Worst headline of the week — “Vilsack: Climate change could help rural economies”

No, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack did NOT say global warming would be good for rural communities.

What he said was that taking action on global warming would be good for rural communities, as the rest of The Journal Record‘s article makes clear:

He also called climate change an opportunity, because the first country to develop technologies to deal with widespread changes in the environment and move those innovations into the market will be recognized as a worldwide winner.

Vilsack knows that the climate change from unrestricted greenhouse gases emissions would be a disaster for farmers (see “A Stormy Forecast for U.S. Agriculture“).  Oklahoma would do worse than most, probably becoming a permanent dust bowl in the second half of the century.  Vilsack has testified that the economic benefits of climate bill for farmers ‘easily trump’ the costs.

The story isn’t bad, but the headline is dreadful — and that’s a problem because many people don’t ever get past the headline.  The headline could have been “Vilsack: Action on climate change could help rural economies” or “Vilsack:  Fighting climate change could help rural economies.”

The paper’s “About Us” section asserts:

Our mission: To be Oklahoma’s foremost influential and trusted information service.

Our commitment: To serve our audiences with quality products and timely, accurate information that helps them gain success.

Not quite there, folks.

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