Rarely in the modern age has the American media been vilified as it has in the past few months during the presidential campaign, with the vaporous pall of despise occasionally even manifesting as direct threats of violence. Some of the criticism is probably deserved, especially if you main source of information is cable or network television, both of which where early enablers of the Trump candidacy for its entertainment and ratings values. But in the end, we can’t blame the media for the dangerous rise of Trump. We have to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Continue reading “#Election2016 – Don’t blame the media”→
VIENNA —Longtime Summit Voice readers will have noticed a gradual transition over the last few years away from local news coverage in Colorado to focusing on what is probably the over-riding environmental issue of our time.
There’s no longer much doubt that global warming poses an existential threat to humanity. The Earth, to be sure, will survive, but the ability of humans to maintain some semblance of civilization is definitely under the gun.
At worst, climate change (and yes, I use the terms interchangeably) will trigger some catastrophic and and as-yet unforeseen tipping point that will lead to mass extinctions and widespread ecological collapse. That’s not far-fetched if the world doesn’t get a grip soon on greenhouse gas emissions.
At best, even if we meet the targets set at last year’s climate talks in Paris, there will be massive dislocation from coastal areas from flooding and storms, and mass migration from parts of the world that will just be too hot. There will probably be major disruptions to the world’s food supplies. And many of the world’s natural treasures, like its glaciers and coral reefs, will just disappear.
It’s easy enough to say that life goes on, at least in the short term, but that’s not enough. Sure, some of the other short-term issues (politics comes to mind) matter, but in the long run, none of it will unless we get our act together soon to cut greenhouse gas emissions to near zero.
Some of my climate change reporting is now online at InsideClimate News and I’d like to invite all Summit Voice readers to check out their feed. Their great team of journalists is working hard to cover the most important aspects of the climate change story, and I’m happy to add my reporting to that effort.
The ownership change was announced early September by National Geographic in a press release, which characterized the deal as an agreement to expand an 18-year partnership that will increase the National Geographic Society’s endowment to nearly $1 billion. Under the agreement, the new entity will be owned 73 percent by 21st Century Fox and 27 percent by The National Geographic Society.
National Geographic Society chief communications officer Betty Hudson said the concerns may be unfounded, and that National Geographic and its readers have enjoyed the benefits of the partnership with 21st Century Fox for nearly two decades.
“We think our 127 year track record speaks for itself, and find it kind of ironic that our all-climate change issue is being published the week they put forward this petition,” Hudson said via email. “We’re very comfortable with the robust governance guidelines the (joint venture) has in place, and would repeat our shared belief that the essence of the value of the enterprise is ultimately connected to our brand integrity,” she said. Continue reading “Does Nat Geo need a public editor to ensure integrity on climate change coverage?”→
I’ll be discussing global warming in the Rocky Mountains live on the KGNU program, “A Public Affair” Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 8:30 a.m. You can listen streaming on the web by going to www.kgnu.org and clicking on the “Tune In Online” button (left sidebar)
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Ever since I waded knee-deep into the mucky water of Cucumber Gulch 15 years ago to write about vanishing boreal toads, I had this crazy idea that good environmental journalism — and good journalism in general — should be a core community value. The feedback I got on countless stories about critters, forests, water, snow and ski areas — especially ski area expansions — over the years helped reinforce that feeling.
I’ve always known that Summit County readers are smart, engaged and interested in what happens in the world around them. That enthusiasm manifested last Friday evening at the Sunshine Cafe, where about 25 people enjoyed a fabulous menu, a slide show about the Climate Ranger environmental reporting project and a silent auction. The dinner was an incredibly generous gift from cafe owners Mike and Tenley Spry and their gracious and welcoming staff.
We brainstormed about local environment stories, and as always, water is always a key topic — not surprisingly, since a new state report released in August projects that global warming will cut river flows in our state in a big way by 2050, and the impacts by the end of the century could be overwhelming if greenhouse gas emissions continue apace.
We’ll devote some of the money raised at the dinner to writing a couple of in-depth local natural resource stories, and I look forward to hearing more from readers about what you’d like to see covered. With sustainable funding, I can deliver solid and truly newsworthy environmental stories from the local area, but I can’t do it without your support and I can’t do it for free — this is not a hobby.
Doing good journalism takes resources and time, and I’ve already invested more than 15 years in learning about public land and water policy, forest health, climate change, endangered species and other topics I write about.
You can be a grassroots supporter of independent journalism by making a contribution to Summit Voice:
If you’d like to become a business supporter, have a look at the link sponsorship ads in the sidebar. I would love to work with you and feature you as an ongoing supporter of independent reporting. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would specifically like to support the Climate Ranger project, reporting on global warming in the Rocky Mountains, please visit our Beacon Reader page, where your contribution will also give you access to a wealth of diverse independent reporting from around the world.
We’re so grateful to the Sunshine Cafe for offering to host what is going to be a fun and unique chance to enjoy a good meal and learn about global warming in the Rocky Mountains this week.
For one night only Sept. 12), the Sunshine Cafe (once again crowned as Summit County’s favorite breakfast spot, will open at 6 p.m. for a fundraising dinner. Tickets are just $50 per person, and there will also be a silent auction with some Rocky Mountain photography and a few other quirky items.
Proceeds from the dinner will benefit local environmental journalism by Summit Voice, and we’ll take input on story ideas at the dinner. We’ll also give a short presentation from our Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger Project, a series of road trips aimed at learning how climate change is affecting our beloved mountains.
If you are a Summit County or Colorado reader, please consider attending the dinner to show your support for Summit County environmental journalism. You can buy tickets at the PayPal link below, or contact Bob Berwyn via email or at 970-331-5996.
Special Sept. 12 dinner at Sunshine Cafe supports local environmental journalism with a presentation on global warming in the Rockies
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — We are following up on our grassroots fundraising campaign with a Sept. 12 dinner event at the Sunshine Cafe (6 p.m., 250 Summit Place shopping center, Silverthorne, CO) that you don’t want to miss. First of all, the Sunshine Cafe — under new ownership — rarely opens for dinner, so it’s a chance for you to sample the great cooking that makes this a longtime favorite eatery for locals and visitors.
Proceeds from the dinner and a silent auction will benefit Summit Voice and the Beacon Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger environmental journalism project, which takes an in-depth look at how global warming is affecting the Rocky Mountains. The suggested donation for tickets is $50 per person for the dinner with a cash bar for beverages.
We’re still in the middle of the reporting project but we’ll give a presentation covering alpine tundra research at Rocky Mountain National Park, and the growing impacts of Southwest dust storms that are tainting the high country snowpack. We also plan to have a special guest speaker talk about climate change and public lands.
We’ll also be asking what kind of local environmental stories you’d like to see covered right here in Summit County. If we reach our fundraising target from the dinner, we’ll dedicate a month to in-depth reporting right here at home.
Check out some of the early stories from the Climate Ranger project at their home on Beacon Reader.
Good environmental journalism isn’t free. I’ve dedicated years to tracking environmental issues in Summit County and the Rocky Mountains and with your support, I’ll continue to bring you new insights into important stories via Summit Voice and other platforms. Please consider buying tickets to our special dinner or just making a direct donation in support of unbiased, independent environmental journalism.