Barack Obama’s major climate change speech going unnoticed in the media is nothing new
You have to wonder how much money the fossil fuel industry gives to the mainstream media. At a glance you would think they’re as bought and paid for as the politicians we elected to tackle the problem of climate change.
Barack Obama delivered a much advertised speech on climate change on Tuesday, but when the time came you couldn’t see or hear him. Instead the media decided to cover the day’s developments in the Trayvon Martin case, the where in the world is Edward Snowden saga and the SCOTUS’s gutting of the Voting Rights act.
Regardless of where you place the importance of these news items, one would think that the 24/7 news channels would have the time to cover an important presidential speech. But they barely covered it; they didn’t comment about it, it’s as if it never happened.
In fact, the only 24 hour network to broadcast the full 49 minute speech was the weather network. You get the feeling that even though 97% of scientists believe that manmade climate change is real, only 3% of the media is covering it.
Nothing made me angrier (other than Fox) than MSNBC who broadcast Obama’s speech for 41 seconds. The so-called liberal/progressive news network devoted the least amount of time to it and didn’t comment on it until Chris Matthews did more than 4 hours later.
Fox News on the other hand covered a whopping 4 plus minutes of it, but then cut to an interview with climate denier Chris Horner. Horner works for the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute which just happens to be funded by the Koch Brothers and the oil industry.
Climate change continues to be a rising concern the world over and yet the media’s coverage of it has declined over the past five years.
With natural disasters worsening and occurring more frequently you would expect the climate change dialog to follow suit. The truth is, when these calamities occur climate change is barely mentioned. It wasn’t discussed during the months long drought last year and it got little discussion in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.
The media in Canada isn’t any better. We just had one of the worst natural disasters in our country’s history with massive floods in Southern Alberta, but just like south of the border, climate change was not mentioned at all. The readiness of the Calgary stampede was more important.
As far as Obama’s speech goes, the President invoked his executive authority to undertake a slew of measures aimed at curbing climate change, something he should have done upon taking office back in 2009. Better late than never I guess.
Obama directed the EPA to impose the first carbon limits on existing power plants, improve fuel-economy standards for automobiles and to increase renewable energy on public lands by the end of the year, among others.
He said that in order for the Keystone XL Pipeline to be approved, it must be proven that the pipeline will not lead to an increase in carbon emissions. He was also quick to dismiss climate change deniers saying “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society”.
Scientists say that if nothing changes on the ground, the oceans will rise 7 feet by the end of the century. In other words, big cities like Miami will be underwater. The end of the 21st century might seem far away, but some of our children will still be alive at that time. People need to start thinking about them, not just ourselves.
Our media has been worsening for the last 10 to 20 years, nowhere is their failure more evident than on the subject of climate change. Individual reporters and anchors might believe in climate science, but as a collective entity the media has achieved what our children refer to as an epic fail.