Sunday, July 07, 2013

For coping with climate change, media must get with the program

Several recent events have signaled a timely change in mainstream media coverage of events related to climate change. And possibly a change in attitudes.

In an interview on July 1 an Arizona fire chief gave a no-nonsense reply to Scott Pelley's (CBS News)  mention that many people don't believe in climate change:  "You won't find them on the fireline in the American West anymore because we've had climate change beat into us over the last 10 or 15 years. We know what we are seeing.."

In a MacLeans article  David McLaughlin, a long-time conservative, criticized the Canadian Government for evading climate change issues: “Now we have in 2013 the second once-in-a-century flood in less than a decade,” he said af the 2010 and 2013 Alberta floods.

“Denying that climate change is a cause is akin to putting your head in the sand — in this case, your head in a sand bag.”

McLaughlin headed the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy which was eliminated in March 2013.

The time for counting on scientific proof of anthropogenic climate change is over. Instead, we have entered a period of 'beyond a reasonable doubt.' Good judgement says we need all the help we can get, not just the proven kind.

Whether one is in a progress trap or not there yet, tremendous creativity is needed for coping with the damage, and to prevent further societal deterioration.

Scientists in particular need to accept that the 'progress trap' syndrome exists, even if it implies that progress can be flawed.