Reply To: Global warming a tough issue for the media

Martin W

    New York Times environment reporter Andrew Revkin has blog post asking if words can lead to action needed to combat climate change
    Cites email from Tom Lowe, a research associate at the Center for Risk and Community Safety in Melbourne, Australia, inc:

    In the absence of physical evidence that something bad is going to happen, people tend to ‘wait and see.’

    A common reaction to this stand-off is for risk communicators to shout louder, to try and shake some sense into people. This is what I see happening with the climate change message. The public are on the receiving end of an increasingly distraught alarm call. The methods used to grab attention are so striking that people are reaching a state of denial.

    also says:

    Another troublesome trait is the tendency to normalize a bad situation.

    Various responses; I posted:

    Words are vital in the climate fight.

    Vital partly to counter righties such as Inhofe, and their obfuscation. I today had short email correspondence w someone who wrote to me that he wasn’t sure carbon is leading to warming – figures it could be sun cycle. This, I reckon, stems from info from sceptics brigade, but not scientists.

    I shall ever remember someone (editor at major magazine – which can help shape opinion, but has even run piece saying why warming will be good for us [!]) telling me, “I don’t believe in global warming; I’m a conservative.” [or something much like this]
    To me, mind boggling.

    Yet such views important, and – frustrating though it is given the science – it’s crucial to keep on with counter arguments.

    Images important too, of course: a starving, skeletal polar bear on small ice floe among saddest I’ve yet seen.
    Yet must also show that warming is not just out there, someplace – which has been big factor in US I think. It’s where you are; it’s effects are gonna get larger, and will be everywhere; no one will be unaffected.

    “gonna” I’ve written here; not a normal word for me, a Brit.
    But words for the fight must be chosen, used with care, strategically. Here, I’m writing for blog in US – albeit highly erudite readership/contributors, some of whom may never say “gonna”.

    We need words to take this complex issue, and show key points. Greg Craven, in How It All Ends, has made a big contribution here – gone viral.
    Otherwise, can be well meaning, but too dull; and maybe lapse into jargon (AGW, ghg … – tho yes, this blog is for those who know).

    Indeed need this major issue to get coverage it deserves.

    Reading comments here, also need to cover as a global issue; here, I’m seeing US-centric views.

    As for me, I’ve blog/forum re warming (climate change, climate collapse…); ideas for documentary or two on the issue – we can all do what we can to get those words out.

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