Remember when we told you last week that several major media outlets were completely dropping the ball by failing to mention the link between extreme weather events and climate change? Well, the media has finally started to get its act together—or at least the three major networks have. In a stunning turnaround Tuesday night, the evening news broadcasts on CBS, NBC, and ABC all discussed the fact that climate change is probably responsible for a lot of the extreme weather we’ve been seeing recently.
Again, just last week, Media Matters was saying that only three percent of stories about wildfires in Colorado and other Western states had so much as mentioned climate change or global warming, at least for the seven print outlets and four TV stations (CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN) that they surveyed. But on Tuesday night, a CBS reporter discussed a recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, explaining its conclusion that “last year’s record drought in Texas was made ‘roughly 20 times more likely’ because of man made climate change, specifically meaning warming that comes from greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide.” Meanwhile, NBC’s chief environmental affairs correspondent relayed NOAA’s warning that “once-unusual weather is going to become more and more common.” And on ABC, the weather editor said bluntly that “If you want my opinion…now’s the time we start limiting manmade greenhouse gases.”
Are these intelligent, informative broadcasts a sign that the world of The Newsroom isn’t actually so far from reality? No, but it’s certainly encouraging to see all three networks doing strong journalism, at least for one night. And if they’re going to get any story right, the effects of climate change is a pretty good choice.
Photo via NBC