Liberal media huddles to re-hype global warming

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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The liberal media is scrambling to figure out if they are under-reporting the seriousness of global warming.

Journalists from left-leaning news sites are meeting in Chattanooga, Tenn., to discuss whether or not they have “blown it” when it comes to global warming coverage and how they can better portray the seriousness of the issue.

The Society of Environmental Journalists will be hosting a meeting on Friday that will discuss the media coverage surrounding global warming, which will include a panel of journalists from left-leaning news sites.

The panel will include: Daniel Grossman, contributing editor, National Geographic News Watch; Katherine Bagley with InsideClimate News; Peter Dykstra with Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate; Joseph Romm with and the chief science editor of the Showtime TV series, “Years of Living Dangerously.”

The description of the panel on global warming and the media reads: “Have We Blown it? The impacts of global warming have been a concern since about 1988. How well has the media done in reporting on this issue? How can it do a better job in the future?”

“Many critics have accused mainstream media of confusing the public by reporting this topic as if the small (and often industry-funded) ‘skeptics’ were as credible as researchers representing the scientific consensus. This phony balance between real scientists and skeptics appears less common now,” the event’s pamphlet reads. “But many people say that journalism is still doing society a disservice, by under-reporting and downplaying the seriousness of the threats of global warming. We’ll look for lessons and advice from people who follow this issue closely.”

Global warming became a hot-button political issue again after President Obama unveiled his plan to curb U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, primarily by capping carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.

However, environmentalists and climate journalists have accused the media of whitewashing the issue by not properly conveying the seriousness of the problem and giving global warming “skeptics” air time.

In April, environmental groups sent a letter to the heads of major news networks, urging them to stop treating the issue as a “two-sided debate” by giving skeptics air time.

“By bringing on climate-denying politicians and pundits, and giving them as much ‘expert’ status as actual climate scientists, the networks perpetuate the false debate that polluter-funded think tanks have instigated to cast doubt on whether we should take action to address the climate crisis at all,” reads a petition from the League of Conservation Voters aimed at the heads of nightly news programs for ABC, CBS and NBC.

The liberal media watchdog Media Matters claims that media outlets have been not been reporting enough about global warming. According to a study by the group, those three major news outlets only aired a combined 12 segments on global warming in 2012 — a year that included heat waves, droughts and Hurricane Sandy.

That could be because the American people aren’t very concerned about global warming, as the economy repeatedly shows up in polls as their biggest concern.

According to the Pew Research Center, only 28 percent of Americans thought stopping global warming should be the president’s top priority in January, down slightly from 30 percent in 2009. Global warming was at the bottom of a list of 21 priorities for this year.

An August Rasmussen poll found that only 35 percent of likely voters think that global warming is a very serious problem. Furthermore, a March Gallup poll found that 64 percent of Americans don’t see global warming as a serious threat in their lifetime.

(H/T) Tom Nelson

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