Half a story is not better than the whole story.
On Sunday, the “paper of record” reported on the record-breaking wildfire season, never mentioning how human-caused global warming may be contributing–even though recent research suggests it is. Now they finally run a major story on the devastating drought sweeping the nation, one they compare to “the Dust Bowl of the 1930′s,” but again, no mention of global warming–even though increased risk of drought is a well-known prediction from climate scientists.
Heck, the Times is even running a Reuters story on the new World Bank climate report that points out global warming is forecast to cause “more frequent and severe droughts.” But the Times in its drought story states instead that “scientists deemed the weather conditions and its effects in the areas of the worst drought a once-in-50-years experience.” That might be true absent global warming.
On our current greenhouse gas emissions path, however, the kind of drought we are experiencing now will be, tragically, a far more common occurrence. And just last year, climatologist Jonathan Overpeck warned that humanity is at danger of forcing “abrupt shifts to drier conditions, including possible decadal megadrought.”
The Times simply needs to do a far, far better job of covering this most important of stories.