I've only recently come across interview with New York Times reporter Brooke Gladstone about the media and global warming. Interesting reading - includes fact that it's a big issue, with long time scale, barely suited to frontpage headlines: can get frontpage news, but may be wrong if saying Hurricane Katrina, say, is definite result of warming. Also, get tendency for media to aim for "balance" - showing there's debate, when really, the scientific consensus is that global warming is very real. (Occurs to me that it's a bit like debating the pros and cons of bestiality or something; just because a few people may be in favour doesn't mean there's a real debate about morals of it.) Quotes from Gladstone include:
when you look at the near term, there's been a lot of melting, a lot of strange things going on with the sea ice that they can't ascribe this particular year to our influence on the climate system. They know it's contributing to change but there's enough variability in the Arctic that you can't make a slam dunk case. So that's a nightmare for the media. You know, my editors -- the one thing that makes them glaze over immediately is the word "incremental". That's like, at The Times, and I'm sure any other newsroom, that's a death sentence for a story. And global warming is kind of like the Social Security and national debt of the environment. It's there, we all recognize it's some kind of big bad thing, but it's always kind of a "someday, somewhere story."
Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/12/14 14:42