Climate Change Coverage In The Media

The public's knowledge of climate change problems, which individuals acquire via everyday media consumption, is related to the efficacy of climate change mitigation. 

News is everywhere in daily life, serving as a "kind of immediate historical record of society's speed, development, challenges, and aspirations." It may also have an impact on the consequences of the events it depicts. 

The mainstream media in the United States, on the other hand, has failed to properly report on climate change. 

Despite the fact that global climate change awareness is increasing, most countries' news coverage of climate change pales in comparison to crime, politics, celebrities, the economy, or sports. 

Climate change mitigation is often portrayed in the news as a fluid and contentious subject involving politics, science, and the general public. 

Despite the fact that science has proven that human activities have a significant role in climate change, the global phenomena is increasingly being portrayed as apocalyptic, as if it must be feared and irreversible in order for the people to pay attention. 

Broad societal change may be sparked by social shocks that accelerate political demands. 

Media framing has a big impact on whether people want to act or be fatalistic. 

In the case of climate change, the cost of inaction may be high. 

Ozone depletion, melting of the polar ice caps, loss of animal habitats, catastrophic sea-level rise, severe weather patterns, floods and drought, increases in average temperatures, and other irreversible climatic changes are among the anticipated effects of inactivity. 

Because of delays in the atmospheric system, even if all greenhouse gas emissions were to stop immediately, climate change would continue. 

The public discussion and the international negotiation process may be influenced by rapidly changing views among nonprofit organizations on the subject of global climate change. 

Leadership in climate mitigation is a battle for meaning that may change quickly over time. 

Leaders must lead discussions on whether to set emission reduction objectives that are severe enough to successfully combat climate change, as well as assess strategies for achieving those targets in light of the goals. 

Climate change now presents a bigger danger than global terrorism, according to statistics. 

Al Gore, the former Vice President, has compared the necessity for collective action to the threat presented by fascism's emergence in the twentieth century. 

Climate change, according to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, may reduce the world economy by 20%, whereas addressing climate change now would cost just 1% of global GDP. 

The effects of media routines, the factors that drive news coverage, the influences of claims-makers, scientists, and other information sources, the role of scientific literacy in interpreting climate change stories, and specific messages that mobilize action or paralysis are all explored in the following articles: 

It also looks at how journalists explain complex climate science and validate sources, how audiences process competing messages about scientific uncertainty, how climate stories compete for public attention with other issues, how large-scale economic and political factors shape news production, and how the media can engage public audiences in climate change issues.

The notion that laypeople are defensive, risk-averse, uncertain-averse, and unreflexive, whereas science is considered to be the pinnacle of reflexive self-criticism, is reflected in the dominant framing of public comprehension of climate science. 

Despite increasing public knowledge of global warming, the public has resisted accepting the trade-offs that any real solution, such as an international regulatory treaty, investment in alternative fuels, or carbon dioxide emission regulation, entails. 

  • People do not need to be amateur scientists to debate policy options, therefore public involvement must go beyond scientific knowledge. 
  • People must actively consider and reconcile potential acts with their own ideas and habits in order to go beyond awareness to judgment and resolve. 

Coverage peaked in 2007, and limited attention to Climategate in 2009 was quickly followed by a return to relative obscurity. 

Unless a new narrative develops that characterizes the issue in ways that are more locally and personally relevant than long-term catastrophic environmental effects, regulatory measures, and politics, climate change coverage may not return to 2007 levels. 

  • If journalists could communicate these dangers in non-catastrophic frameworks, human health concerns, economic development from energy innovation, or energy instability might offer this story hook. 
  • Small and medium-sized newspapers, which have traditionally given primarily national wire articles that lacked information regarding regional climate change effects and regional policy efforts, may benefit from local perspectives. 
  • The efficacy of news media content in motivating viewers to take action and support preventive policies will most likely determine the future of climate change mitigation. 
  • The flow of complicated and politicized information regarding climate change research and policy may be mitigated by media routines such as framing, balance, and source. 

Scientists and politicians should develop particular frameworks that may assist journalists in making climate change issues more personally relevant, important, and comprehensible to the general public.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want read more about Global Climate Change here.