Common Climate Misconceptions
An argument frequently used by those skeptical of the role of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in modern temperature increases is that warming is caused by the Sun.
At first glance, it seems to make intuitive sense: the Sun is a massive nuclear fusion reactor a million times larger than Earth, it is responsible for almost all the energy reaching our plant, and in the past few decades scientists have learned that solar activity varies significantly over time. Surely it must have a larger impact on our changing climate than a gas that comprises only a small fraction of our atmosphere?
The nation’s newspaper editorial pages used Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s mid-May climate change speech in Oregon to vent, pro and con, on the Arizona Senator’s policy prescription. A sampling of the commentaries, drawn from the climate change reporting database maintained by Environmental Health Sciences.
Cap-and-trade policies entered the environmental reporting lexicon in the early 1990s, when the United States established them as a strategy for reducing acid rain emissions. Now cap-and-trade is part of the national dialogue again, this time as a proposed strategy to slow climate change.
For reporters experienced or not, writing about such an abstract policy – it sounds more like the stock market than anything else – makes it necessary to review what it means and what it tries to accomplish.
As bookshelves increasingly sag with climate change books, it would be hard to find one more useful to journalists than Robert Henson’s The Rough Guide to Climate Change, recently issued in a second, revised edition.
The book, first published in 2006, is an engaging and comprehensive primer that veteran environmental or science reporters and global warming neophytes alike could benefit from reading – or simply having nearby as a ready reference.
CAMBRIDGE, MA. – Media veterans experienced in covering war zones and science are finding the climate change beat as difficult and mentally taxing a reporting job as they have ever had.
That was an overarching theme from a panel of journalists gathered at Harvard University April 30 to discuss “Covering a Changing Climate.”
President Bush, well into what is widely seen as his lame-duck period, last month proposed his administration’s first concrete plans to cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Policy makers and many in the news media appear to have largely written-off the proposal as too little, too late, in effect saying it would amount to further delay rather than serious action.
A series of domestic and global developments are increasing the impact of climate change on the banking and financial industry and reporters covering those beats.
The changes are under way notwithstanding growing pressures from the sagging economy and real estate foreclosures.