Is the news ignoring the biggest problem the world is facing?
They certainly were last year during Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Jose. Something to think about as we watch the toll from Hurricane Florence. Since these events are so awful, isn’t an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure? But establishment media tows the establishment line, which is to keep using fossil fuels which the burning of causes global warming. So is that fake news if they ignore the peril every inhabitant of this planet faces? It’s definitely slanted and misinformed news.
Our corporate news media loves to focus on the warnings that storms are coming and go heavy on the footage of the carnage after the storms. Last year, we had 3 hurricanes and a study by the watchdog group Public Citizen determined that all TV news channels loved the ratings from storm watches. However, out of all that coverage, only a tiny fraction made the connection between the increased number of extreme weather events and man-made climate change.
AMY GOODMAN: David Arkush, what’s going on here? I mean, we’re not just talking about Fox. There are occasional mentions of climate change—extremely occasional—on MSNBC, on CNN. But given the wall-to-wall coverage, there is almost no mention of climate change.
DAVID ARKUSH: That’s right, and it actually reflects a broader problem. And this is why we’re sort of policing this and watching what the media is doing, and we’re going to be pushing them to do better. There’s a general problem in this country of people not talking about climate change enough. It’s sort of the biggest looming threat, and it’s shocking—it’s really really shocking how few people are talking about it.
There’s research that suggests that only 43 percent of Americans report hearing about climate change in the media at least once a month. Fifty-seven percent will say that they hear about climate change in the media less than once a month or not at all. Only 19 percent of people report hearing people they know talk about climate change at least once a month. Twenty-eight percent of Americans report never hearing anyone they know talk about climate change.
And this is something that—this is a terrible threat facing this country, really an existential threat, that is much nearer and much more urgent than most people think. Most people think it’s an issue that’s going to affect people in faraway places, it’s going to affect people 100 years from now or 200 years from now. That’s all mistaken. It is going to hurt—it is already hurting people in the United States. It is going to hurt worse and worse. And it is going to pose potentially catastrophic, existential threats to the United States as late—as early as the second half of this century. It is very soon. We have very little time left to fight it.
And meanwhile, we can. We have great solutions. People just don’t know about these things. And I think a lot of that starts with getting the media to report on it more.