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Discussion > Notes for fans of Alan Rushbridger (Guardian supremo)

I'll just share some notes from his ABC interview 3 weeks before the 2015 UK election

I edited it down to a few quotes
ALAN RUSBRIDGER: And I wondered whether we had done enough to wake people up to the seriousness of climate change and the consensus amongst scientists..... (I had ) the idea of doing a pretty short, sharp intensive campaign to try and punch through on a subject where I think journalism often fails.

EMMA ALBERICI: Why do you think journalism has failed and given the fact that the public is certainly in this country split between those who agree that the science is settled and those who still question whether human beings are indeed responsible for climate change and therefore can do anything about it or not, is that the media's fault for not communicating it well enough or do we blame the scientists themselves for not being very good at parlaying this information?

ALAN RUSBRIDGER: Well I think journalism is fantastic at reporting what happened yesterday. I think of it like a rear-view mirror. When things have happened that are concrete and witnessable, then journalism does an excellent job.
If you're writing about things that could happen in 20 or 30 years time, journalism is a less valuable tool, you might argue. So I think you are heavily dependent as journalists on the view of experts and when the overwhelming majority of experts, scientists around the world by roughly nine to one* tell you that something incredibly alarming could happen unless we change our behaviour now, I think it's the job of journalists to sit up, take notice and report that and to try and do it as powerfully as possible.
* (Where's your stats from Alan ? I know of no proper poll)

The risks of what are involved in this are so great that I think you either have to be a very brave or arrogant journalist to say, "Well I'm going to discount that because I personally don't believe it or because I did a humanities degree and I don't understand it."
(Alan you have seen from the GE2015 Election pollsters fiasco the dangers of relying on experts)

"ALAN RUSBRIDGER: Well coal is particularly troubling. It is a particularly damaging to the health** and particularly damaging to the climate. And of course there are always going to be short-term economic arguments that will make people want to delay the decision. But many of us are parents, many of us are grandparents and I think we can't ignore the stark warnings that this could happen this century."
** (It is almost ZERO damage to UK people's health, whereas open fire and wood burning causes the loss of billions of life years. And overall it's the known danger of that vs to hypothetical danger of CC)

(- An interesting thing is that Rushbridger heavily resists being drawn into predicting the UK election result and that was 3 weeks before the election happened. So although he is in the climate cult and so has certainty beyond the evidence, he is maybe not a md predictor about other things)

May 22, 2015 at 11:55 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen