The climate crisis is real, but you wouldn’t know it by watching Fox Weather | Fox
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WAs Fox News Media announced plans for a 24-hour weather channel, the company could hardly have predicted that it would debut in a week marked by a bomb cyclone, multiple tornadoes and severe flooding in the North. is.
Yet that is exactly what happened when Fox Weather launched on Monday last week, much to the pomp of its owners, but much to the concern of those concerned that the channel would match its channel’s infamous skepticism. sister Fox News on climate change.
Fox News hosts have spent years denigrating or undermining the idea of man-made climate degradation, and the fact that two executives linked to Fox News were behind the launch of Fox Weather meant that the concerns could be justified.
In its early days, Fox Weather has yet to host any guests who have suggested climate change is a hoax or no big deal. But that doesn’t mean the fledgling TV channel is championing environmental reform.
“Fox Weather does not deny climate change. They simply ignore it, ”the New Republic said on Wednesday.
Over the course of several hours of watching Fox Weather, the Guardian has heard many details – most of them genuinely informative – about tornado formation and how storms can be seen on 3D maps. There were also public warnings: do not drive in a flood, viewers were told, while people on their way to a storm were told to take shelter in a bathroom or a corridor.
But while the meteorologists, in their New York-based cream and red ensemble, dazedly dissected the unusual number of storms for this time of year, there was little mention of the climate crisis even as world leaders are preparing to meet at Cop26 in Glasgow this week in an attempt to tackle the problem.
To be fair, a side-by-side analysis of the Weather Channel’s noon output, considered the gold standard for live weather news, yielded similar results. Neither channel is devoted to the broader topic of weather and climate, exactly; instead, they play out more like weather dramas, where milestone events are breathlessly covered in the moment, with little time for reflection.
The reason for the concerns about Fox Weather, however, is clear. In 2020, Fox News’ most-watched host Tucker Carlson refuted the idea that the wildfires on the west coast were the result of a climate crisis – serious climatologists, however, agree that the fires are very related to the blackout – and suggested the environmental risks were a liberal conspiracy.
Carlson’s colleague Laura Ingraham insisted, contrary to experts’ conclusions, that the planet is in a “natural” warming cycle, and suggested that environmental activists like Greta Thunberg had been “brainwashed” While Sean Hannity said the left’s ‘obsession’ with the climate was a ‘political tool’.
In the first half of 2019, to take a sample, Public Citizen found that Fox News had devoted 247 segments to the climate crisis. Of these, “212 (86%) scorned the climate crisis, questioned global warming and its consequences, or used fear when discussing climate solutions,” Public Citizen said.
There were no clear examples of denial on Fox Weather, and the channel has made every effort to assert its good faith on climate change. A spokeswoman for Fox News Media highlighted statements by executives and its meteorologists addressing the issue of climate change.
“If you ask about climate change, climate change is part of our lives. This is how we live. This will not be ignored, ”Sharri Berg, former executive vice president of news operations for Fox News and currently one of the people responsible for launching Fox Weather, told Variety.
“We will report the facts,” Berg said.
There have, however, been a number of missed opportunities to mention the climate crisis, particularly in articles posted on the Fox Weather website.
A “7 facts about heat waves” article notes that “heat waves are happening more often than before”, but makes no mention of climate change. Another article says Louisiana “has lost about 2,000 square miles of wetlands” over the past 90 years, but fails to mention the climate crisis responsible for the stronger storms and rising seas.
An article on the delay in fall foliage in Tennessee due to warmer temperatures makes no mention of rising temperatures around the world, while an article on the rose shortage notes that the weather in South America , where many roses are grown, had been “unusually cold”. and mentions that “Parts of Columbia [sic] and Ecuador received more than 400 percent above average precipitation ”. But the climate crisis is not mentioned.
An article on coastal flooding on Friday quoted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as saying that rising sea levels, caused by climate change, were responsible for the flooding.
It would appear that in articles where other media would almost certainly mention the planet’s climate change, Fox Weather articles may distract from the topic.
Although Berg appointed a reporter to cover the impending Cop26 climate crisis conference in Glasgow on Thursday, there was not a single mention of Cop26 on his website.
It may be too early, less than a week after its launch, to take a full picture of the channel’s overall direction on climate.
But so far, while Fox Weather isn’t denying the climate crisis, neither is it.
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