OPINION

The environment as a news issue

Once we used to say that «Cyprus doesn’t sell» as a front-page newspaper article or the top story of a television news bulletin. This was true until United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan came into the picture. Today, one of the unwritten laws of private television is that «the environment doesn’t sell» (unless we are referring to news affecting one’s immediate neighborhood). Meanwhile, the major environmental issues such as global warming are generally believed to be of concern to a minority of ecologically sensitive citizens who, having solved their problems of everyday survival, have the luxury of concerning themselves with the dwindling bear population of the Pindus mountain range or melting glaciers in the northern hemisphere. Given all that, the screening last Wednesday of «Symvainei Tora» (Happening Now) on state channel Net – featuring two leading Greek scientists who spoke simply and intelligibly about climate change – was a breath of fresh air for viewers. The guest scientists confirmed that the worst-case scenarios outlined in recent meteorological studies will probably come true but stressed that there was no need for us to sit and wait for things to deteriorate; we still have the opportunity to change our energy policy and wean ourselves off our oil dependency. The program may not be of equal interest to all viewers but it does offer an entertaining insight into Greek and international news without the horoscope readings, dancing and gossip of other morning shows.