Americans since 1896 have tracked the economy’s health with the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Now, a climate policy expert working for an investment firm thinks it is time for a climate change average. It would be based on a wide range of data scientists are keeping on oceans, temperatures, permafrost, the atmosphere, storm trends, and more. The information would be synthesized into a daily number called the Global Climate Change Index, or GCCI.
How the number would emerge is still unclear, but the most optimistic view is that the number could rattle off the tongues of news announcers, roll out in websites, appear in its own spot in newspapers, and perhaps flash above Times Square like Deutsche Bank’s carbon counter.
Environmental News in the Digital Age
Tracy Davis vividly remembers her reaction when she got word nearly a year ago that The Ann Arbor News, where she worked for nine years, primarily covering the environment, was closing.
“I stood there with my mouth open for an hour.” With the closing of The News, the town of 114,667, home to The University of Michigan, became the largest market in the country to lose its only daily newspaper. It now has only an online newspaper. The online version goes to hard copy twice a week for delivery to subscribers.
... and moves to Times' opinion side
It took longer than he had thought it might, but by the end of March, former New York Times science reporter Andrew C. Revkin had secured his new position with the “opinion side” of the online Times while maintaining his new “communicator” position with Pace University and embarking on a new opinion-writing role with the newspaper’s Dot Earth blog, which he had started.
“Don’t expect momentous changes,” Revkin said in his final post to the original Dot Earth blog format before setting out with what he called the site’s “new iteration.”
“I’m not going to suddenly be revealed as an ardent liberal or conservative,” he wrote, but rather as an advocate … “for reality.” By his count, he had overseen some 940 blogs at the original Dot Earth site.
However One Slices It ... A Warming World
In the aftermath of the recent hacked e-mails affair, much opprobrium has been cast in the direction of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.
In part the result of confusion over the meaning of the now notorious “hide the decline” remark, some assume that the global temperature record produced jointly by CRU and the Hadley Centre is of dubious quality.
Fox News, for instance, recently ran an article with the alarming headline, “NASA Data Worse Than Climate-Gate Data, Space Agency Admits“, referring to an e-mail obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute under the Freedom of Information Act. In that e-mail, one of the lead scientists behind NASA’s GISSTemp temperature series suggested that the Hadley and CRU approach might be superior.
What's in a Word?
|Can thoughtful climate lexicon avoid the kind of rhetorical congestion that has so far framed the climate debate?
As the ‘Climategate’ controversy has sent the science and policy community back to the communications drawing board, it’s a good time to return to earlier works on global climate change, or if you like, global warming, or the greenhouse effect, or even the carbon dioxide problem.
The reasons for inaction at the national and international levels are many and complex, but certainly challenges with the language used have contributed to the political deadlock. The situation has implications for how we move forward in the necessary task that our inaction makes more urgent each day: climate change adaptation.
One Constant Remains ... The 'Wow!' Factor
A 3-D spinning globe on the new website TakePart tells a compelling story about the tremendous impacts of climate change.
The graphic is part of an online feature explaining climate science. The globe, the centerpiece of the feature, can be spun with a click of your mouse. Moving the slider below whirls you through the years 1950-2050, as glaciers vanish, ice caps dwindle and portions of the Amazon turn to dust.
|Linking global climate science experts and media electronically.
Several months ago, Stacy Jackson, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, had one of those good ideas that most of us set aside and never act on because they require a bit too much work.
But Jackson decided to follow through. What emerged was a unique, successful experiment in connecting reporters with scientists to help them accurately cover science issues underlying negotiations at last December’s Conference of the Parties meeting in Copenhagen.
Hundreds of scientists would ultimately get involved, helping nearly 27 media outlets get their facts straight.