Cross-posted from City Belt
The headlines screamed out, like manna from heaven for gas-guzzlers, McMansioners, and Bush administration "scientists" alike:
"Scientists: Global Warming Can’t Be Stopped."
"Scientists Say There’s No Way To Stop Climate Change."
This morning, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their widely-anticipated report on global climate change. The report (available here as PDF) found, among other things, that, "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level." The group of experts also said, with over 90 percent confidence, that human activity has been the main driver of said warming.
So what’s New Jersey’s largest news portal, home of the award-winning Star-Ledger, to do with such a drastic report?
If you guessed, "Misrepresent its findings," you’re the big winner — we’ve got a Hummer in the mail to you.
The Star-Ledger/Nj.com report, authored by Kitta MacPherson, leads by calling global warming "a runaway train that can’t be stopped," before half-heartedly adding, "at least for a while." What the IPCC did in fact say was that we’ve fucked ourselves over for at least 30 more years of global warming as a result of our selfish actions, but, as the New York Times put it:
"The warming can be substantially blunted by prompt action."
So, it turns out there actually is a way — many ways, actually — to stop climate change. While my fellow City Belter Elizabeth recently took An Inconvient Truth to task for saying as much, there are personal actions that, if replicated on a grand scale (perhaps incentivized by government), can help stem the tide of global warming. But she was right to say that our ever-business-friendly federal government deserves most of the blame, and it is indeed killing us.
Rather than giving up, and encouraging everyone else to do so, perhaps Nj.com should help us understand how we can create change. Perhaps with an afternoon to put it all together, the report in tomorrow’s paper will be a little less cynical — and a little more correct.