2011 Grand Total of Coverage for Climate Change: 32 min.

2011 broke all previous environmental disaster records. The total amount of money lost to environmental disaster - in the calendar year of 2011 - was 58 billion dollars. That's billion with a "B".

The total amount of time that broadcast television - ABC, CBS, and NBC - granted on the subject of Climate Change - was 32 minutes.

Studies that falsified data were broadcast on other networks - and the usual tactic of bringing on 'experts' who run counter to the broad scientific consensus that global climate change is real - in order that a point of fact might be argued instead of considered (is the sky blue? I say it's not ..!)... was adopted by other cable news organizations. This study also tactfully leaves out the weather channel - which had the unfortunate job this year of having to dispatch their reporters onto scene after scene of natural disaster.

In earlier days, I would dive on reefs in the Carribean. These were beautiful , vivid - tree-like structures that , despite being damaged by whatever tourists dropped in on them and either chipped off pieces of them - or stole the sea fans and then left them black on the dock - would endure through hurricane, cruise ship, and anything else. They were, however, sensitive to water temperature - which is the base of global climate. The currents on the east and west coast of the Americas, the EAC, and other currents form the basis of all weather in the world.

Many of the pictures returned of those reefs are now pretty bad. The death of a reef by heated water is referred to as "bleaching" since the reef will die and leave behind a white skeleton. PCM (1.7°C increase in 100 years) in recent years and the HadCM3 model projecting continued (3°C increase in 100 years) by approximately 2035 and by 2055 have in both cases a projection severe annual bleaching in more than 80% of the Worlds coral reefs by 2080.

You can't really feel 58 billion dollars of natural disaster. But if you went diving - you would see the loss of a whole reef. 58 billion dollars quickly jumps up into the world of abstraction. 20.00 for a bar tab, or 100.00 in an unexpected bill - is something to get angry about. Five, or ten thousand dollars -in an unexpected bill - is something that you would request and demand all available documentation for - and eventually, you would address completely.

But 58 billion dollars of loss to your country is a number so high that it takes on another aspect - it becomes almost unreal. 32 minutes, however, is apparently just right - to try to even begin to understand it.

What we need to do, as a country - is to adopt a sane view of the problem. 58 billion dollars in loss is really only a beginning - and global weather systems are harmonic - we will see good weather, bad weather - really weird weather , then back again. Even if it will be years before we really see the full impact of climate change - the policy decisions that should be made should consist of a consistent set of credits , similiar to the ones that were given at the start of 2008 - for solar power. It is a clean, effective alternate power source that within 3 years should be effecient enough to really save you money. In fact, the power company pays you to have the cell on your roof - your surplus energy can and will be purchased from you and returned to the grid. How about an energy bill that pays you, each month?

All this requires is a certain consistency, and dedication to statesmanship on the part of our elected representatives. The toxicity of the current environment in Washington guarantees strong headwinds for any who attempt the civil, and not necessarily bipartisan - but cooperative approach of our founding fathers.

Then again, the total amount of time dedicated to partisan politics on the above networks for the above year - was 48,912 hours. And the amount of money spent on elections - in the off year calendar year of 2010 was an all time record of 4 billion dollars - sweeping into power a congress whose main focus was to provide "media event" legislation and artificially contrived government crises.

They say, part of who we are these days - has to do with the fact that we're so easily separated from our natural selves. All sports , because we have so little connection to the natural world - have to be "extreme". "Extreme" skiing. "Extreme" surfing.

I watch these patterns closely because it's a hobby. Being able to read a weather map tells you where you can sail - what the sailing will be like. Where the waves are.

I think only 32 minutes of coverage on the entire story, is kind of a story in itself, don't you?


Anonymous said…
"for solar power. It is a clean, effective alternate power source that within 3 years should be effecient enough to really save you money. In fact, the power company pays you to have the cell on your roof"

Within 3 years, that's a laugh. Does the power company pay you to climb on the roof to clean the dirt from the glass? Does the power company pay you to climb up and clean snow from the glass? Does the power company pay for the roof leaks caused by the solar panels? Does the power company reimburse you for voided roof shingle warranties? Does the power company reimburse you for your reduced property value?

How much are you willing to pay for solar panels? Falling off the roof only once will pretty much offset all of the gains from your so called 'effective alternate power source'.

Anonymous said…
That's why you contract the service from the pros. A company like Solar City does it all, they service your panels and the risks are minimal.

Reduced property value? Solar panels increase the property value of a home. Check with a Realtor.