Author of Hot: Living Through the Next 50 Years on Earth Talks Climate Action
Plumbing our archives, I couldn't believe that TreeHugger hasn't reviewed Mark Hertsgaard's fine book Hot: Living Through the Next 50 Years on Earth. We'll have to change that. Asap. The book adeptly examines the next half-century through the lens of our already-changing climate: The impacts of global warming are being felt nearly everywhere, and it won't be long before they get a lot worse. Droughts, rising sea levels, and more extreme storms will dramatically reshape a hotter world over the coming decades. Hertsgaard was moved to write about that not-so-distant place because his very young daughter will have to live in it.
But he doesn't intend to go quietly into that world, either. He has some ideas about what we can do right now to prevent the worst of climate change. I caught up with him at this year's Brooklyn Book Festival, and he explained some key takeaways from his book, and why we need what he called a left-wing media machine to help fight for climate action. Watch:
Hertsgaard's idea is a response to the fact that the modern conservative movement has effectively mobilized a right-wing media machine -- the core of which is comprised of Fox News and the legion of Limbaugh-led Republican talk radio hosts -- that disseminates a political agenda to its audience in synchronized sound bites.
The left-wing media, Hertsgaard says, may be just as big in scope, but it's much less unified and coordinated. And therefore it's less powerful, less influential in affecting political change. If we hope to stand up against the likes of Fox News, we need to recalibrate our media system to be more effective in getting good, factual information about climate change out to the masses.
Apologies about the noise on the videos -- the Brooklyn Book Festival is a lively event indeed. And thanks to Mr. Hertsgaard, who patiently endured my sputtering interview (I'd just hastily ridden 5 miles on my bike to catch his talk, and was quite out of sorts).
Get more info on Hertsgaard's work here.