Surprise – that President-Elect Barack Obama is confronting climate change in the midst of deepening global economic woes – and, again, surprise – that he took on climate change directly and firmly weeks before he officially takes office January 20.
Those were the hallmarks of several key news organizations’ reporting on the Obama taped video message November 17 to a climate change meeting of governors in California.
After Hurricane Katrina, An Inconvenient Truth, the 2007 reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and other events pushed the climate change issue higher on the public agenda, it may have seemed that it wouldn’t soon slide back down.
'It's the Economy [Not the Climate], Stupid!'
Newspaper endorsements in a presidential election reveal more than where the nation has been or where it is now. They point the way toward a national agenda for the future.
By that measure, most American newspapers saw little room on the next president’s “To Do List” for action on the climate issue. Perhaps it’s not surprising, given the recession and world financial crisis, grinding wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a broken health care system, and continuing worries about public education and U.S. competitiveness.
Common Climate Misconceptions
It is difficult these days to find an article about climate science without some mention of tipping points and the risk of abrupt climate change.
Some prominent climate scientists and policy proponents have warned ominously that we have only a decade left to change our ways to “avert catastrophe.” The clock is running.
The glass, aluminum, and stainless steel panels reclined at low angles and basked in the sun as the men in suits and ties, flanked by reporters, took to the West Wing roof to look at what they thought was the future. That day, June 20, 1979, was clear enough for the sun to bring out a bright reflection on the panels, and for shadows of those on the roof to be drawn dark and tight around them.
Virginia Tech Hosts SEJ Annual Conference
ROANOKE, VA. – The annual fete and feast known to environmental reporters as the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference this year offered some 800-plus attendees a diverse menu of climate change, coal, energy, and related morsels.
The October 15-19 field trips, roundtables, panels, and keynotes dealt extensively with the promises and challenges of coal mining, primarily through mountaintop removal, and of coal combustion in a carbon-constrained economy many see as inevitable in coming years.
Green investment insiders concede that climate change-focused and clean energy funds will get tossed around just like any other set of stocks – and are sometimes even more vulnerable.