In Nepal, everything from religious rituals to the types of agricultural crops being grown will soon be altered by erratic rainfall, drought and floods. It’s already happening.
So some farmers, such as the one featured in this story, have recently abandoned traditional crops like rice and maize for bananas.
The situation demands this kind of foresight, says one Nepalese social activist:
Climate change is a big threat to our country. We need to start building our coping capacity at the national level before we run out of time.
As I wrote here several weeks ago, global warming is already changing South Florida’s ecology. The difficulty facing land managers and field biologists is determining the extent of the change and what actions to take. After talking with a number of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service staffers based in the southeast, I had the impression that their efforts would be hampered by a lack of hard data. It seemed to me that they were operating–for the moment–mostly on observation and gut feeling.
So this new program tracking the effects of climate change in South Florida has to be welcome news to federal biologists. The Miami Herald reports that a joint effort by the Univerisity of Florida and the U.S. Geological Survey “will monitor when flowers open and whether wetlands plants are being adversely impacted by drought conditions.”
Additionally,” monitoring stations” soon to be set up all around Florida
will keep tabs on whether plants that thrive in temperate areas “” for example, the dogwood “” are shifting their growth range north to escape rising temperatures.
Still, as the Miami Herald story documents, there is increasing evidence of “ample change” to Florida’s diverse wildlife, from rising seas, warmer ocean temperatures, and storm surges. The debate over how to manage this shifting ecological landscape is sure to heat up soon.
I’m starting to wonder if there’s a disproportionate concern being expressed for the future of investigative reporting.
But this newest initiative by the Huffington Post got me wondering: why isn’t anyone rushing forward to fund new web vehicles for science journalism? Given the enormously complex issues that demand our attention, such as climate change and stem cell research, where are the bold, innovative proposals to keep top-notch (and increasingly unenemployed) science journalists on the beat?
As best as I can tell, CJR’s The Observatory and Knight’s Science Journalism Tracker represent the main web endeavors being underwritten with institutional support. But each focuses on existing coverage, which is growing thinner by the day. I closely follow and value both sites, but the crisis in science journalism cries out for more creative, well funded web-based enterprises.
Regarding those nine-month long fellowships: at the risk of biting the hand that feeds me (I’m currently a recipient, on the Scripps dime, at CU’s Center for Environmental Journalism), perhaps its time to rethink their purpose in these fast-changing times. Admirably, Stanford University’s Knight Fellowship program is showing the way.
Still, I’m not seeing anything in the way of innovative new partnerships on par with the new Huffington Post initiative, which Jeff Jarvis appraises:
This, I’ve long held, is where foundation and public support will enter into the new ecosystem of journalism: not by taking over newspapers but by funding investigations and other slices of a new journalistic pie.
Science journalists know a lot about ecosystems. It’s time they put their heads together and figured out what their role is going to be in today’s “new ecosystem of journalism.”
Is there a difference between non-military experts serving alongside combatant soldiers in a war and those that are part of a peacekeeping force in a war-torn country?
I wondered about this today after reading about plans to add “green” advisors to U.N peacekeeping operations in countries where chronic instability is fueled by over-exploitation of the environment and/or bloody conflicts over natural resources.
If you’re the U.N. and your aim is to reduce war and suffering in impoverished countries, of which some of the root causes are degraded agricultural land, water scarcity, and pandemic disease, then it seems to make good sense to embed a few scientists with those peacekeepers.
And wouldn’t the same go for social scientists serving alongside U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, where an understanding of the language and culture can potentially help bring the wars there to a quicker end?
This is not to minimize the problems, “growing pains“, and tragedies associated with the Pentagon’s Human Terrain teams. (The Danger Room blog at Wired has consistently provided the fullest perspective of the controversial military program.)
But let’s say Human Terrain’s defects can be fixed. Can anthropologists serving in a military capacity be a force for good in wartime, in the same way that environmental experts serving with peacekeepers can be a force for good in war-torn countries?
In case you spent all of March in a monastery, Jay Rosen, one of the leading journalism innovators of the day, recaps the newspaper industry’s quickening death spasms.
Or, to put it another way, he has sifted through the latest obits and analytical dissections from people who
are trying to explain how we got here, and what we’re losing as part of the newspaper economy crashes.
Jeff Jarvis is arguably the most influential media blogger. I’ve been reading BuzzMachine habitually for years because Jarvis is in the vanguard of a revolution–one that will ultimately reinvent journalism for the digital age. His blog is a must-read for many in the industry.
But like some of his critics, I blanch at his all or nothing approach to saving journalism. Yes, it comes off as heartless, but it’s also reckless, in light of the increasingly rapid shuttering of major newspapers. Jarvis makes no bones about this. The sooner the old media ship sinks, the quicker the reinvention, Jarvis often claims.
Perhaps. But what about between now and then? There are no existing economic models to keep journalism afloat while innovators like Jarvis help build a new ship for the ages. So I have to wonder how much he truly values the civic importance of journalism when he cavalierly dismisses proposed interim solutions like this.
Now I’m not suggesting that the government bail out the newspaper business. But can’t we at least take seriously efforts to keep some journalists (and some papers) afloat while the old order is deservedly being overthrown.
Uh oh, looks like Joe Romm has coughed up another media hairball. This time, it’s the New Yorker that has gone off message in Rommian land.
So let’s say there are legitimate points of contention with this editorial by David Owen. All you Rommians surely must see how the “indispensable” one completely undermines himself when he starts off writing that Owens’ piece is
so bad, so filled with long-debunked right-wing talking points, it would barely qualify for the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
Hey, case closed, right? Further down Romm asserts that Owens “undoes all of [Elizabeth] Kolbert’s good work.”
Really? Kolbert’s three parter (and eventual book) couldn’t have been all that effective if Owens’ short comment piece “undoes” all that “good work.”
In typically dismissive fashion, Romm boils his criticism down to bile size and repeats it ad naseum throughout: Owens is simply “parroting right-wing talking points.” The latest signature Rommian media rant closes with this familiar rhetorical flourish:
Please let The New Yorker and David Owen know that you don’t think they should be contributing to humanity’s self-destruction.
Sound familiar? Haven’t we heard this tune from Romm and other climate advocates before?
For as long as I’ve been paying attention, religious social conservatives have been blaming the imminent end of the world on The New York Times and The New Yorker. Joe, you’re in illustrious company.
Environmental security is a topic rarely discussed outside Washington think tanks.
This semester, the U.S. Academy at West Point is offering a course to Geography majors that examines “how the environment can act as a catalyst for conflict or simply as an amplifier of existing problems.” The goal is
to educate future Army leaders on the interrelatedness of the environment and human activities, because these are issues they are likely to face in their careers.
And if that’s not change enough, the 11 West Point cadets enrolled in the course will be blogging too.