A recent “kerfuffle,” as a headline writer for FOXNews.com termed it, once again underscored the influence of the blogosphere’s echo chamber – and just how quickly it can spread bad information.
The American Physical Society, APS, last month saw fit to “reaffirm” its official position on climate change after a flurry of online reports and comments erroneously stated that the group had reversed its 2007 stance that humans are causing global warming and that greenhouse emissions should be lowered.
Opinion polls are fueling politicians and candidates to push for more U.S. offshore oil drilling, with the media looking on intently.
Since the issue became a political focal point in May and June, polling has been relentless: Zogby. Rasmussen. Field. Gallup. Quinnipiac. CNN. Bloomberg. The list goes on. All point to an increasing public desire to lift a moratorium on more domestic drilling.
Some of the beats most likely to provide the best platforms for newspaper coverage of climate change are doing worse than other news categories in the increasingly competitive newsroom – garnering less space as newspapers continue grappling with endemic economic woes.
War-related metaphors are now common in the rhetoric of climate change activism. We need a “Manhattan Project” for clean energy, a “Marshall Plan” for green action.
Or maybe, we need just plain war. Think of Al Gore’s first ad in his $300 million Alliance for Climate Protection TV campaign, which flashed images of the Normandy invasion. “We didn’t wait for someone else” to fight, it read.
“This was not a debate or argument, but a chance to ask questions.”
That’s how veteran WDIV-TV, Detroit, meteorologist Paul Gross summed-up a recent American Meteorological Society four-day Denver, Co., conference bringing TV weathercasters and climate scientists together for information sharing.
On June 27, The Independent in London ran a story that read “Exclusive: No Ice at the North Pole.”
The headline was off on two counts: there was nothing exclusive about the story, and it’s premature to say the North Pole is ice-free.
Andrew C. Revkin, in his DotEarth blog for The New York Times, reported as much when he posted a piece later in the day about what’s going on with Arctic sea ice, who’s tracking the changes and how the media are covering it.
Common Climate Misconceptions
With all the attention surrounding carbon dioxide these days, it is easy to forget that there are a number of other important natural and human-driven factors (“forcings” in climate circles) that influence Earth’s climate.