Questions for Journalists to Ask on Global Warming


The John P. McGovern Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs has compiled this list of questions as a guide for journalists. After more than a decade of reading stories in the mainstream press, it has become obvious to us that many journalists have not been asking -- or, at the very least, have not been demanding straight answers to -- these and similar questions when they conduct interviews on the topic of climate change.


1. Is global warming occurring? Have the forecasts of global warming been confirmed by actual measurements?

2. If global warming is occurring, what evidence is there that man has had a discernible influence on this process?3. Under the Berlin Mandate, developing nations are to be exempt from any emissions reduction requirements agreed to in Kyoto. What effect will this have on overall greenhouse gas emissions over the next thirty years?4. Would a modest increase in the temperature of the planet necessarily be bad? Are there any potential benefits?5. Have past climate change forecasts issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and others proven to be accurate or inaccurate? What, if anything, does this tell us about the IPCC's current forecasts?6. What would be the economic impact of reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels? Is the science behind global warming sufficient to justify these costs?7. Are there other less expensive, more effective means of reducing the risks of global warming than by reducing greenhouse gas emissions?8. What, if anything, do past temperature fluctuations tell us about our climate today and in the future?9. If the United States can meet the targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions with little or no costs, why haven't corporations done so on their own?10. Is there scientific consensus that global warming is underway? If so, how was this consensus determined?11. What is the urgency of coordinated international action on global warming? Must we act in five years, ten years, twenty years or more? Why?

12. Do supporters of the Kyoto Treaty believe its ratification would halt global warming?



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