Common Climate Misconceptions
Measuring Earth’s temperature is no easy task.
Four different groups produce temperature records that attempt to compile a single global mean surface temperature: NASA’s GISStemp, the Hadley Center’s HadCRU, Remote Sensing Systems’ RSS, and the University of Alabama, Huntsville’s UAH.
A new report from the National Research Council (NRC) warns that the nation’s transportation system – roads, ports, railroads, and airports – all stand to suffer substantial damage or destruction as a result of climate change.
Increased rain, more intense storms, ground thawing in Alaska, and rising sea level all are expected to take their heavy tolls. The report’s authors caution that those working on transportation infrastructure must ensure that the system operates and adapts as a network, with “redundancies” or alternative routes for railroads and highways in emergencies.
Search climate change news most days and you’ll likely find few references to public health impacts.
So it comes as no surprise that the American public – apparently unlike the public in Western Europe and other industrialized countries – by and large perceives climate change as affecting nature, but not so much their families, health, or own communities.
Cogito, ergo sum. Or Je pense, donc je suis.
Enough of the Latin and French. Let’s stick to English.
I think, therefore I am. We can thank Rene Descartes for giving us that critical element of Western philosophy.
But for our purposes in The Yale Forum, let’s paraphrase it to read: “I report, therefore I blog.”
A respected social scientist, Baruch Fischhoff of Carnegie Mellon University, sees his discipline having to play an increasingly critical role in the climate change arena if citizens are to become fully engaged and involved in the issue.
Facing continued political stalemate in Washington, D.C., over federal climate change regulations, at least 800 mayors of cities large and small over the past three years have signed pledges to drastically reduce their carbon emissions.
We have decades and decades invested in doing things based on old rules. Now, the rules have changed, and newsrooms need to change as well. We need new attitudes and new cultures. This will only happen if individual journalists put forward the effort to change their minds about what their jobs are and how they do them.