I've watched with increasing excitement the development of new ventures in explanatory journalism, such as Vox.com by Ezra Klein, Matthew Yglesias and their team; Fiverthirtyeight.com from Nate Silver and his team; and The Upshot from David Leonhardt.
The reason for these new ventures: the news does a poor job of explaining material to the public - an embarrassment in a connected world and something we hope will soon change.
But I want to tie this back to my usual topic of energy. Big complicated issues such as Peak Oil and Climate Change often have more than enough experts, what they lack are skilled communicators and a process that makes it OK to act.
I thought about this a few months ago as an impossibly low dusting of snow brought Atlanta, GA to its knees. The public began to ask who was to blame, and a Washington Post article wondered if the fault belonged to the meteorologists.
Two quotes, one from the article's author, Jason Samenow, and another from the Weather Channel's Bryan Norcross, both illustrate the problems we have of communicating big challenges and translating our communication into action. And while they both relate to weather events, it's easy to see how they also apply to our larger energy and climate problems: