The bottom line is that readers aren’t being served at all when partisans and lobbyists are doing the job of the press. Covering a bill like Lieberman-Warner takes more work than a standard 800-word who, what, where single-installment story. But with America finally on the verge of committing to specific reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, there’s plenty to write about—and a readership dying to know more.

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Russ Juskalian is a contributor to The Observatory and a freelance writer.