Why We Need to Do More About Climate Change

Why We Need to Do More About Climate Change

Letters to the Editor: Why climate journalism needs to give readers a reason to hope


It’s been quite a year here at The Dispatch, and one of the most meaningful and encouraging things that I have witnessed in our industry has been the rise of our local environmental reporting.

The New York Times’ Green cover story this month that is going to be the single most important report on climate change in history, was made possible in large part by our journalism.

The paper’s decision to make it the lead story on its front page, coupled with the news that both sides of the climate debate in the United States will be invited to appear on “60 Minutes” within the decade will have an enormous effect on people interested in what is driving the climate debate in this country.

That’s why I’m incredibly proud of the work these journalists have done, and the reason we all know that we need to do more.

As this is written, the climate crisis is being ignored, dismissed, and denied by the United States Supreme Court for the last 26 years, and the majority of our federal government has done absolutely nothing about it since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970.

If you think about how long the issue of climate change has been debated in this country, and how much was at stake – all the way back to when our country was fighting the Civil War – it makes me wonder why there isn’t any coverage of it.

I also have a few questions.

Why did the Supreme Court ignore the Clean Air Act and its provisions for preventing global warming? Why did they ignore the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change? Why did they ignore the results of scientific studies, such as the one commissioned by the National Research Council in 2007 which showed that, in the words of the chair of the panel, “The most plausible scenario for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, including emissions from deforestation, is a global agreement to reduce them at the lowest possible cost”?

Why did they ignore the evidence that climate change already is happening? That our climate is already changing, and that the changes are rapid, irreversible and already having measurable impacts on our world?

Why is it that these people have such short memories? Because the world is changing as we speak, and we have a responsibility to be the change we want to

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