The ‘Worst Hit by Climate Change’ Contest

December 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm

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 hardest hit by climate change

[Australia] is suffering the negative effects of climate change worse than any other country, according to a Bureau of Meteorology report.

South-east Asia will be hardest hit by climate change, ONA predicts

AUSTRALIA’S top intelligence agency believes south-east Asia will be the region worst affected by climate change by 2030

Indian poor the hardest hit by Climate Change

The world’s leading climate experts have issued their bleakest forecasts of the impacts of global warming

Micro-hydro power plants in Peru | Deutsche Welle

According to international studies, Peru is among the countries hardest hit by climate change.

Many Strong Voices act on climate change | UNEP/GRID-Arendal – Activities – Polar – News

The Small Island Developing States are among the hardest hit by climate change

NYCA Welcomes You.

Climate scientists warn us that Nepal is likely to be one of the countries hardest-hit by climate change

Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada) – Inuit of Canada Amongst the Hardest Hit by Climate Change

Top Climate Scientists Warn Adaptation to Climate Change Can’t Wait

“Texas will be one of the states hardest hit, and people need to get informed,” Romm says.

Greenland hardest hit by climate change

Climate Change: Africa May Be Worst Hit, Says UNIDO, Articles | THISDAY LIVE

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.

Bangladesh should get 15% of any climate fund

It is arguably the hardest hit nation at the hands of Climate change

Carbon-Based: Pakistan and Guatemala hardest hit by weather extremes in 2010

New Analysis Projects State-by-State Temperature Increases | The Nature Conservancy

Kansas, Nebraska and other Great Plains states would be the hardest-hit by climbing temperatures, according to the analysis.

Birdlife Data Zone

The Arctic is likely to undergo some of the most dramatic changes in climate

Report suggests Arkansas may be one of the hardest hit by | Arkansas Climate Awareness Project

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.

Climate Change and the Environment in Thailand?What?s Going on with the Weather? | TSM – Thailand Surfrider Magazine -

Thailand, the heart of continental South East Asia, will be among the hardest hit locations on the entire earth by climate change

Bulgaria: Bulgaria to Be Among Hardest Hit by European Climate Change – Novinite.com – Sofia News Agency

Bulgaria, Spain Portugal, Italy and Greece are the countries that would be worst affected by global warming, according to a European Union report.

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