The French Perspective

TV5 MondeTV5 Monde, the French television channel available on U.S. cable, had an excellent short program about disasters in California. Television news media tends to cover stories with engaging visuals; hurricanes provide dramatic visual images of homes underwater and high winds. Chronic disasters, such as drought and famine, tend to be under-reported. The result is the public often does not appreciate that human losses and economic damages arising from such disasters often exceed those of hurricanes and earthquakes, for example.

This particular program did an excellent job of highlighting the devastation caused by the drought in California, particularly its impacts on central part of the state, where the economy is based on agriculture. Sandwiched between two areas of extreme wealth – Silicon Valley to the north and Hollywood to the south, the challenges of central California have profound implications, particularly as most major crops grown in that area stock supermarkets across the U.S. If you missed the broadcast, you can see the program online.

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