2015 in review

Pope and Obama
US President Obama greets Pope Francis at the White House in September, 2015.

Pope Francis’ campaign to stop climate change and the Dec. 12 Paris climate agreement were the two top environmental developments in a year that marked a turning point for the environment  and renewable energy.

Environmental Health News put the two  at the top of its list, as did Huffington Post,  Deutche Welle,  the Conversation and others.

“It was an outstanding year for the environment,” said Deutche Welle.

“Call it the grand convergence,” said Douglass Fischer of Environmental Health News. “Coverage of environmental issues, especially climate change, jumped traditional boundaries to pick up broader—and slightly ominous—geopolitical and health angles.”

The year 2015 “signaled a change for the environment,” said deSmog Blog’s Ferron Cousins. “Climate change and environmental issues took center stage this year. Discussions about terrorism and the economy finally took the environment into account. Climate change deniers were largely ignored outside their echo chamber, and even the corporate-controlled media was forced to acknowledge climate change as U.S. Presidential candidates, the Paris climate talks, and the Pope’s climate change encyclical all brought this incredibly important issue to the mainstream forefront.”

Media Matters, meanwhile, summed up the “Fifteen most ridiculous things conservative media said about climate change in 2015.”   Number one on the list was US talk radio host Rush Limbaugh who said NASA’s announcement that Mars had water was part of a conspiracy to promote the idea of climate change.