More than two dozen news publishers from around the world launched an initiative on May 21 called the Climate Publishers Network, spearheaded by the popular U.K. newspaper The Guardian.
As members of the network, publishers agree to freely share climate change-related news content to raise public awareness of environmental issues in the lead-up to the UN climate change summit in Paris in December.
Montreal’s La Presse is a founding member, and the Toronto Star is in the process of signing up, joining a group that includes India Today, The Seattle Times, China Daily and The Sidney Morning Herald in Australia.
It’s a good sign, and hopefully more Canadian news outlets will join the effort. So far, no others have applied.
But even if more do, will it mean climate coverage in Canada will finally get regular, thoughtful treatment as the massive economic, public health, technology and global security story it is?
To be fair, the individual bits are being reported well enough — a newly extinct animal here, a collapsing Antarctic ice sheet there, a new clean technology just around the corner, another oil pipeline protest on Earth Day — but the big picture is still missing, as are sustained, deeply informed efforts to push public policy in the right direction.
What stands in its place is too often a form of cognitive dissonance: tepid recognition that, yes, climate change is real and we need to do something about it, accompanied by a largely uncritical, unsustainable obsession with oil wealth, jobs and growth.