Despite the IPCC report and the Supremes, global warming accounted for only 5% of total news index

Back in February, I chronicled the problems that the year's first IPCC report had in achieving wider media and public attention. In response, I argued that in today's fragmented media system, relying on traditional news coverage to attract the attention of the wider public just wasn't good enough.

As alternatives, I suggested recruiting and training a national system of opinion-leaders or "science navigators" to connect to fellow citizens on the topic, while also harnessing the power of entertainment media and celebrity culture to reach the massive audience of Americans who pay little or no attention to news about either science or public affairs.

Last week it was a new IPCC release, but similar story when it came to its media impact.

According to the latest Pew analysis, global warming only accounted for roughly 5% of the total news hole, far short of the combined attention to Iran, the 2008 Horse Race, and Iraq.

Even the partisan split at the Supreme Court on the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases didn't elevate news attention to the issue much. In absolute terms, global warming is enjoying record amounts of news attention, yet it still doesn't register as prominent on the overall news agenda. Indeed, last week was only the third week all year where the issue broke into the top ten of news agenda items as tracked by Pew.

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less