Letters to the Editor: Why climate journalism needs to give readers a reason to hope
I was delighted to receive an email recently from the president of the National Association of School Supervisors, which reads in part, “The science of climate change has been proven once and for all by a global analysis of historical data from thousands of weather stations. The U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has published the full range of data from its weather station network, compiled a global analysis of actual long-term climate change, and issued a report showing that climate change is unequivocal and is a threat to our way of life.”
That statement by President Eric Schaeffer is exactly what we at the NSS need to hear in our efforts to educate students, faculty and parents about climate science. Climate change is a threat to our way of life, and it has been proven in the past. We need to give our students, faculty and parents the knowledge they need to prepare them to deal with the reality that climate change is indeed a threat to our way of life.
Unfortunately, climate change news is often filled with headlines that provide a reason to hope and optimism that climate change is going to be good for humanity. Unfortunately, the truth is that it is not. The reality is that climate change is a reality that will change everything about our world, our economy, our health, our energy, our food and our social systems.
This reality is not a reason for hope. It is the reason for fear that our children’s generation will face the same crises that all generations in our history have faced.
If we do nothing to alter climate change, we are effectively choosing one of two possible futures, and that is an absolutely horrifying future.
With that in mind, let’s hope that the future we face has as much opportunity for humanity to prosper as does the one that we have today. Let’s hope, for example, that in the future we will be able to grow our own food, that we will have the luxury to be able to grow a larger and better food supply for our families, that our children will be able to have greater access to health care, that we will be able to afford the energy that will allow us to live healthier lives and that we will be able to avoid the diseases that we have today.