WSJ shutters Environmental Capital blog; Revkin wonders “Green media bubble popping?”

But is there a hidden attempt to “warn mankind about the planet’s impending destruction”?

Keith Johnson of the WSJ’s “Environmental Capital” blog just announced its termination:

After more than two years and over 2,000 posts, Environmental Capital is closing its virtual doors.

Although I didn’t agree with all of the analysis, I’m quite sad to see this “Daily analysis of the business of the environment by The Wall Street Journal” go.

The WSJ obviously has a right-wing editorial board and an editorial page that is a leading source of anti-science disinformation. But the blog seemed reasonably independent and was certainly a timely source of information on energy and environmental issues.

The NYT’s Revkin tweets:

Green media bubble popping? Say farewell to WSJ’s enviro blog….

Ironically that’s about all tweeting by a science journalists is good for — saying goodbye to another effort by a major media outlet’s coverage of green issues (see NBC nixes TV’s only global climate change show during “Green Week”).


Johnson titled his farewell, “So Long, And Thanks for All the Fish.” For those of you who aren’t SF-humor geeks — and if you aren’t, what are you doing at CP? — that’s a reference to the hilarious book series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxyone (based on a radio series). As Wikipedia notes,

The phrase has since been adopted by some science fiction fans as a humorous way to say “goodbye”….

But the phrase also carries a profoundly ironic underlying meaning given the context and the subject area of the blog. Wikipedia’s entry on the not-bad film version explains:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Stephen Fry) narrates that the dolphins, the second most-intelligent creatures on Earth, attempted to warn mankind about the planet’s impending destruction, but humans interpreted the dolphins’ communications as tricks. The dolphins left the planet, leaving their final message to humans as “So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

Was this intentional by Johnson? You decide.

[Note: In the book, dolphins are just above humans — mice are the most intelligent species on Earth. Yes, there are many layers of irony for homo “sapiens” sapiens in this parting shot at the WSJ editors, who might just interpret the headline as an innocuous “trick.”]