News Numbness

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

I read a lot of news. Seriously,  a lot of news. Hours a day. And after a while you get numb to certain things.

It is potentially dangerous. The things you stop noticing because you have heard them so much have real effects. But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to stay engaged on topics that get heavy coverage.

And I can’t imagine that this doesn’t effect lower level news consumers as well. The biggest stories will get beaten to death to the point that even a casual observer stops paying attention mid story.

What brought that this to mind today is the echo chamber of the far right around climate change. When it snows, the far right starts screeching that climate change must be a lie. I am not sure if it is a willful ignorance about the difference between short term weather and long term climate or if it is intentional deception to pander to industries that oppose action to reduce climate change. What it clearly is though, is very very predictable. I barely even noticed the articles related to it because I am numb to the noise about it. It took Chris Hayes covering the topic to make me notice how numb I had gotten to it.

And I can’t be the only one. Which is dangerous. There is a huge risk that if we stop paying attention the anti-science crowd will try to seize even more power.