NY Times Reporter Wants Even More Global Warming Coverage

     Think the public is getting too much global warming from the media? Andrew Revkin, the environmental reporter for The New York Times, doesn’t think you’re getting enough.

     Revkin spoke in Newark, Del., on March 12 for the University of Delaware’s Global Agenda lecture series, “Boiling Point: International Politics of Climate Change.” He told an audience he thought the climate change issue deserved more prominence in his paper’s print edition, however he understood why it wasn’t given as much.

     “On the climate issue, climate – science particularly – climate, in multitude doesn’t get a lot of respect because science is laden with complexity,” Revkin said. “Newsrooms crave ‘Spitzer, Prostitute.’ That says it right there – where’s the complexity? Or – stock scandal, or you know, $107 oil, or the Yankees traded somebody big.”

     “Those are the stories that are no-brainers,” Revkin said, “and a story on climate or environmental laws or some treaty negotiation – those are much less covered and they don’t get repeated and they don’t obtain the sunlight on the front page as much.” A Nexis newspaper database search revealed that in the last month, The New York Times has published 40 stories mentioning “climate change” and 72 stories mentioning “global warming.”

     Revkin wasn’t as critical of the paper’s reporting of the issue.  However, he indicated their focus should be on “energy options.”

     “Well I think personally that we’ve done the best possible job we could do at the Times to be leaders in uncovering the reality that energy – because the energy options that exist are insignificant compared to the problem,” Revkin said. “If we’re serious about the problem, we’ll do much more.” 

     Revkin did not think the solution involved the old-style tactics the modern environmental movement advocates, where the government mandates what is done.

     “[I] worry sometime that they’re [the modern environmental movement] still struggling with the old 20th Century framework – we need to litigate and legislate to move forward with this issue,” Revkin said. “I’m not sure that works because the energy issue is so much bigger than they faced in the old days.”

     Although Revkin did not mention it during speech, on March 5, Revkin took a shot at a conference questioning climate change consensus hosted by the Heartland Institute in one of his recent “Reporter’s Notebook” columns. He concluded that column by noting that “when an organizer made an announcement asking all of the scientists in the large hall to move to the front for a group picture, 19 men did so,” implying that only 19 scientists were at the conference. There were about 100 scientists participated in the conference, according to a Heartland Institute spokesman.

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