Why are some major news outlets still covering extreme weather like it’s an act of God?

A record-breaking heat wave killed 65 people in Japan this week, just weeks after record flooding there killed more than 200. Record-breaking heat is also wreaking havoc in California, where the wildfire season is already worse than usual. In Greece, fast-moving fires have killed at least 80 people, and Sweden is struggling to contain more than 50 fires amid its worst drought in 74 years. Both countries have experienced all-time record-breaking temperatures this summer, as has most of the rest of the world.

Is this climate change, or merely Mother Nature? The science is clear: Heat-trapping greenhouse gases have artificially increased the average temperature across the globe, making extreme heat events more likely. This has also increased the risk of frequent and more devastating wildfires, as prolonged heat dries soil and turns vegetation into tinder.

And yet, despite these facts, there’s no climate connection to be found in much news coverage of extreme weather events across the globe—even in historically climate-conscious outlets like NPR and The New York Times. These omissions, critics say, can affect how Americans view global warming and its impact on their lives.

Continue reading:  The Media’s Failure to Connect the Dots on Climate Change

13 thoughts on “The Media’s Failure to Connect the Dots on Climate Change

  1. It’ll become a priority here, when it is too late. Lots of people here are more concerned with immigrants, abortion rights and gay marriage. Don’t think those will matter much, when crops begin to fail and clean water becomes scarce and the heat becomes unlivable.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Indeed, and that’s the root of our dilemma. Climate change denial is also not just limited to right-wing conservatives. I have regular readers who are left-wing liberals who repeatedly assert that global warming is “natural” or that they don’t want to hear about devastating climate impacts such as the current heat waves scorching the northern hemisphere. Furthermore, the article includes perspectives from the news media which relate ratings drops whenever climate change stories are covered. Apparently, we humans are resigning ourselves to acting like ostriches who bury their heads in the sand when surrounded by lions.

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  2. They maybe don’t want to hear about it because they feel there is nothing they or a few countries can do when others don’t care at all. And there may be something to that. The time to have “fixed it” has probably passed.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m on a runaway train heading towards a cliff and I nor anyone else can stop it. Man is truly his own worst enemy.

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