Media Coverage Of Climate Change In The Past.

 


Since 1988, global climate change has been a significant political issue in the United States. 



In 1896, a forecast that carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning would progressively warm the world sparked the idea that humans could alter the temperature of the whole planet. 


Climate change was initially reported in the American press in the 1930s, but manmade climate change was not covered in the news until the 1950s. 

In 1957, during the International Geophysical Year, a Christian Science Monitor story asked, "Are mankind altering the Earth's weather?" Climate coverage remained limited over the next three decades. 

Small disturbances, according to studies conducted in the 1960s, may cause an abrupt shift in the climate system. 

Some people started to see global warming as an environmental threat, a security threat, a policy issue, an international relations issue, and even a moral one. 



A scientific consensus started to emerge in the late 1970s. 


For the first time in the mid-1980s, the media, scientific, and policy realms collided, resulting in a significant rise in climate change coverage. 

When the topic of global warming first gained traction in the United States and the United Kingdom in the late 1980s, the emphasis was on mitigation. 

The public's interest in chlorofluorocarbons, the ozone hole, and the US presidential election fueled this coverage. 



By the late 1980s, nuclear energy had established itself as a viable alternative to the use of fossil fuels. 


Congress started proposing legislation to limit carbon emissions about the same time. 

Boykoff and Roberts looked examined how climate change was covered in 40 English-language newspapers from 17 nations on five continents. 

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports were released in 1990, 1995, and 2001, during the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, and during the Kyoto Protocol convention in 1997, climate coverage increased globally among 40 of the most influential English-language world newspapers. 

Over time, several stages of climate science policy have been mirrored in media coverage. 



Climate science, the media, and policy were all heavily politicized in the 1990s. 


In the early 1990s, a small number of skeptical spokespeople and scientists acquired notoriety in the press by disputing scientific conclusions regarding human impacts to climate change, several of whom received financing from carbon-based business interests. 

In 1995, more than 2,000 scientists came together to form a solid scientific agreement that people had an impact on global climate. 

By the end of the 1990s, growing media warnings of danger had brought the problem to the attention of the majority of the world's educated population, but skepticism and resistance to regulation remained. 

The majority of the world's population was now worried, but unmotivated to act. 



Between 2003 and 2006, there was a significant rise in coverage of climate change adaptation. 


Climate change news is mainly disseminated via radio in poor nations and rural regions. 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, news coverage of climate change stressed conflict and urgency framing, which may have hampered public comprehension of climate problems. 



Between 2006 and 2010, news concerning climate change prompted a spike in public interest in stories regarding the environment, energy, and pollution. 


This coverage occurred during the news industry's most turbulent period in history, when journalism employment were dramatically cut, news outlets had very little print and broadcast space, and editors were frequently uninterested in climate problems. 

Editors and reporters were increasingly aware of the ethical line between writing about the environment and writing on behalf of the environment as public interest in ‘‘going green" grew throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century. 

According to a 2007 consensus assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there is a 90% chance that human activities are causing climate change, and that the effects will be rapid and permanent. 

Climate change may be handled at a fair cost if immediate action is done, according to the report. 


In 2007, over 200 countries backed the IPCC's conclusions, which were based on hundreds of peer-reviewed research. 


Because of its fast economic growth, China surpassed the United States as the world's worst emitter of greenhouse gases in the same year. 

Because worldwide attempts to make the world greener are dependent on China's policies, emissions, and activities, most special stories on climate change in news outlets included China. 


‘‘China is the asterisk at the end of every discussion about the environment," Patrick Symmes wrote in Outside magazine in 2007. 


He told his personal experience of whitewater rafting down the Yangtze River, whose valleys may soon be inundated due to hydroelectric dam development. 

Visual storytelling has been utilized in the finest US print news coverage of China's economic development to emphasize the country's severe pollution and environmental deterioration. 



China's dependence on coal, inefficient energy usage, pollution-related mortality toll, and preference for development above environmental preservation were all highlighted in many articles. 


Andrew Revkin, a former New York Times environment writer, founded Dot Earth, an innovative site where he publishes and shares ideas on climate and sustainability problems, in 2007. 

During a 7-minute program the same year, CBS's Katie Couric asked each presidential contender to answer a single question: "Is the danger of climate change overblown?" Some opponents said Couric's sharp question was asked in an irresponsible and meaningless manner, allowing candidates to regurgitate talking points. 



In any event, CBS was the first network to use national prime-time television to bring attention to a new and underrepresented campaign topic. 


By 2008, news coverage has expanded beyond climate change research to include what governments, businesses, and regular people are doing to address the issue. 

Abu Dhabi declared in 2010 that by 2018, it will be the first city in the world to have zero carbon emissions. 


Furthermore, developers want to construct a desert metropolis for 50,000 people that would run entirely on solar and other renewable energy, while the Dutch are working on methods to safeguard vulnerable coasts from rising sea levels.


~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan


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




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