USA Today reported yesterday what is patently obvious to many of us: “The debate’s over: Globe is warming.” And while it’s easy to think up all sorts of sarcastic responses to this “news,” Eric de Place at Cascadia Scorecard Weblog observes that this is a momentous occasion of sorts:
I shouldn’t scoff at USA Today’s belated recognition as much as I should marvel that a tipping point is happening right before our eyes. The real news here is not that the debate is over–it’s been over, of course, for quite some time–but that USA Today and other media like it have finally awarded a TKO to climate scientists and greens.
de Place also notes, though, that the MSM’s conversion to the truth of global warming isn’t so much a matter of scientific evidence (that’s been there), but of the right people jumping on board:
As it turns out, USA Today’s conviction is because big corporations, utilities, republican governors, and even religious groups are now demanding action on climate change. There really is increasingly broad-based recognition of the problem. Still, it’s more than a little annoying that media evaluate critical issues based not on the overwhelming scientific evidence, but rather on the proclamations of Arnold and a few CEOs.
But on the other hand, if even USA Today says there’s a consensus on climate change, then we’re just about to arrive in a brave new world where we can actually begin to do something about it on a large and systemic level. Hold on to your hats: next week we’ll find out that burning gasoline warms the atmosphere through something called the “greenhouse effect”…
In USA Today‘s defense, I will say that I found their article pretty thorough. At the same time, though, they gave equal time to Dubya’s “do-nothing” approach and the notions that clean coal and nuclear power are acceptable answers to the problem. I didn’t see much of anything on truly renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal power. While it is good to have global warming presented as fact in the popular media, I wonder if truly green energy will get a fair shake in the face of the PR onslaught by the nuclear and coal industries.