Yesterday, 56 newspapers around the world published the same editorial, calling for “decisive action’’ to come out of the Copenhagen climate change conference. We share that broad hope, but wish the papers had taken the time to develop their own individual arguments.
Prepared by the British newspaper The Guardian with feedback from some of the other newspapers’ editors, the editorial emphasized the importance of an agreement between developed and developing nations on how to fairly divvy up the formidable task of cutting humanity’s carbon emissions. Having newspapers in many countries print the same words arguably makes the point that all nations can indeed see eye to eye. But there’s also a danger in the implication that all newspapers see eye to eye.
A group editorial is just as likely to foster accusations of groupthink as it is to push the world toward decisive action on climate change. At a time when the climate debate is still plagued by the false notion that global warming is a myth perpetuated by an international conspiracy of liberal elites, a range of voices offering their own reasoning and routes to the same goal would have delivered a more potent message than a unified chorus.