Applaud The Weather Channel’s Climate Change Coverage

Target: David Kenny, Chairman and CEO of The Weather Company

Goal: Thank The Weather Channel for comprehensively covering President Obama’s climate change address

President Obama’s recently announced plans to address climate change include a “cap [on] carbon emissions at existing power plants, [improved] efficiency standards on automobiles, [doubling] the amount of electricity produced with renewables, and [leading] a global movement to address climate change.” As ThinkProgress bluntly noted, however, “the media virtually ignored it.” In fact, the three major cable news channels–MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN– spent less than 20 minutes combined covering the live announcements.

While Fox News broke into the story to interview Chris Horner, a renowned climate science denier, one cable network allowed complete and uninterrupted coverage of the address: The Weather Channel (TWC).

TWC, of course, has more than a passing vested interest in the realities of climate change. Although their coverage of specific weather systems often draws accusations of sensationalism, TWC provides consistent and informed discussion of climatological changes around the globe.

Research by Media Matters and ThinkProgress demonstrate the extreme reluctance of the mainstream media to address climate change concerns. During the devastating May 2013 floods in the American Midwest, for example, less than 3% of coverage even used the term “climate change.” Of the major networks plus CNN, “74 full segments” covered the floods over the following days, “but only one — on CBS Evening News — alluded to” climate change as a possible culprit. During 2012’s extraordinary Hurricane Sandy, exactly zero major newspapers used terms such as “climate change,” “global warming,” or “extreme weather” in their analyses. Politico offered the only mention of climatological changes in an article the following week.

Thank TWC for its consistent efforts to educate viewers about the growing threats of climate change, and urge TWC to continue using their platform to advocate for meaningful policy reform.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear David Kenny,

President Obama recently announced a wide-ranging effort to address the domestic and global challenges of climate change. His thorough, 49-minute address to the nation, however, was scarcely covered by major cable news networks. In fact, the three major cable news channels–MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN– spent less than 20 minutes combined covering the live announcements.

While Fox News broke into the story to interview Chris Horner, an infamous climate science denier, one cable network allowed complete and uninterrupted coverage of the address: The Weather Channel.

We the undersigned wish to thank you not only for covering a critical policy discussion relevant to climate change science, but also for TWC’s consistent efforts to educate Americans on this enormously important issue. We urge you to continue promoting greater awareness of our planet’s climatological realities in your programming.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard via Flickr/Fotopedia

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