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The Silence Of The Media Lambs

Have you noticed lately that the stranger the weather gets, the less you hear in the media about possible reasons?
The Silence Of The Media Lambs
Image from: Flickr

So it's not just our imagination. The closer we get to the point of no return, the quieter the media lambs are about the reasons why our weather is so screwed up -- and just how screwed the world is as a result. Via ClimateProgress:

Back in November, we reported that climate coverage had dropped sharply at the New York Times after the paper closed its environmental desk.

The final numbers for the year are in and NY Times climate coverage — stories in which the words “global warming” or “climate change” appeared — has plummeted more than 40 percent. That is a bigger drop than any of the other newspapers monitored by the University of Colorado, though the Washington Post’s coverage dropped by a third, no doubt driven in part by its mind-boggling decision to take its lead climate reporter, Juliet Eilperin, off the environment beat.

And remember, this drop happened from levels of climate coverage that were already near ahistorical low and in a year that was HUGE on climate news. We’ve had devastating extreme weather around the planet. In May, CO2 levels in the air passed the 400 parts per million threshold for the first time in millions of years. In June, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan. And in September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest alarming review of the scientific literature.

As the chart above shows, when the IPCC released its previous reports (2001, 2007), media coverage spiked at the major newspapers. These days, the media herd is not to be heard from.

The major networks’ coverage of climate has flatlined. Robert Brulle of Drexel University counts a whopping 30 stories on the nightly news at ABC, NBC and CBS in 2013, little changed from the 29 in 2012. That’s less than one piece per week on the story of the century. In 2007, there were 147 climate segments on the nightly news.

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