Wine Industry Destroyed!!…News at 11

Who writes these headlines? Chicken Little?  Jonathan Swift?  Publicists for the beer Industry ?

"Global Warming Destroys Wine Industry"

I say we just pack it up and pull out the vines…whadda ya say?

I almost detect a sense of glee in this headline that comes from a story produced by the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center.

The above headline communicates a slightly different story than this headline, doesn’t it:

"Napa Threatened By Global Warming"

The story that goes along with the second headline, written by a "weather person" at ABC in San Francisco, is also far more instructive and illustrative with its interviews of local winemakers and grapegrowers.

The story on global warming and wine has some real legs as you can see if you simply do a search of Google News on the word "wine". Occasionally a story comes around that actually spurs people into action. This might be such a story. Talking with a gentleman who makes wine in and around Napa he told me there is a move afoot to get wineries and growers to "get out in front" of the Global Warming issue and make strides to do what can be done to reduce the affect that even the normally very environmentally conscious wine industry has on our planet.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, getting people worked up about something that isn’t tangible or won’t happen until far into the future is often a very difficult thing…until you start talking about how it will affect their own industry.

There’s a lesson here for those looking to generate action on a variety of issues. Bring it home. Demonstrate as starkly as you can how something affects people personally. Particularly their pocket book and that of their offspring.

Just don’t abuse the art of headline writing in the process.


3 Responses

  1. Tom Ewing - July 12, 2006

    Tom, I understand your frustration; however, I think that many social issues gain attention when extreme statements like “Global Warming is destroying the Wine Industry.” insert themselves into the mainstream. That’s right out of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”. People do indeed need to wake up to this far-off but serious issue. Maybe there isn’t much truth to the statement, but there is surely a little bit–and that’s the point.

  2. tom - July 12, 2006

    Good point, Tom. I’m going to have to reconfigure my aversion to shoddy headline writing in some cases.

  3. Bill Wilson - July 12, 2006

    The alarmist headlines are simply downright misleading. A headline such as “Global warming poses threat to wine industry and agriculture” would be more accurate.
    Tom Ewing’s description of the problem as “far-off but serious” is a bit, um, off. It’s not so far away. The ultimate calamity may be down the road, but what we can do to prevent it should already be well underway–that’s the immediacy of the issue.
    Of course, we’ve all forgotten that the media’s job is to sell stuff, and nothing sells like a disaster or a scandal involving sex. They might have sold more copies had the headline read “Paris Hilton says global warming wrecked her wine.” 🙂

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