It might have taken Pope Francis’s recent encyclical on global warming and climate change to get pivot the topic from a science discussion to a human impact story. But regardless of which side the global warming debate you’re on, keeping the topic front-and-center is critical to a global consensus on what should be done, and quickly.
As a topic or storyline, global warming is a tier-1 topic when viewed from a metric perspective. Global warming stories are unchanged this month, but hovering 1 point shy of its historic high (95 points for the May/June 2015 media cycle).
Media momentum is up +18 percent and the topic shows low media variability over the preceding 4-year period, i.e. the topic is mainstream and part of an ongoing media storyline. What really grabbed my attention on the tails of the Pope’s announcement was an amazing multi-year study just completed that addresses the exact link between global warming and human health. You can choose to read a lot of politics into these studies, but you can’t question the credentials of the authors and the methodology they deployed. Sabrina Tavernise at the NY Times provides an excellent piece on the new study and how public and private sectors are responding to the pivoting position on global warming.