In the future, however, [the "just the facts" scientific backgrounder] just isn't going to be good enough. Over the next decade or more, explaining the possible strategies for coping with intense hurricanes even in the face of uncertainty about the ways and extent to which hurricanes might be changing will pose a major challenge for news organizations. Reporters must strive to show the public not only the science in all of its complexity, but also to open a window on why addressing the problem matters and the choices the nation faces over how to do that. This will require balancing the desire to appear objective against the need for precautionary and forward-looking coverage -- coverage that helps set the agenda for how we think about the possible effects of global warming. It will also require getting beyond the tyranny of relying on major new studies, personality conflicts, or overt political conflict as the primary means of defining what counts as newsworthy.In fact, a "just the facts" backgrounder is precisely good enough--unless you have an ulterior purpose--and getting in to the unscientific territory of the precautionary principle adds nothing to the basic situation. To be clear: it is still a legitimate scientific question about whether global warming is increasing hurricane intensity, and legitimate, well-meaning scientists differ on the question and have not yet reached a consensus. I can live with that. Unless you think media organizations should manufacture reasons out of whole clothe, that's how they should cover the issue--the precautionary principle is unscientific.
It's been known for a long time about how you deal with hurricanes, and global warming doesn't change that, whether it implies stronger storms or not. This just stikes me as a bunch of whooey on top of what is already a significant problem, adding nothing of value to the discussion.