Just some examples from the media:
- Can planting billions of trees save the planet?
- Can modular homes solve the UK's housing crisis?
- Can the Democrats Do Better Than Trump on North Korea?
- Don’t Assume Trump’s Approval Rating Can’t Climb Higher.
- Can He Do That?
The billions of trees aren't yet planted, the modular homes aren't yet built, the Democrats had not yet a chance to do something on North Korea, Trump's future approval rating changes are unknown and he didn't do it yet. The situations all seem rather hypothetical.
I thought that hypothetical situations call for the subjunctive and using "could" feels better to me in many of the examples above. The question When do I use “can” or “could”? seems to suggest that both, "could" and "can" (both expressing ability or possibility) could be used interchangeably here. However, "can" seems to be used almost exclusively in headlines (less so in article bodies).
Why is that so?