Time for a confession of omission. Yours truly has tried to stay savvy on the tragicomedy that is the ongoing saga of UN-IPCC series of meetings that tend to fret loudly over global warming and its many synonyms, but not get much done beyond labroiously parsed diplomatic niceties. Nonetheless, what with the Earth in the Balance and so on, it is important that ksjtracker share glimpses of how media are handling the subject.
This morning I (finally) saw a headline for a story from a dedicated, competent writer that showed how lax I’ve become on savvy-maintenance:
- Motherboard – Stephen Leahy: Oil and Coal Must Be Phased Out Entirely by 2050 to Stop Catastrophic Global Warming ; Leahy is a climate campaigner based in Canada. While this story’s accuracy is likely to be high, he makes no effort to be neutral in tone. He does not do much nuance. He is relentless in covering an angle many scientists suggest in casual conversation: climate-wise we’re screwed if talk does not become action starting now.
What initially galled me about the story has nothing to do with its basic merits. It is only that I had forgotten that a round of IPCC climate talks is revving up in Bonn. Then I looked at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting calendar and realized there are so many of these that few could keep up. The next really big one is next year in Paris, but later this year Lima hosts a significant stepping stone. Leahy must have these intermediate ones on his watch list. He was not in Bonn but he interviewed by phone a researcher at an outfit called Climate Analytics that, among other things, has what it calls a “climate tracker” of news updates and recent research pertinent to IPCC’s mission. Leahy’s report is one of many in recent weeks noting that, for all the media uproar, the EPA and Obama Whitehouse’s new rules on powerplant emissions are small beer. They are welcome to worried scientists and policy makers, but barely hint of the industrial and energy transformation needed to put a significant brake on the pace of global warming.
The story also introduced me to Motherboard. Perhaps half or more of you ksjtracker readers out there already knew about it. It calls itself an online magazine and video channel “dedicated to the intersection of technology, science, and humans.” It boasts more than 30,000 subscribers and more than 22 million views so far. It was founded in 2009 by another digital media service called VICE, which I also had not encountered before. It has many bylines and appears to these eyes – just guessing here – to depend largely on the world’s twitterati for feedback and inspiration.
Before leaving Leahy, recognition of another recent story of his is due, written for his most common publisher:
- Inter Press Service – Stephen Leahy: In Developing World, Pollution Kills More than Disease ; the source for the stats is a report from a collection of NGOs and multilateral national agencies, called The Global Alliance on Health and Pollution. If the stats check out, and if CO2 can be factored in, then the health argument for controlling global warming could be a powerful angle. It is, one notes, a strong element in President Obama’s speech to the nation explaining why he is clamping down on carbon pollution from powerplants.
Other stories on the UN’s Bonn Climate Change conference:
- Irish Times – Frank McDonald: Upbeat end to Bonn climate talks paves way for further progress;
- Deutsche Welle Ice-Blog – Irene Quaile: Climate talks at glacial place? ; Quaile perhaps meant to write “pace” in the hed. The story backs up Leahy’s report that, among the meeting’s resolutions, is support iin principle for a 100 percent switch from fossil fuels by 2050.
- Xinhua – Ren Zhongxi: UN Climate talks close in Bonn with progress towards new climate deal ;
- Reuters – Ben Garside: UN climate talks edge towards 2015 emissions deal ;
DRONE BONUS! For a signoff, we are sharing a random pleasure encountered while nosing around the Motherboard site that kicked this whole post off:
- Motherboard – Brian Anderson: The Most Bitchin’ Drone Videos From Seven Continents ; Don’t miss the one with a spooky flight from and above the array of snow-streaked radio telescopes at the new ALMA observatory high on a Chilean plateau. Great word, bitchin’. In high school more than 50 years ago – Southern California – it was in nearly every sentence when we kids got to talking.