NOTE TO EDITORS
News Media: Please Join McClatchy in Breaking through the Veil on Climate Change’s Connection to Haywire Weather
Statement from NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren:
Last week McClatchy Newspapers published a breakthrough article about scientists seeing the links between severe weather and global warming. More of this strong journalism is urgently needed because very little time is left before climate change becomes self-sustaining.
Reporter Renee Schoof and several climate specialists courageously convey the connection between serial weather disasters and the deeper problem that our climate is quickly changing, people are suffering, and this terrifying crisis is rapidly worsening. (Climate change is also hammering our economies at all levels, and includes major damage to world food and water supplies.)
In doing so, McClatchy has broken through the energy corporations’ well-crafted veil of pretense that successive weather extremes that increasingly dominate major newscasts are somehow unrelated to the very same extremes climate scientists began predicting years ago.
I implore reporters and editors at media outlets large and small to blast through that veil. Local, state, national and global news angles abound. Most of you cover areas suffering some combination of droughts, floods, heat waves, wildfires, tornadoes – or awaiting the next hurricane.
RECORD-BREAKING TORNADO SEASON: McClatchy noted that the historical record is incomplete regarding the climate-tornado connection. But in an April 29th report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, meteorologists explain that this spring’s record-breaking tornado count is at least partly due to a Gulf of Mexico that is “significantly warmer than normal.”
To be clear: Even if we changed course immediately, climate disasters will continue worsening for many years due to greenhouse emissions “in the pipeline.” This will increasingly challenge our social systems such as food and water supplies. We must begin the shift to clean, safe energy now.
Please read these stories carefully. Look at the broader evidence. And call on climatologists in your coverage area. Global warming is well past “theories” or modeling. Weather effects, ocean changes and species impacts are well-measured and worsening fast. Admitting humanity’s plight is crucial to addressing the policy changes our society must make in order to survive.
Now is the time for strong journalism to rise above the prodigious efforts by entrenched energy corporations to greenwash their images and confuse climate-energy issues. Their anti-democratic actions are preventing society from making changes that can stabilize our climate and economies.
This is the time for the news media to fill the gap, correct the record, and foster democratic debate. Thanks for your commitment to strong journalism!