Presenting: The New York Times' Best Paragraph of Climate Reportage in Recent Memory


Photo credit: Joe Shlobatnik via Flickr/CC BY

Earlier today, I wrote about a New York Times article that described Chicago's ongoing efforts to prepare for and adapt to a warming climate. I'd like to revisit that article for a second, as it just so happens to contain the best paragraph I've found in the Gray Lady's climate coverage in recent memory. Behold:

Across America and in Congress, the very existence of climate change continues to be challenged -- especially by conservatives. The skeptics are supported by constituents wary of science and concerned about the economic impacts of stronger regulation. Yet even as the debate rages on, city and state planners are beginning to prepare.

The precise consequences of the increase of man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are hard to determine, but scientists are predicting significant sea level rise; more extreme weather events like storms, tornadoes and blizzards; and, of course, much more heat. New York City, which is doing its own adaptation planning, is worried about flooding from the rising ocean. The Navy has a task force on climate change that says it should be preparing to police the equivalent of an extra sea as the Arctic ice melts.

Okay, so clearly, that was two paragraphs. But still. This is the best non-Dot Earth coverage of climate I've seen from the Times in quite some, well, time. It hits all the bases: It paints a pretty accurate picture of the impacts climate change will bring, it notes that the US military recognizes the threat -- and that it's primarily conservatives who don't, for ideological reasons -- and even goes so far as to link disbelief to a fear of regulation.

Well done, Gray Lady -- this is the kind of coverage we're going to see more of, from outlets of every stripe, if the needle on climate skepticism is to budge.

Tags: Global Climate Change | Newspapers | United States