The Spin is on…Finally, America Gets Real about Climate Action


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By Neva Knott

Today, thankfully, President Obama released his Plan to Fight Climate Change, based on the third National Climate Assessment. I say “thankfully,” because the US in contrast to other first world nations has been hesitant to commit to climate action–ever since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. Legislatively, our nation’s leaders have favored the monied interests of big business over the concerns of the world. Culturally, Americans have allowed stereotypes and soundbites broadcast by ill-informed blabbers to dominate the conversation about what’s happening to our world as it heats up. As individuals, Americans are hesitant to change our habits of getting and having that, largely, are the cause of climate change.

In my opinion, America to date has missed an opportunity to lead–to be the world leader in response to climate change. So, again, I say “thankfully” today, the spin is on. CNN promoted Obama’s report, Time promoted Obama’s report, The Guardian promoted Obama’s report, The Washington Post promoted Obama’s report. Fox News not only covered the roll-out of Obama’s report, but covered the firm statement by White House spokesman  John Podesta that Congress will not be able to stop Obama’s enforcement of Clean Air Act (1970) regulation of polluters (those big business types who thing this is all some eco-nazi film-flam). On NPR today, I heard a brief report of what America is doing already– two examples: restoring wetlands, adapting to green energy sources. So, the spin is on. News reportage changed today; climate change and the need for action is now part of the mainstream news cycle.

Many of the reports I’ve linked to this post provide easily-digestable and discernible information on climate science. Each publication covers just a bit of a different angle on the issue. In sum, all strongly document the reality of climate change, and our immediate need as a nation and as individual Americans to act.

We’re a mediatized culture; once the spin is on, we’ll begin to act–legislatively, culturally, individually.



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