25 June 2019

South Africa: Business Media Is Complicit As We Approach the Climate Crisis' Tipping Point


The business media has failed in its watchdog role. It cheer-leads those who play by the rules of the economic game that is driving climate change, instead of challenging the rules of the game itself.

This is an open letter to every news editor in the country, to drive home something which science journalists have been trying to say for years: "Climate change", to use the tame wording that insulates us from the reality and scale of the environmental collapse coming with an unstable climate, is not a soft "environmental" story, it's an economic one. And by shoving the story to the bottom of the newsroom agenda, the Fourth Estate, a load-bearing wall in any healthy society, is in dereliction of its duty.

Here's an analogy to help get our heads around the complexity of this problem: take a glass of water and fill it until the water is about a finger beneath the lip. Imagine the glass is our atmosphere, and the space inside that glass is the capacity of the atmosphere to hold all the carbon emissions our industrial economy is dumping into it. The water in the glass is from the past 200-plus years of industrial growth,...

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