Big Picture Climate Change Media

The Guardian Stops Guarding The Environment

I always thought it was a bit strange that the The Guardian’s Environment pages were confined to the Wednesday Society section of the “print edition” of this national newspaper.

Did that mean that the cranky, obsessive, possibly mentally unhinged eco-hippies should be shovelled in with the Social Workers, Educationalists, Housing Associations and Trades Unionists ?

Did it mean that Environmentalism could only be valued by those with a Humanities or Classics orientation ?

Well, rather shockingly, the Environment Pages have now been lost altogether from the Society section (although there’s still some activity going on online).

Here’s a comment I received by e-mail from a Media-related contact :-

“The two Environment pages in Wednesday’s Society section have been slimmed down to just the one for the last few months or so.

This week there was no Environment page at all.

Is this a permanent situation? Best ask someone who works at the paper rather than just buys it.

What I also detected was that there was a slimming down of the online-only Environment content (this may be true across other sections of the paper too). Have you noticed this?

And on Bonn, so far in the print version, John Vidal has just ran one story so far. And no-one blogging online from Bonn when I checked a few days ago.

It’s only the biggest story on the planet.

A tottering [Gordon] Brown is so much more worthy of our attention.”

Well, I had noticed a general slowdown in the Environment page postings on the Internet for several major newspaper outlets. Now it seems that The Guardian has fallen into this particular trough as well.

I’m going to ask questions at the The Guardian Climate Change Summit on Monday 15th June 2009 at the Hotel Russell, Russell Square, where no doubt I shall bump into a few relevant house hacks.

One reply on “The Guardian Stops Guarding The Environment”

To : Siobhain Butterworth
Guardian Readers’ Editor
Kings Place
90 York Way
N1 9GU

12th June 2009

Dear Siobhain,

I have long been sceptical that The Guardian places sufficient emphasis on matters environmental.

Highly crucial articles about Climate Change and Energy appear way beyond the front page, as if these issues are somehow subordinate to our planetary habitat.

Relegating the excellent and timely Environment pages and the delightfully Private Eye-esque “Eco Soundings” to the Wednesday Society section was annoying, but predictable, I suppose, given the cultural suppression of ecologists and the dismissive ghettoisation of environmental campaigners.

And now I find that even those few small pages have been ditched. For what reason, I wonder ? Is it that all Environmental stuff now happens online ?

But why aren’t news reports and articles about Global Warming, Renewable Energy and Carbon Cuts on the front page every day – like they used to be with The Independent before the change of ownership ?

Where are the editorials on the progress of Climate negotiations between the United States and China ? Has the Earth somehow disappeared ?

I politely request that The Guardian reorient its collective head around the major social, development and industrial issue of all time : the inevitable contraction in the Carbon Economy owing to Peak Energy and Climate Change policy.

Maybe if you can’t get the editorial line to focus on putting Environment articles in the first five of the print edition, why not put a Climate Change wrap-around the whole newspaper every day ? It would be an ideal vehicle to get some Green Energy advertising revenue…

It’s that serious that I don’t think you should be giving in to any kind of temptation to let the Environment curl up and die. Your readers – we’re not all James Lovelock, you know. There is a brighter vision. There is a future for Life on Earth, and it should be the responsibility of The Guardian to print it up.


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