A Few Very Worthwhile Minutes Catching Recent Broadcasts

Public radio’s ‘This American Life’ and two CBS News segments provided valuable coverage of climate change in the past few days, and all three of the stories are well worth watching for those who may have missed them.

If you weren’t glued to your TV set or to your local public radio station over the past “unofficial start of summer”/Memorial Day weekend, you may have missed some climate change broadcasts well worth your catching. You can still do so online.

A two-minute prologue to the “This American Life” public radio three-part series, hosted by Ira Glass, opens with the observation that the national dialogue on climate change long has been “stuck.” It offers some hope that things “might change” and tries to substantiate that claim with three longer segments, individually running 18, 15, and 18 minutes.

The first segment features independent radio reporter Julia Kumari Drapkin explaining how Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken’s views and willingness to comment on human-caused climate change have evolved over the years. Drapkin has just concluded an innovative crowd-sourcing public radio news project. The second segment relates the experiences of U.S. Republican Congressman Bob Inglis of South Carolina,  and his current efforts to win support among political conservatives and former Republican colleagues for seriously addressing climate change. The third deals with the divestment campaign being headed by climate activist and author Bill McKibben.

No further details here on the series … it would be like taking a picture of a painting of an etching of a sculpture … the original is well worth your experiencing for yourself at the link above. Just do it.

That holds true also for the CBS’s Sunday, May 26 “Meet the Press” program hosted by veteran CBS reporter Bob Schieffer. The program devoted the second half of its broadcast to a panel discussion on climate change and the recent and ongoing spate of weather anomalies. American Meteorological Society President Marshall Shepherd, who teaches at the University of Georgia, joined Climate Central Senior Climatologist Heidi Cullen, Time magazine Editor-at-Large Jeffrey Klueger, and Miami meteorologist David Bernard, of WFOR-TV for that segment. The full segment is available online.

CBS’ evening news program, hosted by Scott Pelley, on May 28 aired a segment profiling the work of two young photographers, Jonathan Myers and Ned LeBlond. Their “Alpine of the Americas” project seeks to provide “a visual way” to communicate the impacts of climate change.

“We’re helping scientists tell the story,” LeBlond told CBS News’ Dean Reynolds. He  explained with Myers how they photograph sites from the same locations they were photographed from decades ago, showing the impact of a warming climate.

Rolling his eyes, LeBlond says “the graphs, the charts, the math, the language are incomprehensible to so many people.” Watching this segment might be among the most valuable two minutes-twenty-one seconds you’ll spend on climate communications issues this week because, as CBS’s Dean Reynolds concludes, “Seeing is believing.”

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