Sunday, August 15, 2010

NYT's Talks Climate Change!

The MSM has been the lap dog of corporate interests for the first decade of this new century. They have deliberately muddied the waters over the issue of ACC (anthropogenic climate change) to the point where most in the west do not believe the changes in the climate have been caused by human activity even though as the National Academy of Sciences reports, 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

It's not that the MSM doesn't report what's going on it that it's mixed in with opinions on what's going on and those opinions are given equal weight with scientific fact. So if you haven't been paying close attention to the debate but relying instead on your local fish wrap to keep you informed you can be excused for not knowing what's really taking place.

Well, the extreme weather events that have been taking place around the world this year (floods that have battered New England, Nashville, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Saskatchewan, and a deluge in Pakistan that has one fifth of the country under water and has affected the lives of 20 million people -- summer heat waves that have baked the eastern United States, parts of Africa, eastern Asia, and Russia, which lost millions of acres of wheat and thousands of lives in a drought worse than any other in the historical record), has the MSM outlets finally getting around to reporting on the link between all this and climate change. The New York Times has joined the chorus along with the BBC, Reuters, USA Today and Time all reporting on these long ago predicted consequences.

What's important to remember in the discussion of ACC is that there's a lot more to this than extreme weather. For example the changing climate is the cause of great swaths of pine trees that are dead or dying from a disease called white pine blister rust caused by the the mountain pine beetle. These forests used to be immune because of harsh winters and cool summers. Now, the warmer winters and summers have allowed the beetle to breed quickly and to move to the higher elevations favored by white bark pines.

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