Politicizing Climate Change

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This is why we can't have nice things. Or honest discussions about climate change.

Let's be clear: the science is settled and there can be no argument: climate change IS real and human activity is contributing to it.

That should be the baseline of any conversation we have about climate change. But it's not. Instead, cowering and complicit media outlets have allowed the conservatives and corporate interests frame it as if it's still up for debate. And that's if they cover it at all:


That graph is from a great report on media coverage of climate change in 2011 from Climate Daily. Here's the gist: "Media coverage of climate change continued to tumble in 2011, declining roughly 20 percent from 2010's levels and nearly 42 percent from 2009's peak, according to analysis of DailyClimate.org's archive of global media."

That's right. Despite a year with some of the craziest, record-breakingist weather events the world has ever seen–many of which climate scientists have linked to warming–there were comparatively few stories about climate change.

This is--as Chris Hayes' panel aptly puts it--a slow suicide that will kill all of us. And we can't get the help we need or start making changes until we stop playing the false equivalency game of legitimizing climate deniers who are politicizing this critical issue and start being honest.

**UPDATE: The above graph on media coverage of climate change was incorrectly attributed. The author of the graph is Max Boykoff of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado.
Correct attribution: Boykoff, M. (2011) '2000-2011 USA Newspaper Coverage of Climate Change or Global Warming', University of Colorado at Boulder, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/media_coverage/us/.

I regret the error.


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