Renewable Energy? That’s Not News (Here)

I was intrigued to see this headline at the Guardian‘s website yesterday:

Renewable Energy Can Power the World, Says Landmark IPCC Study

UN’s climate change science body says renewables supply, particularly solar power, can meet global demand

This was one of the points Miranda Spencer raised in an excellent piece in the last issue of FAIR’s magazine Extra!. Her point was that in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, media rarely brought up renewable energy like solar, wind or geothermal. A respected scientific body like the IPCC is weighing in now–so that’s got to be news, right?

Sure doesn’t seem like it. There’s a story on the New York Times website, but it didn’t make it into the print edition. A note at the bottom says:

A version of this article appeared in print on May 10, 2011, in the International Herald Tribune with the headline: “Renewable Sources Could Provide 77 Percent of World’s Energy Needs, Report Says.”

The Herald Tribune is the global edition of the Times. Does the Times think its overseas readers will be interested in this, but not U.S. readers?

A glance at the Nexis news database shows that the IPCC report is generally considered more newsworthy outside the United States. The papers reporting it:

The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

Edmonton Journal

The Guardian (London)

Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

Irish Examiner


MX Brisbane (Queensland, Australia)

Sydney MX

The Times of India (TOI)

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.