Friday, January 13, 2012

Media invents a crisis in Nome, Alaska

The BBC News is joining US media in covering the story of a Russian fuel ship headed for "ice-bound Nome."
    A Russian tanker delivering fuel to the Alaskan town of Nome, cut off by ice and extreme weather, has reached the western coastline of Alaska.

    The vessel, carrying more than 1.3 million gallons (4.9 million litres) of fuel, was moving in the wake of a US Coast Guard icebreaker.
I listened to an NPR story about this a couple of days ago. A host interviewed a Nome official, who said the problem is not quite as bad as it's being portrayed, because Nome has three months of fuel reserves. How many media stories mentioned the reserves?

On that note, how many media stories mention the total tonnage of Earth's atmosphere when telling us how many tons of pollutants humans are putting into the atmosphere? None?

The "ice-bound Nome" story is an excellent job of manufacturing a crisis. My hat is off to the media.

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