May Day brought a climate blindside of sorts this year, and it didn’t come in the form of a freak snowstorm in the tropics.
On that day, a peer-reviewed study in the esteemed journal Nature predicted a temporary cooling of global temperatures for the next decade or so.
ABC News is planning a two-hour special this coming September depicting how top scientists, economists, and historians see the world in the year 2100.
“Experts say that unless we act now, the ‘perfect storm’ of population growth, resource depletion, and climate change could destabilize the world with catastrophic results,” says ABC News’ Earth 2100 website (emphasis in original).
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.”