CIRES

Drought Parches the West, but Americans Shrug It Off

June 19, 2014

The severe drought parching states in the Southwest and West is undoubtedly causing hardships :The list includes higher prices for food and water, water-use restrictions, blazing wildfires and billions of dollars in lost productivity. But most people seem to be taking it in stride—even within drought states. A recent poll by the Los Angeles Times indicated that only 16 percent of those surveyed in California say it has personally affected them in a measurable way. That's despite the Golden State being in its third year of drought and in a state of emergency since January. Why is there so much... Read more »

Reporters using more ‘hedging’ words in climate change articles, CU-Boulder study finds

June 2, 2014

The amount of “hedging” language—words that suggest room for doubt—used by prominent newspapers in articles about climate change has increased over time, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder. The study, published in the journal Environmental Communication , also found that newspapers in the U.S. use more hedging language in climate stories than their counterparts in Spain. “We were surprised to find newspapers increased their use of hedging language, since the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and that humans are contributing to it has substantially strengthened over time,” said Adriana Bailey, a doctoral student... Read more »