- The Washington Times - Monday, September 16, 2019

Those who believe the world is in imminent peril due to climate change say the news media is failing to report on this belief, and those alarmists are pushing back. The Nation and the Columbia Journalism Review have banded together to found “Covering Climate Now,” a new project supported by some 250 news organizations who vow to “strengthen the media’s focus on the climate crisis” and produce a week’s worth of stories to underscore that view.

Point men Mark Hertsgaard, environmental correspondent for The Nation, and Kyle Pope, editor of Columbia’s University media-centric publication, say these participating news organizations have a combined audience of over 1 billion people.

“The media’s minimization of the looming disaster is one of our great journalistic failures,” the pair advise.

They believe the press has sidelined climate stories because they are “too political or too depressing”; they say the press has been “spun by the fossil fuel industry” and that reporters quote both scientists and “paid corporate mouthpieces” when it comes to climate matters.

“It is heartening, then, to report that the press may at last be waking up to the defining story of our time. We believe that Covering Climate Now is the biggest effort ever undertaken to organize the world’s press around a single topic,” the two organizers say.

What’s a good example of such journalism? Mr. Hertsgaard and Mr. Pope cite a recent story in The Nation by longtime broadcast commentator Bill Moyers titled “What if Reporters Covered the Climate Crisis Like Edward R. Murrow Covered the Start of World War II?”

Perhaps straight facts from both sides of the argument would be helpful to the coverage here, but that is another story.

Meanwhile, the organizers’ intentions are to help media “tell the story so people get it,” and the coverage will continue for better or worse through Monday, the date of the United Nations Climate Action Summit.

Among the news organizations which have signed on to produce all this enlightened climate fare: Congressional Quarterly, Roll Call, Bloomberg, CBS News. “PBS NewsHour,” Agence France-Presse, San Francisco Chronicle, the Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Scientific American, Vanity Fair, Slate and BuzzFeed.


Tuesday marks Constitution Day. So go ahead. Read the Constitution, or a part of it, or at least mull it over for a few seconds. Meanwhile, here is Ronald Reagan‘s advice, delivered exactly 38 years ago on Sept. 17, 1981:

“The Constitution establishes the Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary and through a deliberate allocation of authority, it defines the limits of each upon the others. It particularizes the liberties which, as free men and women, we insist upon, and it constrains both federal and state powers to ensure that those precious liberties are faithfully protected. It is our blueprint for freedom, our commitment to ourselves and to each other,” Reagan told the nation.

“It is by choice, not by imposition, that the Constitution is the supreme law of our land. As we approach the bicentennial of this charter, each of us has a personal obligation to acquaint ourselves with it and with its central role in guiding our nation. While a constitution may set forth rights and liberties, only the citizens can maintain and guarantee those freedoms. Active and informed citizenship is not just a right; it is a duty,” Reagan advised.


The always classy Hillsdale College starts a new era Tuesday. The campus — which bases its curriculum on the Constitution and founding tenets — opens the doors for the brand new Steve and Amy Van Andel Graduate School of Government in the nation’s capital. The goal: To offer a Master of Arts in government, combining the study of political thought, American founding principles, and statesmanship.

“Today, the connection between liberty and learning is widely forgotten, and their mutual support has grown tenuous. Repairing the breach is a task both urgent and noble,” says Larry P. Arnn, Hillsdale president.

“Our students will study politics as a human activity oriented toward justice — a series of choices that require prudence to achieve the best attainable results. Only by knowing the good for which we aim can we then know where we are, what to do, and how to do it,” notes Matthew Spalding, dean of the new school.

The degree program is ideal for working professionals, as evening and weekend classes are available as are some significant scholarships. Students complete 36 credit hours in political thought and culture, American politics and statecraft. The program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and licensed to operate in the District of Columbia by the Higher Education Licensure Commission.

Classes begin in January, but the school will offer lectures and courses for a select pilot cohort in the fall 2019 semester. For more information, visit dc.hillsdale.edu or contact DCgradschool@hillsdale.edu.


Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is slowly but surely upping and refocusing her public profile. She recently appeared in New York City at a poetry event. This week, she is showcased in a more political setting.

Mrs. Clinton is the keynote speaker Tuesday for an all-day conference in the nation’s capital on the “future of democracy” — the event organized by the Albert Shanker Institute, the American Federation of Teachers, and Onward Together, a political action committee Mrs. Clinton co-founded with Howard Dean after her White House defeat in 2016.

“A lineup of prominent activists, politicians and intellectuals” will also be on hand, organizers say. They include the teacher’s federation president Randi Weingarten; Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat; and former Attorney General Eric Holder — who anchors an afternoon panel “Lift Every Voice: Voter Rights and Voter Suppression.”


82% of those who expect to vote in the 2020 Republican presidential primary would vote for President Trump if it were held today; 86% of Republicans and 75% of independents agree.

4% would vote for former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld; 2% of Republicans and 4% of independents agree.

3% would vote for former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford; 2% of Republicans and 7% of independents agree.

1% would vote for Joe Walsh; 1% of Republicans and 0% of independents agree.

2% would not vote; 3% of Republicans and 2% of independents agree.

7% are not sure for whom they would vote; 5% of Republicans and 12% of independents agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 393 U.S. adults who say they will vote in the GOP primary, conducted Sept. 8-10.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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