David Appell, the science journalist whose work more than anyone else’s got me thinking hard about the implications of climate change and its relationship to my journalism, spewed some frustration last week that resonated. It doesn’t quoteblock well, go read the whole thing, but in a nutshell he argues that there’s not much point for him in covering climate change any more.
I think he’s wrong. I’ve come to largely the same conclusions he has about the state of the science and the state of public discourse surrounding the science. But as I mentioned in his comments, and I’ll repeat here, there’s plenty left for me to do journalistically.
Given our apparent inability to reduce greenhouse gases, societal impacts and adaptation reporting – in my case, water supply issues in the Southwestern US – becomes, I think, more important, and an area where journalism can play a useful role.
It’s interesting to me that I find essentially no climate skeptics in the western water management community. They are very anxious to find ways to use climate projections (and to usefully incorporate genuine uncertainties) into their planning and management processes.