The Skywriter

Blog & news round-up 1/8: Climate science explained, international commitments, and no news is bad news

8
Jan

Blog & news round-up 1/8: Climate science explained, international commitments, and no news is bad news

Frank Capra film screenshot_200px

Happy first blog round-up of 2010! Congress is still on recess, but progress doesn't go by the legislative calendar. This week, a big focus of the blogs was on the science behind climate change. Thankfully there are some great scientist bloggers to explain it to the rest of us.

In some exciting news for 1Sky coverage, both Greenwire and The New York Times wrote about our national call-in day this coming Tuesday! Thanks also to our friends at CCAN for their write-up as well. Go to www.1sky.org/call-in to get in on the action.

On Sunday, The Washington Post published an op-ed by an MIT science journalism fellow arguing that scientists need to "speak up" in the face of trumped-up opposition.

Doing just that, the wonderful blog, Climate Progress, posted two articles this week explaining that the comments that "it's cold where I am so there's no global warming" are very much too simple to be true. In the first, Joe Romm from CP expands on an AP article discussing how a cold snap doesn't disprove global warming. The next day, he wrote that while some parts of the U.S. saw blizzards recently, it is not cold everywhere in the world. If you've been getting comments using short-term observations to judge long-term projections, these are two very good reads.

On the legislative front, work continues on a climate bill, though much too slowly. Still, there are some good signs. India restated their commitment to honor the pledge they made in Copenhagen even without funds from developed nations. Brazil signed their COP15 pledge (39% reductions by 2020) into law this week. These should be encouraging to senators on the fence. Domestically we even saw Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) renew his call for climate legislation despite being censured by his own state party. Needless to say, the reports of climate bill death are greatly exaggerated -- we just need to be sure it's a strong bill and that it's passed as quickly as possible.

Infographic of the week: I'm somewhat tricking you into reading an article here, but it is based around a Good magazine transparency on the biggest news stories of the year. While the chart is quite neat, that's not the whole story… The New York Times' Andrew Revkin wrote a blog post last Saturday starting with the Good infographic. Revkin discussed the one topic not seen there: climate change. Because climate change evidence is often very technical, slow developing, and in other parts of the globe, it can be ignored by the media and thus the American public.

What this means is that it's up to us to speak up about the issue ourselves and work hard to be more visible in the American consciousness. We can't wait for another "An Inconvenient Truth" to come along.

For this week's video, a look at just how long we've known about (and done little to prevent) climate change. Found by Andrew Revkin and posted by David Roberts at Grist, this video – produced by It's a Wonderful Life producer Frank Capra – is part of a 1958 documentary about the dangers of unchecked carbon pollution.

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