Copenhagen overhype?

David Roberts thinks Copenhagen is a bubbling cauldron of media hype.

Consider: Copenhagen maxed out on journalist registrations, at 5,000. Supposedly there were more than 10,000 waiting in line even after that. The place is choked with journalists, not to mention folks from think tanks and NGOs who are supposed to be blogging on it. There are thousands and thousands of people in a tiny area, each under instructions from their bosses to update frequently and find fresh news, each exhausted and stressed out, each desperate for something, anything to write about.

On the flip side, virtually nothing of actual importance to an international agreement will happen before the final days, perhaps the final hours, of the talks.

So what are all those journalists going to write about? They’re going to write about “Climategate.” They’re going to cover NGO events and reports. They’re going to write “local color” pieces on, say, Danish police preparation. Most of all, they’re going to report obsessively every time any representative of any government says anything, or anyone claiming to represent someone who represents a government says that someone else representing some other government said something. You get the idea—every bit of pre-positioning gossip and bluster will be blown up to billboard size.

There is, in short, immense incentive to exaggerate the significance of every piece of “news.”

via The ‘leaked draft’ non-story and Copenhagen journo-hype | Grist.

Krugman on Climate

Paul Krugman has a great column on climate change today.  This leapt out at me.

“For three decades the dominant political ideology in America has extolled private enterprise and denigrated government, but climate change is a problem that can only be addressed through government action. And rather than concede the limits of their philosophy, many on the right have chosen to deny that the problem exists.”

And, not parenthetically:

“We can afford to do this. Even as climate modelers have been reaching consensus on the view that the threat is worse than we realized, economic modelers have been reaching consensus on the view that the costs of emission control are lower than many feared.”

My favorite Obama quote

“With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to
lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming

– President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address

Wow, he just drew a parallel between climate change and nuclear war.  And you know what, he’s right.  Both are fundamental, existential threats.

I’m so happy to have an administration that understands this and will act accordingly.