Environmental changes have emerged as one of the greatest threats to nearly every living thing that has established itself on planet earth. In recent years, plants and animals have begun migrating to areas with higher elevations as a mechanism to adapt to these biotic changes, most notably climate change. They inherently understand circumstances have put them in a position where adaptation is critical to the survival of their species. Through this understanding, these animals have been forced to migrate accordingly, setting their sights on the North.

For a long time, we as humans have forced environments to adapt to our own standards. However, larger problems such as sea level rise, water scarcity, and ocean acidification have put us in an opposite position. Similar to other organisms on Earth, we must now adapt to an increasingly foreign world where a new climate is disturbing ecological systems at a rate that is out of our control.

Our new campaign, MoveNorth, is a metaphor for the the current situation our society has found itself in. We are at a turning point where current societal tendencies must be reevaluated in order to create a prosperous future for ourselves, our children, and the natural world we inhabit.

As avid outdoor enthusiasts, we find it important to understand the constant threats and problems associated with our environment. Everything we do has an impact and we believe knowledge is the most important tool we can provide to our followers. Due to the lack of action taken by those in charge of policy, our hope is to encourage critical thought and affect personal decisions made throughout everyday life.

This website will act as a platform to curate examples of adaptation, the drastic problems involved, and the leaders who are working towards change. The campaign will provide a resource to help people better understand the contributing factors and how we as a species can work towards a solution.

 

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A Writer’s Intent In An Age of Information

Benjamin Bloom, March 25, 2015

Everybody finds their news from different sources. We live in an age where the Internet makes nearly unlimited information accessible in a matter of seconds. At a glance, one would come to the conclusion that every citizen with a desire to be properly informed could and should be. However, popularized media outlets with a variety of bias’ have created a system where individuals can essentially pick the news they WANT to hear. People form internal rankings of news sources in terms of how seriously they will take them. For example, those who have liberal political ideologies tend to pay more attention to news outlets such as Huffington Post, MSNBC and The New York Times while those with conservative ideologies veer towards Fox News, Wall Street Journal and New York Post. Bias is not an inherently bad thing and it is very tough to be objective, especially when presenting issues and events that you are passionate about, but the political slants that mass media outlets have included in their reporting of the news has polarized much of the nation to the point where people take sides with news channels as if they are sports teams. This isn’t an unintended effect of reporting the news. Media outlets are, first and foremost, businesses with an ultimate goal of making money. In order to make the most amount of money, by way of selling ad space, they have identified target audiences and do their best to appeal to beliefs held by these people.

 

In addition to the bias’ perpetuated by how outlets present current issues, the increasing concentration of media ownership has led to a situation where six corporations (Viacom, Disney, GE, NewsCorp, Time Warner, and CBS) control 90% of what we read, watch, or listen to. Media consolidation is troubling because it leads to less local control, fewer outlets offering different viewpoints, and less ownership diversity. For example, if there is a solution to an issue that would result in the betterment of society at the expense of large corporations, a media system controlled by a few large corporations could greatly influence the debate and propagate the viewpoint that will benefit them rather than the average citizen. For example, a documented case of media companies using their broadcasting power to their own benefit is when newspaper owners influenced citizens to move towards Nebraska, Kentucky, and the Dakotas during westward expansion. These owners, who had stakes in the land that was to be sold to, were also close allies of railroad companies. They significantly oversold the agricultural capabilities of land in those states in order to make a profit on train tickets and property sales and at one point even propagated the outrageous idea that “rain follows the plow.” I think it would be foolish to believe that owners of media outlets aren’t making similar moves in order to financially benefit in today’s world.

 

I wanted this to be the first post in MoveNorth because it is imperative that an educated population be at least slightly critical of the news they read. Understanding the intent and purpose of authors and the companies that distribute news is just as important as digesting the facts that are presented within it. This allows readers to question whether their opinions are based on their own critical thinking, or the opinions of the writers and presenters. I implore you to do the same when reading anything on MoveNorth. We will be presenting environmental and social issues, current events, and the opinions of our staff writers. Our primary posts [or title of what our primary posts will be called] will be written using information found in scientific articles and will be cited at the end of the post and our opinion pieces will represent the views and beliefs our staff writers have adopted through schooling, personal experience, and critical digestion of media.

 

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