There should be a way to calculate how much a particular news story contributes to global warming through the amount of greenhouse gases utilized to cover it.
Consider the Tiger Woods imbroglio that has literally monopolized the covers of many daily newspapers and newsweeklies. Consider the news coverage in local and national news as well as on the radio, internet, blogs, and every other form of media. How large is the carbon footprint that has been devoted to shipping these newspapers and magazines as well as the energy expended to light up the newsrooms and servers necessary to keep this story alive?
Why is this an important question to ask? Simply because it's a colossal waste of time to report on the infidelities of the world's number one golfer. Yes, he really blew it and he did it big time and is paying a very big price. But, in reality, how does this affect our lives? Outside of satisfying some morbid curiosity, not much.
When a "hot" item like this pops up, and they always will, stories such as the importance of the Copenhagen Climate Conference get lost, as well as many other stories that impact our lives. As long as we continue to entertain ourselves with others' foibles, there is a chance that we may begin to resemble the Emperor Nero, who was busy fiddling.
Jonathan A. Schein is the publisher of MetroGreenBusiness.com and GreenBusinessCareers.com