From Cup Holders and Pick Up to … Lots More
Reporting on the auto industry, cars and trucks, used to mostly involve lots of detailed analysis of horsepower, pick up, handling, looks, and safety. The beat is broader and more complex now. Over the past few years, the issues and scope of coverage have expanded as the public’s interest in green cars has – excuse the pun – clearly accelerated.
The global warming question came about half way through the televised GOP debate in Des Moines, Iowa, in mid December, and several candidates didn’t like it.
“I would like to see a show of hands,” said debate moderator Carolyn Washburn, executive editor of the Des Moines Register. “How many of you believe global climate change is a serious threat and caused by human activity?”
Common Climate Misconceptions
Few climate change topics arouse more passion than the seemingly dry field of climate modeling.
Critics thunder that the models contain a “large element of subjectivity” with parameters “tweaked by those who operate the models” to achieve results that conform to scientists’ preconceptions. Some seem to think that these models simply represent a grandiose exercise in curve fitting, forecasting future climate based on the trend in temperatures over the past few decades.
Sure, climate change now has a more prominent place on the media agenda. But that doesn’t mean news organizations will always pay prominent attention – or any attention, for that matter – to the global warming angle in a given story.
Say the words “global warming” and “editorial cartoonist” in the same sentence, and most climate change wonks likely will conjure up the work of Tom Toles.
Since 2002 the successor and office holder to the legendary Herblock, Toles likely has penned more global warming editorial cartoons – and for that matter more environmental editorial cartoons – than any other editorial cartoonist.
It’s not the pitch itself that makes this newsworthy.
Nor are the “pitchees” here what deserves comment. Reporters get pitches all the time. Daily, hourly even.
Pitches are, after all, a reporter’s bread and butter, notwithstanding their complaints about getting so many of them. So keep them coming, they’ll acknowledge, and expect reporters to keep fussing about them … and to separate the voluminous chaff from the sparse wheat on their own.
BALI, Indonesia, December 10, 2007 – “What comes next?”
It’s a question that has haunted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 13th Conference of Parties.
Will the Bali talks result in a new global framework for tackling climate change? Will they lead to new commitments for a third compliance period for the Kyoto Protocol? An extended Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)?