Not that there’s a ton of good news to report, anyway. RealClimate.org methodically debunked a post from Forbes columnist Larry Bell accusing the media of ignoring the “good news” about climate change last year. RealClimate’s response is a great primer on the current state of the science, rebutting Bell’s assertions about low cyclone activity, ocean cooling, ice-cap growth, and sea-level stability, among others.
In light of such posts, more of the “recent-scientific-findings” articles highlighted by Freudenburg would surely be a good thing. But it is also worth considering Revkin’s point that ramping up coverage along that front alone isn’t likely to make the public more engaged. As he observed at Dot Earth:
The core of the climate problem lies in the reality that the world doesn’t have the energy options it needs for a smooth ride toward roughly 9 billion people by mid-century, all seeking decent lives.
So good reporters, those always eager to get to the root causes of a problem (being “radical” in the most precise sense of that word), will still track climate science. But they will devote more time and effort to diving deeper on energy policy, habits and innovations — whether unraveling counterproductive subsidies, pointing out the lack of money for path-breaking research, or revealing examples of social and financial innovations percolating around the world — any one of which could make a big difference if the information gets out and around.
Those are, of course, the kind of socio-politico-economic stories that Freudenburg worried about, which seem to create much more confusion and consternation than “pure” science articles. But into the breach reporters must go, regardless of the fact that their work will always displease somebody.