Another article, this time from Mother Jones, on the apocalyptics of weather: “Dropping in on the Apocalypse,” by Tom Engelhardt. Its a great piece with lots of links to studies and other articles that I will come back to. For now a brief extract about media coverage:
Our media, of course, adores Xtreme weather events. Dan Rather’s CBS prime-time news show, for instance, never saw an El Nino effect, a hurricane, a major flood, or an onslaught of snow that it didn’t rush right to the top of the news; while those once Weather-Channel-restricted scenes of reporters, their bodies oddly angled, shouting into mics and staring into water-smeared lenses in the pelting rain of an onrushing storm are now commonplaces of the national news; and yet you can search the television news and our mainstream press almost in vain for anyone even willing to speculate that the increase in Xtreme weather events which has brought us multiple massive hurricanes in Florida, a prolonged drought in the southwest, Europe’s burning summers, Brazil’s first South Atlantic hurricane ever, the storm of the century on Canada’s east coast, and Japan’s worst season of typhoons in memory might have anything to do with global warming.
This kind of reporting normalises disaster and it becomes difficult to distinguish between Day After Tomorrow and CBS/CNN/The weather channel. Its classic “straight” reporting that does nothing to draw connections or ask questions: just the facts ma’m.