Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Three Questions for Local Television Reporters

The key to good reporting is asking good questions.   That's why reporters, not human microphone stands, are the ones who do stories that matter instead of blather that doesn't.  

Here are three questions local television reporters should be asking their members of Congress.

1.  Do you believe in science?  

2.  If yes, what specific legislative/regulatory steps should be taken to deal with climate change?  

As the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports:  "A large fraction of species faces increased extinction risk due to climate change during and beyond the 21st
century, especially as climate change interacts with other stressors (high confidence). Most plant species cannot naturally shift their geographical ranges sufficiently fast to keep up with current and high projected rates of climate change in most landscapes; most small mammals and freshwater molluscs will not be able to keep up at the rates projected under RCP4.5 and above in flat landscapes in this century (high confidence)." 

3.  What are the implications for life in the United States 100 years from now if Congress fails to take immediate steps to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases?

Why aren't local television reporters questioning their members of Congress about climate change?

It's one thing for the press to fail to ask questions of our politicians about little things such as going to war with Iraq.   That just led to the killing thousands and spending a trillion or so dollars on a needless war instead of on education, roads, bridges and scientific research. There was no imminent threat.   Saddam had no nuclear capability, and the experts were well aware of that.     But climate change is hardly so insignificant as a trillion dollar needless war where the CIA decides torture's ok because the Bush Justice Department says it is.   

In climate change, we have an issue affecting the future of the entire planet.   Isn't it time for reporters to ask their members of Congress what needs to be done?    And for those members of Congress who don't believe in science, shouldn't they be asked to explain why they choose to ignore the findings delivered by the greatest scientific minds in the world? 

When journalism fails, bad things happen.   


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