Journalists... Admit #COP26 Is Too Late.
Say it, you COWARDS!
The arrival of COP26 has reminded me of one of my favourite fictional news interviews of all time.
When I first saw S3 E3 of The Newsroom, in which Paul Lieberstein gives zero fucks about government and media climate change rhetoric, I didn’t feel particularly doomy. I just burst out laughing in relief.
It wasn’t simply the comic skill of The Newsroom’s writers, though that last line is a right gem. It was the fact that, for the first time, I’d finally heard something honest about climate change in mainstream popular culture.
If you don’t believe me, Mother Jones fact-checked the segment.
The scene wasn’t entirely unprecedented. The episode first aired at the end of 2014, meaning it was likely written shortly after this interview in 2010: if you can bear ten minutes of his incessantly speaking over interviewer Alison von Diggelen, listen to professor of oceanography (and ‘Titanic Discoverer’) Robert Ballard say much the same.
If you watched the whole thing, you’ll have noticed that he predicts the most immediate threat to humanity as a result of environmental decline to be…a global pandemic.
This is not to say that everyone should freak out and anticipate the end of the world, or rather, of humanity. (Fellow anxiety-havers, I’m with you. Consider this parenthetical a hug.)
But rather that, in pursuit of ‘having hope’, the majority of our primary communicators - that is, prominent editors/faces/money men of the media industry - are fixated on not alarming us to the point of misinforming us. The truth is, we should be alarmed.
The damage has already been done. The rhetoric we are hearing in 2021 *might* have been useful decades ago, but it was suppressed. The effects of global warming are now already happening, and we’re still driving petrol cars and flying across the Atlantic. (Sorry.)
So anyway, I don’t know if you know this but I’m not a climate scientist or a politician. I have no strategic advice. I just like writing. So I guess I’ll carry on doing what I can whilst also maintaining a livable level of happiness.
…Have a good day?