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The unyielding optimist would see the report as a sure sign that climate change will soon be consigned to the history shelf, alongside the now-healing ozone layer. By contrast, a pessimistic outlook might describe the news as the carbon equivalent of arriving at the train station in time to watch your train leaving the platform, too late to get on board. The space between these poles is a wide expanse of journalistic discretion.

These choices matter. The framing of environmental news shapes the opinion of readers. Journalists reporting on sustainability would undoubtedly benefit from understanding how their outlook on climate change affects their audience.


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