News of the World isn’t close to the worst of it. Photo: Gene HuntOn Tuesday, officials arrested another News Corporation executive in the ongoing phone-hacking scandal that has plagued the now-defunct News of the World newspaper. As revelations of these tactics emerge, public outrage is fully appropriate. But as offensive as the hacking is, News Corp. and its executives must face up to an even larger scandal, one that is deeper, longer-lasting, and more profoundly detrimental: the damage they’ve caused to the institution of journalism and, as a result, to the planet itself.
As far back as the 1950s, long before climate science had reached the sophistication that it has today, the journalistic establishment was helping audiences understand what was occurring in the Earth’s atmosphere. “Today, more carbon dioxide is being generated by man’s technological processes than by volcanoes, geysers, and hot springs,” wrote Waldemar Kaempffert in The New York Times in 1956. “Every century, man is increasing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere by 30 percent — that is, at the rate of 1.1 degrees Celsius [1.98 deg... Read more