October 28, 2009

Business journos jumping on the climate story

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With the nations of the world preparing to say how much they are willing to do to combat climate change, it’s heartening to see business journalists jumping on the story.

Two worthwhile and recent examples:

  • Today Marketplace launched a series called “The Climate Race,” in which reporters Sam Eaton and Sarah Gardner ventured out from their desks in LA to find out how climate change is affecting Americans on the ground. Today’s installment took us to Helena, Montana, where a beetle has devastated forests surrounding Montana’s state capital. The beetles used to die off in the winter, but a few degrees’ warming has made all the differrence. Today Helena is surrounded by hills ablaze in orange, red and gold. No, those aren’t the gorgeous and welcome warm hues of autumn. These trees, you see, are evergreens. They turn those colors when they die.
  • The Wall Street Journal’s Weekly Journal Report just featured “Five Technologies That Could Change Everything.” Now, Marketplace’s Eaton and Gardener are reporters on the program’s sustainability desk, but I’m pretty sure the WSJ doesn’t have one of those. And while the Marketplace piece was straight-ahead what-are-the-effects reporting, the WSJ was thinking — as always — about investors as editor Michael Totty examined space-based solar energy, advanced electric car batteries, renewable-energy storage, carbon capture and storage and next-generation biofuels. The piece features a basic rundown on where each of those technologies stands, enough to get investors’ interest piqued. The graphics are pretty good, too.   

It would be a weclome sign to see more of our colleagues in the financial press pressing forward with reporting on the perils and opportunities presented by climate change.

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