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The Media Isn't Giving Climate Change the Coverage It Deserves

Photo Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project via Getty Images

Climate change is humanity's greatest survival threat, yet the media's coverage of it was nearly non-existent in 2017.


Despite 2017 being a record-setting year for extreme weather directly caused by man-made climate change, networks did a pitifully poor job covering the topic, mostly due to unending scandals within the Trump administration. Climate change costs Americans a staggering $240 billion per year, and although coverage of the crisis is increasing, albeit slowly, it's due in large part to Trump's horrific environmental policies and deadly negligence to environmental disasters during his first year in office.

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In a recent report, Media Matters found that "broadcast TV news neglected many critical climate change stories in 2017 while devoting most of its climate coverage to President Donald Trump," it said in its report. "The networks undercovered or ignored the ways that climate change had real-life impacts on people, the economy, national security, and the year's extreme weather events ― a major oversight in a year when weather disasters killed hundreds of Americans, displaced hundreds of thousands more, and cost the economy in excess of $300 billion."

Networks spent only 260 minutes in 2017 covering climate change, and that 79 percent of all news coverage was devoted to President Donald Trump and his endless scandals. The reality and consequences of man-made climate change are getting more extreme, and expensive, every year.

"Trump, Not Record-Breaking Disasters, Dominated TV News Coverage of Climate Change in 2017," tweeted Lisa Hymas.

"PBS led the networks in coverage of abnormal weather trends. PBS provided the most coverage of climate-related abnormal weather trends, airing 12 such segments, followed by CBS and NBC (eight segments each), and ABC (three segments). FOX did not air any segments on abnormal weather trends linked to climate change," Media Matters reported.

Lack of adequate and factual coverage on climate change also enables the "both sides" argument. The science is clear and there is overwhelming consensus within the scientific community that human activity is behind our planet's wild climate activity. There is no longer an honest "debate" on the subject. There are those who accept the science, and those who willfully deny it. The latter should not be given airtime.

Man-made climate change is rapidly and harshly disrupting natural climactic patters, which is leading to stronger storms, more extreme weather swings, and, most importantly, the destruction of our oceans. Human activity is also driving species to extinction at a rate never-before seen on planet Earth, not counting natural disasters like asteroid impacts or super-volcano eruptions. By may estimates, the time to halt and reverse the effects of climate change has long since passed.

Unless we as a society agree to make some very difficult, but absolutely essential sacrifices, it is unlikely our civilization will last another 100 years. And that's according to physicist Steven Hawking, arguably the smartest man on the planet.