There are two environmental crises right now: climate change and biodiversity loss. Why are people, particularly journalists, only paying attention to one of them?
That disconcerting question is raised by a new analysis of research funding, scientific publications and press coverage over the past quarter-century. In that time, academic interest in both climate and biodiversity have swelled — but in the mainstream press, biodiversity is an also-ran, receiving no more attention now than in 1992.
What we ought to make of that trend isn’t immediately evident. It certainly isn’t a call for climate change to receive less attention, says Pierre Legagneux, a biologist at the University of Quebec in Rimouski and lead author of the analysis, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. But in a time of mounting species extinctions, extirpations and population declines, it’s worrisome.