environment Politics: denialists hurricane media irresponsibility rising sea levels Storms
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The debate over global warming has often turned at key points after major weather events. After a presidential campaign in which neither candidate said much on the issue, could Hurricane Sandy put it back in the spotlight?
Sure. News at 11. Sent October 30:
Hurricane Sandy could well do for climate-change awareness what a major celebrity death did for AIDS or Alzheimer’s disease. That is, make the accelerating greenhouse effect and its consequences a focus of the kind of media attention normally reserved for celebrity scandals or TV season premieres.
That’s good news and bad news. It’s good news because climate change is overwhelmingly the single most significant issue affecting our country’s future and the lives of our descendants. Our collective lack of attention has set us back several decades when it comes to addressing the threat — so any coverage is better than none.
It’s bad news because what we need from the media is an intelligent discussion of a complex subject. If climate change is treated with the breathless superficiality that characterizes contemporary news coverage, our citizenry, and our politicians, will never fully understand why action is essential. Let’s get serious. Now.