The morning plenary of the World Conference of Science Journalists was Gearing up for Copenhagen and David KIng was on the panel, together with the Guardian’s Damian Carrington and climate scientist Rajendra Kumar Pachauri of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
So in the run up to Copenhagen what sort of coverage would King – former chief scientific adviser to the UK government and now advising Rwanda’s government – like to see? King says journalists need to focus on the approach being taken by leading nations in the run up to Copenhagen. To what extent, for example, is Canada’s position driven by the country’s desire to extract oil from its tar sands? King’s claim that no-one is covering this seems a bit strong – see the Nature News online special, for example, where we’ll be tracking national positions over the next few months. However, King is right to demand more analysis on this – he points out that both Japan and Canada have both recently got rid of their science advisers. Given their stances in the run up to Copenhagen – are these countries moving away from science and taking a more narrow stance based more simply on economic gain?