May 14, 2013

Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post:

Marty Kaplan

The Day the Earth Stood Stupid

Director, Norman Lear Center and Professor at the USC Annenberg School
"Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears," ran the headline on the front page lead story in Saturday's New York Times, with this sub-head: "CO2 at Level Not Seen in Millions of Years, Portending Major Climate Changes." A headline like that -- millions of years? really? -- normally turns up in comic books and superhero movies, not in the paper of record. In fiction, what usually comes next is a montage. At breakfast tables and on street corners, in souks and igloos, in the Oval Office and at the U.N., the shocking news galvanizes humanity into action. In the real world, it was pretty much a one-day story. What does it take to grab us by the eyeballs? Sure, disaster porn is always good for ratings, but though a Superstorm Sandy may momentarily raise the specter of climate change, daily bulletins on the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere apparently aren't Nielsen enough.