We spend a lot of time out here in the Blog-O-Sphere© bagging on the MSM©, so it’s worth pointing out when they get something right. And you can’t say enough good things about The New York Times‘ energy and environment coverage. Its Energy Challenge series is the best thing going on our energy conundrum, and a series of articles tagged “The Basics” allows reporters to do something rare in the MSM world: step back and simply describe a situation, with no need for a sexy news “hook.”

The latest such piece is by Andy Revkin, and it gets to the heart of the global warming problem: it happens very slowly.

“Does it take a crisis to get people to go along a new path or can they respond to a series of rational, incremental gains in knowledge?” asked Ralph J. Cicerone, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, on Friday. “That’s the question.”

Yup, that’s the question.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.