1 May 2019

Covering Climate Change- The Media Pledges To Do Better.

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Two fascinating panel discussions on covering climate change today. You can watch them below.

I had a chance after the seminar to enjoy a nice spring day in mid-town and in Central Park.

I spent today in New York attending an event for journalists about covering climate change. It was sponsored by the Columbia Journalism Review and it was packed. I was asked to be on a panel early in the day and it’s well worth watching (See below, the event was taped). Although it was mainly an event for journalists, my fellow meteorologists Jeff Bernadelli and Bernadette Woods attended as well, so we had three meteorologists.

Better still, since it was at Columbia University (the home of NASA’s Goddard Institute) Dr. Gavin Schmidt, one of the world’s top climate experts joined us as well.

The end of the event featured Bill Moyers whose talk deserved the standing ovation he received. Moyers compared the inaction of America in the dark days before and after the outbreak of World War  Two to the inaction on climate today. If you watch only a few minutes of the event, watch that.

Take Away’s from today

  • The media representatives there understand that they have done a lousy job at covering the threat we face by our changing climate.
  • They are pledging to do much better.
  • False balance is dead (No more giving equal time to the remaining handful of skeptics who disagree with every major scientific body on Earth. I pointed out that giving equal time to the less than 1 percent was at least partially responsible for the greatest science myth in America: that scientists are divided about the threat we face.
  • Those that think climate change is a hoax are now (rightly) seen by climate literate journalists as conspiracy theorists. I pointed out that the current popular thinking among those that did not accept the science seems to have shifted from it’s not happening to “it’s a natural cycle”. ( It’s easy to show that it’s not).

Below: My fellow meteorologists Jeff Bernadelli (Getting is his Masters at Columbia after several years doing broadcast meteorology, and Bernadette Woods (Climate Central Princeton).

The flyer for who was on the panels today: