Global Warming Compared to Y2K, the “Killer African Bee Scare”

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WVII and WFVX, two local TV stations in Bangor, Maine, will no longer cover stories on global warming. The general manager of the station, Michael Palmer, declared that only when “Bar Harbor is underwater…” will they do stories on the subject. Sounds like a good philosophy, right? In an email to his staff, Palmer wrote that the stations will no longer cover global warming because:

“a) we do local news, b) the issue evolved from hard science into hard politics and c) despite what you may have heard from the mainstream media, this science is far from conclusive.”

But won’t it be local news when Bar Harbor is underwater? Maybe Palmer should read the latest issue of Mother Jones, where Julia Whitty talks about 12 tipping points in the global ecosystem triggered by global warming, all of which have local impacts. Plus, he can add to his reading list the Mother Jones article last year which broke the story on ExxonMobil’s funding of climate change deniers, the ones who agree with him that the “science is far from conclusive.” Palmer went on to write that “global warming stories [are] in the same category as ‘the killer African bee scare’ from the 1970s or, more recently, the Y2K scare when everyone’s computer was going to self-destruct.” A little extra reading defininitely can’t hurt.

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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