One of my most tedious jobs here at Climate Progress is to read all the
crap major articles published on global warming, and sort the wheat from the chaff. That was once the job of real journalists at places like, say, the New York Times. Simply providing, say, a long list of things that could conceivably reduce carbon emissions, without actually discriminating the ponies from the crap lemons, is, in fact, one of the MSM’s main critique of the Internet. [Cue laugh-track.]
Given that this is Earth-day week, where newspaper editors around the country say to their best writers (who, of course typically know very little about energy or the environment), “Give me 800 words on that global warming thing — oh, and try to find a new spin, something not so … Al Gore.” End result, lots and lots of drivel.
Case in point, “The Green Issue” of the New York Times Magazine today, titled, appropriately enough in the print edition, “The low-carbon catalog.” You can skip the whole thing (and I’m not going to provide any more links for it, since I don’t want to encourage you to waste your time). I mean, really, catalogs don’t tell you what the good stuff is — they just throw everything at you. Kind of like this issue.
For instance, on the same page is the pebble-bed nuclear reactor, which could conceivably deliver hundreds of gigawatts of zero carbon power, and Blackle Search engine, which probably accomplishes nothing whatsoever, especially if you own a flat-panel monitor like, uhh, most people who read the NYT.
As an aside, in the online edition, the subhead reads, “Some Bold Steps to Make Your Carbon Footprint Smaller,” and in the print edition, the subhead reads “any number of ways to reduce your footprint. PLUS: A defense of small, individual eco-actions.” So you probably think, given the NYT’s reputation for clarity, that this issue is going to focus on measures you yourself can take to reduce your carbon footprint, possibly small, possibly bold.
Now I knew the readership of the NYT mag was upscale, but a pebble-bed nuke is not even Tiger Woods territory. We’re talking Gates or Buffet.