Over the past few months, we have seen some dramatic weather around the world. 70 degree days in the Northeast, birds ceasing their annual migrations, 90 mph winds in London. The list goes on. This weather has certainly been “disturbing” and “strange,” as reported on popular media outlets, but for those adjectives to constitute the total analysis of the situation is incorrect. The mass media’s coverage of our weather falls short of a complete denial that climate change is upon us. Rather than supporting the facade that climate change is a marginal theory, the mass media ought to seize these events as important opportunities to wakeup the American people and bring about a call to action.
An article by Paul Roget Loeb, author of The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A citizen’s guide to hope in a time of fear, pointedly illustrates how the media has been incorrectly isolating extreme weather events from the obvious overarching climate trends.
So why the hesitation? Well, global warming is a complex, heavy, somewhat intangible, international issue – and it is often easier to just go about normal routines. Even more, Loeb articulates:
“Add in a war-obsessed president and the media-drumbeat of Exxon-funded global warming deniers, and no wonder so many of us wait and do nothing.”
However, individual action to curb greenhouse gases can have a profound effect, and it will if the 85% of Americans who believe that global warming is a huge and urgent problem feel compelled to take action against it. 355 American cities have already signed onto the Kyoto protocol, lets hope the next American administration will take ownership of this urgent problem that we have greatly exacerbated.
I strongly recommend Loeb’s article in its entirety.