Usually, I’m pretty disgusted with the news on TV. In the typical half-hour news broadcast, there are several minutes spent on weather (which is useful, to a large degree), several minutes on sports, a few minutes on either direct entertainment “news,” such as what movie is hot at the box office, or reports of celebrity deaths, incarcerations, marriages, or divorces. The lead-off story is often about some shooting or car accident. All of this leaves precious little time for stories about what’s actually happening in the world that might drastically affect our future.
But on Sunday night, the CBS evening news shocked me, just a little, with this story: “Scientists warn of rising sea levels in Florida.” The story actually presented rising sea levels (as one result of climate change – implied but not stated) as fact. They didn’t put on “different viewpoints” to “balance” the story, they just showed the science and talked about what it means and what plans we should make to deal with the changes that have already started, but will get much more serious.
When I started to write this, I though I might run down, for the ten billionth time, the evidence that global warming is real. But I’m so tired of making that argument. I’m really tired of telling people that two plus two equals four, and not three. With the people who just don’t want to believe anything that would mean their previous position on something had been wrong, I’ve wasted my breath.
So don’t take my word for it. Look to the National Academy of Sciences. This is a large group of elite scientists from all around the United States, with 2,152 members plus 430 foreign associates. The analyses they present are clear. I’ll let you take a look for yourself. Even the handful of legitimate skeptics are finally rubbing their eyes to the morning sun.
I’m as surprised as anyone to be saying this, but kudos to CBS news. They still didn’t really come out and say the boogie words: “Global Warming,” or at least: “Climate Change,” but this story was really a step in the right direction.
Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.