NYT Environmental Reporter Departs; Global Warming Unmentioned in Long Farewell

December 24th, 2009 10:58 AM

(Andrew Revkin has responded to this NewsBusters story which you can read in the Update below.)

The New York Times environmental writer, Andrew Revkin, has left that newspaper this week. What made Revkin's departure interesting is that in his long farewell story published on Monday, he never once mentions global warming or climate change.

First a little background on Revkin's departure from the Times via the Columbia Journalism Review:

Andrew C. Revkin, one of the most influential and respected reporters on the environment, will take a buyout from The New York Times as part of the paper’s current round of budget cuts. His departure, after nearly fifteen years at the Times, is sure to leave a big hole in the publication’s coverage of climate change at a time when this controversial issue—and what to do about it—is at the top of the American and international agenda as never before. Revkin is currently on assignment covering the Copenhagen climate change summit and will step down from his staff reporting post next Monday after returning to New York.

Hmm... So if "climate change" (Newspeak for "global warming")  is so important then why did Andrew Revkin NOT once mention it in his extended farewell? Let us analyze what he did talk about since it makes the absence of any mention of global warming all that much more glaring:

Today is my last day as  a staff reporter for The New York Times. After spending more than a quarter of a century writing about science and the environment, more than half of that time here, I am switching gears for the second half of my professional life. I’ll be continuing to blog, write and work with video. And I’ll certainly keep contributing to this remarkable newspaper as it works to sustain a reliable view of the fast-changing planet while straddling the  uncertain interface between the front page and home page.

Old staff reporters never die, they just fade away. Sorry, I just couldn't resist the MacArthuran reference. But where is global warming which is supposed to spell doom for our planet? Let us analyze some some of the Revkin long goodbye:

But my prime focus now will be education and a broader exploration of new ways to make information work – to give ideas the best chance of getting where they are needed to help advance our relationships to the environment and each other. I’m taking a position as senior fellow for environmental understanding at Pace University, situated in the school’s young  Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. There’s more background on my plans in the Columbia Journalism Review, the  Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media and  CEJournal. I’ll also be working on two books, one for middle school kids on resilience to disasters and another, for adults, on ways to navigate the next 50 years with the fewest regrets.

Hello! Where is the mention of global warming? Perhaps it is time to put a pic of global warming on milk cartons.

...I’m convinced that there is vast untapped potential to use the Web and other means to build global awareness and meaningful relationships...

...I visited a poor neighborhood called Bagcilar. As I interviewed residents at a community center that had a dozen heavily used computers, several kids ran up to me, checking out my camcorder and pad. A common greeting of theirs was, “Facebook? Facebook?” Some are Facebook friends of mine now...

As is your humble correspondent. Perhaps I should use my Facebook connection with Andy to ask him why global warming was deep-sixed in his farewell. 

Okay, Andy, I'll give you just one more chance to mention what was pretty much your life's work until recently:

You can probably understand by now why I no longer see journalism, on its own, as the single best use of my remaining days. Among other goals, I want to help make scientists and scientific institutions into  better, more committed, more creative communicators. In a world of  shrinking specialized journalism, direct outreach will be more vital than ever. 

Waaaah! I want my global warming! And yet Andrew Revkin fails to mention it (or its Newspeak version "climate change") at all in his farewell article. Is this merely a too close reading of the Revkin tea leaves or is there some significance in his total avoidance of that topic?

Perhaps the ClimateGate revelations have shaken up his belief in the global warming dogma. Well, at least there is always Santa.

Update: Andrew Revkin has responded to this NewsBusters story at Facebook:

Newsbusters shocked I didn't focus on #climate in farewell blog http://j.mp/revBye But I havent said it's top issue: http://j.mp/CO2not #agw

I checked the December 1, 2008 story he referenced above and indeed Revkin, unlike the vast majority of the global warming alarmists, does not consider global warming to be "the story of our time." A Revkin quote from that story:

My coverage has evolved. Climate change is not the story of our time. Climate change is a subset of the story of our time, which is that we are coming of age on a finite planet and only just now recognizing that it is finite.

So it sounds like his coverage has "evolved" to the point where "climate change" isn't front and center as it used to be. And were the recent ClimateGate revelations a factor in Revkin's avoidance of this topic in his long farewell? Inquiring minds want to know, Andy.