Where fiction speaks truth on climate change – is anybody listening?

Last night’s episode of HBO’s drama “The Newsroom” featured an interview with a supposed EPA representative who spoke about climate change. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say the EPA guy finally said what our government, politicians and federal agencies haven’t or haven’t been able to get said for the past several decades. It’s plain talk – brutally honest, devastating “news”
that we’ve gone beyond our ability to fix the effects of climate change and are 20 years too late.

The writer behind this show Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, A few Good Men, etc.) once again reveals his skill at planting truth right in front of us, where it hurts the most.

The “truth” is that this information isn’t new; scientists and climatologists have been trying to get this message across for decades – since the 1950’s. To quote a colleague of mine, “people thought they were kooks – I mean, we’d just come out of an ice age only 11,000 years ago.” Nobody wanted to listen.

So are they listening now? Take a look at the clip and watch the reactions of those in and around the newsroom to what the EPA guy says. That’s the look of no hope. And when actor Jeff Daniels, as the news anchor, asks the EPA rep for hope to give his audience, the response is more “truth”.

Sad to say this is only fiction. An EPA representative would never speak so plainly or straightforwardly. And, even if he did, would we grasp the truth and take action? Unfortunately, probably not. It’s easier to ignore, deny or simply look somewhere else. But the question remains: what will it take to galvanize our country – and the world – to get into serious action and tackle these issues? And will it be in time to make the difference?

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