Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Revkin on Science Journalism and Copenhagen

Probably the leading journalist on climate change is leaving the N.Y. Times for a position at Pace University.  The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media dove into the implications and impact of his departure on the world of journalism.

In another interesting and reflective piece on the subject, published in Nature, Revkin pontificates about everything from Science Journalism to the outcome of Copenhagen to humanity's ability to deal with a problem like climate change.  Says Revkin of his exploration of climate change solutions:

In the past four or five years, I've really dived into the social sciences related to this and it's very clear that as a species, we're not well set up to absorb this message. You could write perfect stories and have them all on the front page every day, but as long as it's not affecting people's lives they're not going to change their ways. That's the sociological reality. 

That humans are wired to run from lions, but not to react to threats like climate change that are too big for us to "see" as flesh-and-bone theats is something we've noted on this blog before.  What does that mean for how we implement solutions?

For one, it explains why so few people have taken even the simplest steps to reduce their carbon footprint -- even ones that save money.  For another, it indicates that smart, effective regulations combined with well-designed incentives need to be implemented ASAP. 

What do you think?

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