Credo Action

Tell broadcast television networks: Don't ignore the climate crisis

Sign the petition

The petition to ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS reads:

"Increase real coverage of climate change, including its link with extreme weather and the policies needed to slow the climate crisis."

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    Tell broadcast television networks: Don't ignore the climate crisis

    In 2017, 79 percent of climate change coverage on broadcast television networks was about one topic: Donald Trump.1 Not the latest climate science. Not the extreme weather events already happening all around the world. The vast majority of coverage focused only on Trump's climate change denial and his steps to drag us backwards into the coal age.

    Thanks to this terrible coverage, almost 90 percent of Americans don’t know that there is a scientific consensus on global warming.2 When news programs don't inform Americans about the climate, we all lose.

    Until the media starts doing its job, we won't be able to build the political will to win the fight against climate change. Politicians at every level will be free to continue ignoring the issue and continue with the destructive policies that created this crisis.

    Tell broadcast television networks: No more climate silence.

    The media accountability group Media Matters for America recently published a study looking at climate coverage in 2017 on broadcast television networks ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and Fox. Not only was 79 percent of the total climate coverage about Trump, but Trump dominated virtually all of the coverage on Sunday news shows – 94 of 95 minutes.3

    News programs regularly mention that Trump rejects the reality of climate change without discussing the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is not only real, but that it is an urgent problem driven by the burning of fossil fuels. Programs also ignore the links between climate change and extreme weather events, public health and national security.4

    The climate crisis is getting worse, and it's happening frighteningly fast. Sixteen of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001.5 Last year was the third year in a row that scientists recorded a record winter low in Arctic sea ice, and scientists also found record low sea ice in the Antarctic. 6 Carbon dioxide emissions are increasing again after being flat for three years.7

    The news media has a responsibility to report accurately on the biggest environmental threat facing the planet. Having a climate change denier in the White House is no excuse to ignore the issue. In fact, Trump's dangerous policies make accurate climate coverage more critical than ever.

    Tell broadcast television networks: No more climate silence.

    References:

    1. Kevin Kalhoefer, "How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2017," Media Matters for America, Feb. 12, 2018.
    2. Ruairí Arrieta-Kenna, "Almost 90% of Americans don’t know there’s scientific consensus on global warming," Vox, July 6, 2017.
    3. Kalhoefer, "How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2017."
    4. Ibid.
    5. NASA, "Climate change: How do we know?" accessed March 30, 2018.
    6. Chelsea Harvey, "The top seven climate findings of 2017," Scientific American, Dec. 29, 2017.
    7. Ibid.