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Most Americans don’t know the UN climate summit is about money

by ,

Climate summit meetings like the UN COP, now going on in Bonn, are mostly about proposed massive wealth transfers from developed countries like America to the developing world, all in the bogus name of climate control. But you would never know this from the US press coverage. News outlets in the developing countries, on the other hand, make sure that their readers know all about this get rich quick scheme. In fact they expect their readers to already know about it.

Here are two almost simultaneous articles from the New York Times and the Indian Express that dramatically illustrate this point. The differences are stark.

First consider the headlines for the two articles. Headlines are carefully crafted to take into account what the readers are expected to generally already know. In many cases the headline is all that most people will read, so the headline should summarize the story. This is journalism 101.

The NYT headline is “What’s at Stake in the Bonn Climate Talks?”

This headline (and the accompanying story) indicates that the American reader is not expected to know much, just that there are climate talks in Bonn.

The Indian Express headline reads: “Developed countries should fill finance gap after US pullout: China.”

Clearly the reader is expected to know about the financing from developed countries and that the US pullout threatens to create a gap in this financing.

Now consider the text of the two articles.

After briefly explaining the Paris Accord, the NYT article begins with this statement: