What forces have conspired so that millions of Americans believe that the overwhelming majority of scientists are dead wrong about climate change? It seems at times that facts are just pesky talking points to be swatted away by other talking points. Is this the result of a corporate-sponsored news media controlled by the bottom-line, or is it the fault of an audience hungry to believe what it wants to hear? We explore these questions today on Sea Change Radio first by talking with Shauna Theel of Media Matters, who tells us about her organization’s recent study that tracks how the network news programs discuss climate change. Next, we dip into the archives as host Alex Wise talks environmental messaging with prominent linguistics professor, George Lakoff.
As the climate heats up, the press treatment of climate change is cooling down. Karl Frisch of Media Matters says it used to be that the press treated climate change as a debate between 2 equal partners — on the one hand, the overwhelming majority of scientists who said climate change was happening–and on the other, the miniscule minority of climate change deniers. That’s gone by now, Frisch says — but the press is still dropping the ball on covering solutions to climate change. Frisch discusses why. He also talks about a column by George Will in the Washington Post that sparked a storm of protest from environmentalists. Andy Revkin of the the DotEarth blog at the New York Times — a reporter who usually gets climate change right — compared Will to Al Gore, embroiling him in controversy.