Citing frighteningly infrequent sightings and wanton devastation of its natural habitat, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified the American nuance as “endangered” on its Red List of Threatened Species.

Unless conservation efforts are made to stem the disappearance of the American nuance (Nuba americana) from the national conversation, officials with IUCN estimate the shy, colorful creature could become extinct in the next few decades.

“It’s becoming increasingly rare to find American nuance in the wild,” said Frank Hawkins, director of IUCN’s Washington, DC, office. “It’s vanishing at an alarming rate. If nothing is done to help save it and its environment, American nuance could be extinct by the year 2050.”

Hawkins blamed the loss of nuance on several factors, including cable news and social media, which have drastically altered the American landscape over the past few decades.

“The nuance is quickly running out of places to abide in America, primarily because the nuance’s main food source, the American attention span, has all but been wiped out,” Hawkins explained. “The internet and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, with their limited character capacity and viral videos, have taken a severe toll on what was already a limited American attention span, without which the nuance has no chance to thrive.”

He added, “Moreover, an even bigger culprit in the destruction of nuance’s habitat is this country’s cable news industry. Nuance simply cannot survive in an environment replete with sound bites, partisan hacks, and oversimplification of complicated issues.”

As a result, according to Hawkins, the American nuance has been displaced by the much more aggressive binary argument, which feeds on the plentiful absolutes and labels engendered by cable news.

Hawkins hopes the American public takes note of the plight of the nuance and makes a concerted effort to save it.

“Otherwise,” he maintained, “the American conversation will become black and white, devoid of all color and shades of gray.”

In the meantime, Hawkins said, there are a few sanctuaries in America where nuance still can be found, including public radio, PBS, and select newspapers.

Republished from The Red Shtick.


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