Planet Climatewood

Can Hollywood save the planet from global warming? The LA Times reports that Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, made his sales pitch last week at a UN outreach event:

“I need your support,” he told entertainment industry insiders during a daylong forum Tuesday that focused on recent heat waves, floods, fires and drought, which scientists link to human-induced climate change.

Despite the lack of lack of nuance in that “link” (disaster movies aren’t known for their nuance), industry execs and players featured in the article sounded doubtful they could make much of a difference.


Category: climate change

In Praise of Naturalists

In his final column in a historical series about “how the discovery of species has changed our lives,” Richard Conniff notes:

Were it not for the work of naturalists, you and I would probably be dead.  Or if alive, we would be far likelier to be crippled, in pain, or otherwise incapacitated.


Category: naturalists, species

Hey NYT: What the Frak?

This NYT exposé on lax regulation of the booming natural gas industry is a must read, but the paper of record is very late to the party. And the author of the piece, Ian Urbina, is fairly ungenerous in his acknowledgment of that fact when he notes, one quarter of the way into his story, that “some of the [environmental] problems” associated with a new form of gas drilling has been

documented by ProPublica, The Associated Press and other news organizations, especially out West.

For some reason, Urbina and his editors didn’t see fit to offer any links to the in-depth reportage produced by these news outlets (even though links to other primary sources are sprinkled throughout the story). That’s a disservice to Times readers, who, perhaps interested in seeing more of this prior coverage, might want to click on this recent AP story, or this treasure trove of sustained reporting by ProPublica, or any of these stories and dispatches in High Country News. (Self-promotion alert: while living in Colorado in 2008, I reported on an air pollution angle of natural gas drilling for High Country News.)

For all the vaunted cross collaboration between publications these days, it’s unfortunate that some are still so grudging when it comes to giving credit to one’s peers.


Category: Journalism, natural gas, New York Times