Gore Concert Generates Talk Media Attacks But Not News
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
Gore's Live Earth concert series was supposed to catalyze American public attention around the problem of global warming, but did it? Polling data is not yet available regarding the concert's impact on American audiences, but we do have data relative to the concert's influence on the U.S. news agenda.
According to Pew's Media Index, during the week of the event, the Live Earth concert failed to generate much actual mainstream news attention, but it did make the agenda at the "talk media," which Pew defines as including seven prime time cable shows and five radio talk hosts. As Pew reports, the attention at the Talk Media was almost completely one sided negative. Fox News led the way, with Hannity fronting his show with Gore and RFK Jr. (clip above) and guest host Rich Lowry focusing on the participation of "alleged terrorist sympathizer" Cat Stevens (clip below).
Top Ten Stories in the Talk Show Index
1. Iraq Policy Debate - 22%
2. US Domestic Terror Threat - 9%
3. Campaign 2008 - 8%
4. International War on Terror - 7%
5. Global Warming - 6%
6. DC Escort Scandal - 5%
7. Congress - 3%
8. Fired Attorneys Scandal - 3%
9. Wrestler Crime - 2%
10. Health Care Debate - 1%
Top Ten Stories in the broader News Coverage Index
1. Iraq Policy Debate - 20%
2. Campaign 2008 - 7%
3. International War on Terror - 4%
4. US Domestic Terror Threat - 4%
5. Events in Iraq - 4%
6. Lady Bird Johnson Dies - 4%
7. Pakistan Mosque Siege - 2%
8. 2003 Pizza Bomber Case - 2%
9. Fired Attorneys Scandal - 2%
10. DC Escort Scandal - 2%
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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