There is yet more for us to fear. The burden that debt puts upon the developing world endangers us all in an even more fundamental way. It threatens the air we breathe, the food we eat, the survival of our species. It poses a threat to our very planet.
The strong and vocal presence of the religious Right, with its emphasis on family values and sexual politics, and the virtual absence of any discussion of the environment in the recent U.S. elections, causes one to wonder how much importance religions place on the environment as a moral and spiritual issue. The reports keep pouring in that we are altering the climate and toxifying the air, water, and soil so that the health of humans and other species is at risk.
Arabic-language news network Al-Jazeera has been a hotly contested entity since it first began broadcasting in 1996. Now reaching over 40 million viewers, this Qatar-based and government-funded broadcaster now rivals CNN and the BBC as one of the most influential television news outlets in the world. Due to the attacks of September 11 and the increasingly strained relations between the United States and the Arab world, Al-Jazeera’s status has come under scrutiny—more so in the United States than anywhere else. Famously derided by George W. Bush as “the mouthpiece of Osama bin Laden,” Al-Jazeera has come to be regarded as a distinctly partisan source for news coverage because of its critical treatment of both the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the occupation of Iraq.