“The Mainstream Media discovers Climate Change” by Jay Mason

Jay Mason, Chair of the Lowell Green Building Commission and a member of 350MA of Greater Lowell, shared the following observations about the mainstream media’s coverage of climate change this week:

This past Wednesday, May 7th the Boston Globe carried a story on climate change. This is not new – the conditions and circumstances of global warming are becoming ever more prevalent in our lives as we learn from science and technology that we do in fact share the blame and a responsibility for the dramatic changes we are experiencing with weather and the climate.

What was remarkable about this story was its’ location- top of the fold- front page! The same day I heard President Obama discussing the federal report issued on Tuesday on NPR. The new TV series Years of Living Dangerously is getting play on network television. There are groups like the Lowell Green Building Commission, The Sierra Club and 350MA all invested in promoting education and action to combat the problem.

With this flurry of news it seemed the mainstream media had discovered Climate Change! I’m wondering if this is a sign that we’ve finally reached a turning point in the slow crawl towards climate reality in American politics!? Are we ready to drink the Kool-Aid of environmental self-preservation? Perhaps. As we contemplate rising sea levels and Hurricane Sandy-like storms it is tempting to withdraw from the crisis of a changing climate with a whimper. The overwhelming nature of large-scale impacts to the environment are too massive a conceptual puzzle to make for simple solutions, never mind concrete, actionable steps. It is easier to look elsewhere for our energies and bury ourselves in the myriad responsibilities of day to day life. But buried in our DNA is an innate desire to survive and thrive.

If Hurricane Sandy had shifted its trajectory ever so slightly toward New England rather than New Jersey that fateful October of 2012 we would have seen the second-costliest tropical storm hit Boston squarely rather than New York/New Jersey. With a similar storm surge it has been reported that Fenway Park would have been covered with 8 feet of water! It is time to support the facts of climate change and work toward creative and positive solutions to the way we develop energy, respond to storms and provide food. We are united in our relationships by a bond of nature and a conviction to persevere peaceably, creatively and fully.

For more information on climate change check out this story from National Geographic and for more information about 350MA of Greater Lowell send Jay an email at jayrmason@comcast.net.