The ‘Worst Hit by Climate Change’ Contest
Blogger / aggregator Tom Nelson has a knack for connecting the dots in ways that highlight journalism at its silliest. Below is a cut-and-paste of one of his posts dated today. Titled Settled science: Everyplace to be hit by climate change harder than everyplace else, it made me laugh.
According to the stories Nelson links to Arctic communities, Africa, Australia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Greenland, Guatemala, India, South-East Asia, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand, and small island developing states (see the dropdown list on the right side of this page) are all contenders for the ‘Worst Hit by Climate Change’ grand prize. So, apparently, are the US states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas.
There would seem to be two significant takeaways here. One is that it apparently isn’t hard to find experts who’ll say anything. Few of us have the time to notice that their declarations contradict what the expert down the road said last week.
Moreover, many of us (especially journalists) find it difficult to resist personalizing big-picture stories like climate change. Apparently the issue isn’t compelling enough on its own – it needs to be linked to the self-interest of whomever the audience of the moment happens to be.
We humans sure are strange. Here’s Tom’s post:
[Australia] is suffering the negative effects of climate change worse than any other country, according to a Bureau of Meteorology report.
AUSTRALIA’S top intelligence agency believes south-east Asia will be the region worst affected by climate change by 2030
The world’s leading climate experts have issued their bleakest forecasts of the impacts of global warming
According to international studies, Peru is among the countries hardest hit by climate change.
The Small Island Developing States are among the hardest hit by climate changeClimate scientists warn us that Nepal is likely to be one of the countries hardest-hit by climate change
“Texas will be one of the states hardest hit, and people need to get informed,” Romm says.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has sounded a note of warning that the African continent may be the worst hit by the effect of global warming.
It is arguably the hardest hit nation at the hands of Climate change
The Arctic is likely to undergo some of the most dramatic changes in climate
the Southeast states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee,Virginia, and the Gulf Coast of Texas – may be some of the hardest hit by climate change in the US.
Thailand, the heart of continental South East Asia, will be among the hardest hit locations on the entire earth by climate change
Bulgaria, Spain Portugal, Italy and Greece are the countries that would be worst affected by global warming, according to a European Union report.