
What exactly is it that the rest of you don’t get, and what has happened to leadership decision making on this site?
A day later, Peter composed an appeal to the readership on DK to help raise environmental traction on the sight. www.dailykos.com/...
In he stated this:
“In the past, Kos has stated that running stories on Climate Change has not been popular enough with readers to justify continued paid staff focusing on it. He has essentially said that we as a readership will need to force him to cover it. (I am currently unable to locate the reference, I’m happy to retract the statement if wrong but if someone can find it please let me know). Frankly, Daily Kos is a business and this business is run by clicks, posts, time on stories, and other metrics showing readership engagement in order to sell advertisement.
Some of us have appealed directly to Kos before to rectify the situation. His response has been one of business.”
In comments someone suggested that: “I think he is taking Kos’ words about “make me do it” to heart, not as a negative thing, but as a rally-the-team to show interest.”
My response to that was:
“Under our present on site circumstances, that would appear to be a very helpful and constructive take on Kos’ intention to help, by getting Climate Diaries to generate more hits and raise our profile to ‘make Kos’ embrace this cause. On another level, it is nothing short of ludicrous, in the situation we are now in, to give business models the last word in determining our fate. In an emergency, drastic things need to be done and old ways of problem solving, along with rules and precedent need to be radically revised, and at times bypassed and even relegated to the dust bin. The fate of Daily Kos rests on it ability to ‘bend like a reed’ and ‘think outside the box’. Waiting, with so little time left, for us to ‘make him do it’ is neither.”
Climate diaries will always finish last in the ‘swimsuit competition’ and I fear that Peter’s appeal to the DK community for help raising the climate profile, will fall on deaf ears until more reader’s are driven to confronting the environment out of the fear El Niño is generating. But denial is a resilient and resourceful adversary, so progress to this end remains slow.
I totally understand that Kos needs to stay focused on the profitability of DK so that it will survive. Kos is heavily ‘invested’ in DK as his life’s work, and his site-centrism is normal — or was until ‘normal’ got shredded by environmental collapse and is in no longer verified by reality. However, when his DK prioritized focus blocks out intel about this much more serious threat, which by its very nature overrides financial considerations, business prioritizing becomes wrong headed and switches from sustaining to undermining. I have a very high regard for Kos and what he has achieved and that guides me here. At some point, I have every expectation that Kos will come to understand the true nature of the actual threat he is facing, but he will have to arrive at fuller realization of how profoundly the world is changing due to climate collapse. He needs to get past seeing it as a threat to his ‘normal’ and adjust his ‘modus operandi’ if he is to have any chance of saving Daily Kos. The only way left to save DK now, is by helping to save Gaia. And so far this site disconnect is impeding that goal.
While a relative handful of us are living with the realization that we are terrifyingly short of time, we are haunted by the spectra of vanishing opportunity, while facing the prospects of being royally screwed. From this perspective, it is maddening to observe that most of this sight continues to live in a fools paradise.
Peter is not the only one questioning why he is still wasting his time at this site. But the reality is that demographically DK is no different when it comes to climate denial than the rest of the planet.
‘Here is as bad as anywhere else’, should not be a valid reason for staying, or so says Voltaire.
For a site that prides itself on being ‘progressive’ this is shameful. It turns Kos’s ‘care’ into a hollow assurance, making it little different from the ‘self-greening’ promises of corporations.
My reference to Kos in my title comes from this quote he left to one of my dairies:
“What I will say, however, is that doesn't mean the community doesn't care about the environment. It's actually the opposite-they don't need to read another story about the climate crisis to know there's a climate crisis. They already get it. So they skip the stuff that already fits their worldview, because there's nothing left to add to it.” Kos
This ‘caring’ indifference is driving a wedge into Daily Kos and splitting it into two polarized factions. www.dailykos.com/...
It’s all very well and good to criticize the divisiveness of the Rethug party, but that makes it doubly important to recognize divisive behavior at home and try to address it constructively. I have made numerous attempts to address this disconnect over the last couple of years and PeterOlant has weighed in before as well — very cogently and with fortunately more of a following.
Judging from the abysmal reporting on the climate rallies and the general lack of response to the terrifying destruction of El Niño, the ‘anti-climate camp’ is responding by digging deeper trenches and doubling down. For a progressive liberal website, this is a highly regressive and conservative response, right out of the Rethug playbook. Changing this seems to be anathematic here and the failure to cover the rallies suggests that it is now so endemic to the ‘political’ side of the site, it makes me fearful that this ‘freeze’ won’t melt until long after Antarctica is gone.
What I find even more disturbing, is that it mirrors the refusal of the Big Business power structure to accept the reality of environmental collapse and change, despite the fact that it is in their own best interest to do so.
As they charge on, blinded by profit and precedent, so does the majority of DK, but for reasons that while less sorted out, may, I fear, be just a difference of degree