On Sunday morning, NBC’s Meet the Press did what no other
weekend news program had ever done before: They discussed climate
for a full hour.
Host Chuck Todd led off the hour with what amounted to a bold
line in the sand: Climate denial is no longer welcome on our
airwaves. It’s a statement that hopefully sets
the tone for media coverage as a new year begins and 2020
Presidential campaigns gets
underway. It was a
glimpse of what it would look like if we took climate change
Although an episode like this was a
long-time coming and the debate itself was a
little underwhelming (and maybe the show’s forward-looking
have come with an apology for past sins), it was still a
watershed moment for the media when most shows have long-ignored
the most important issue facing humanity in our collective history.
And it was refreshing to see a real-life climate scientist speaking
freely about the urgency of our present moment and unimpeded by
stale talking points.
If you break down the 60-minute episode, solutions-focused
politicians took up most of the time. The show focused on long
interviews with outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown and ex-New
York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — past and (maybe) future
presidential candidates who have devoted large portions of their
careers to addressing climate change head-on. The only member of
Congress to appear on the program was Republican Carlos Curbelo of
Florida, who will give up his Congressional seat in three days.
Notably absent from the conversation were direct voices from the
current generation of climate leaders — Representative-elect
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who helped change the national
conversation on climate change by advocating for a Green New Deal
during the last half of 2018, and young Sunrise Movement activists
who, in a
tweet, claimed partial credit for the show’s topical focus.
As a result, the episode barely mentioned
bold science-based policies to rapidly decarbonize the global
Still, since talking about climate change is
the most important thing any of us can do about it, the show
was significant. It amounted to a call-to-action for the media:
Debates over the science of climate change are no longer welcome.
It’s high time to focus on solutions. We also need to be thinking
about the kinds of climate conversations we should be hearing in
the next election cycle.
The New York Times’ David Leonhardt
made the claim on Sunday that climate change was the biggest
story of 2018. If that’s true, then this Meet the Press episode
was a signal to candidates like
Elizabeth Warren, who have yet to endorse officially the Green
New Deal, to pay
even closer attention to the issue.
This story was originally published by Grist with the headline
Meet the Press just modeled what it looks like to take climate
change seriously on Dec 31, 2018.
Source: FS – All – Science – News
Meet the Press just modeled what it looks like to take climate change seriously