Impacts. Mitigation. Adaptation. Politics. Economics. Food security. Public health.
Those are just some of the key elements that mix together in the broad region where concerns about climate change and agriculture intersect. It’s an area with ample, and untapped, opportunities for news reporting and analysis.
Surf your way to the U.K.-based Guardian‘s “10:10″ virtual newsroom and you’ll find a broad menu of climate change-related stories.
Reports scolding greenwashers; profiles of energy-saving pioneers; an update on butterfly migration and changing seasonal weather. In short, items that might fit comfortably on the pages of conventional “objective” news-gathering organizations.
But there’s a catch. “10:10″ is the media arm of a wider social campaign.
|Gardiner sees a climate change ‘perfect moral storm.’
SEATTLE, WA. — First it was a scientific debate. Then it became also an economic and policy challenge. Now climate change is becoming a moral storm. Or maybe it always has been.
University of Washington associate professor and author Stephen M. Gardiner believes the latter is the case. A social scientist and professor of ethics, political philosophy and environmental ethics, Gardiner has studied the ethical and moral complexities of climate change for the past 10 years. But only now is that focus becoming a significant part of the broader discussion on what to do about the impacts of a changing climate.
Another Medium ... The Same Message: Action on Climate
In 2007, Live Earth held massive climate change-themed concerts in stadiums around the world. The star-studded shows, broadcast globally, were intended to leverage the power of music to raise awareness, change individual behavior, and increase public pressure for governments to enact solutions.
How did the American public respond to the programming?
American climate policy could use a bit of James Madison.
In a letter written in 1822, five years after leaving office, the fourth President of the United States cautioned that “A popular Government, without popular information … is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.” A strong democracy, Madison argued, requires both knowledge and public opinion.
How has U.S. climate policy treated either? Not well.
Oceans 30% More Acidic than in 1750
Chemists first theorized the process commonly referred to as “ocean acidification” in the 1970s, but only during the past few years have researchers begun to fully appreciate the threats it poses to ocean inhabitants such as corals and fish.
With few major studies yet completed, researchers over the past few years have been encouraging the U.S. to launch a coordinated ocean acidification research program. Authorized in March but not yet funded, the program’s overarching goal will be to decipher ocean acidification’s biological and economic impacts to enable informed and adequate response to the issue.
KEY WEST, FLA. – Since the 1970s, Billy Causey has observed ominous signs of change in the coral reefs of the Florida Keys. As southeast regional director for the National Marine Sanctuary Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Causey has a front-row seat.
He has spent decades diving on Florida’s coast, where he has witnessed effects of warming waters and ocean acidification on reef ecosystems. (Click below to see a three-minute video interview with Causey.)