I have given up on my local newspaper.
It’s been a long time coming. I’m tired of letters to the editor that talk about how carbon dioxide is good for the environment because it makes plants grow. I’m tired of editorials that conclude with, “So-and-so is a senior fellow at (insert name of suspiciously-funded conservative lobby group here).” I’m tired of the skeptical editor who gets an entire page on Saturdays and one or two columns during the week, often to talk about “Al Gore’s eco-horror film” and “scientists who have exaggerated data and silenced critics”. And I’m tired of the paper’s notion that any story even remotely related to global warming has to include a picture of a polar bear. If there’s one thing that the public needs to know about climate change, it’s that it’s not just a problem for the polar bears.
I’ve been reading my local newspaper every day for years, but now I have decided two things. Firstly, this isn’t a paper that I want to support. But more importantly, when the paper is making such a muddle out of their climate change reporting, it’s not a source that I trust to inform me accurately on other issues.
In terms of alternatives, I’ve subscribed to RSS feeds from the CBC for national and world politics, and the BBC for science and technology. I’ll read the Globe and Mail when I can get my hands on it, as it’s a very good paper that does a good job (at least comparatively) of climate change reporting.
I can always use my local paper, or any paper in the world for that matter (yay Internet) as a case study for how the media reports climate change. However, I’d like to rely on something else for my personal knowledge about the world. And it’s very nice not to feel that sense of doom as I turn to the editorial page.