Submitted by Union of Concerned Scientists
Just last year, we were thanking CNN for going a year without debating the reality of climate change. This was after our report, Science or Spin? Assessing the Accuracy of Cable News Coverage of Climate Science, pointed out that the biggest step that CNN could take to increase the accuracy of its climate coverage would be to stop hosting debates about established climate science and instead host debates and discussions about whether and how to respond to climate change through climate policy.
Unfortunately, it looks like CNN has moved in a dangerous new direction. Now they’re hardly mentioning climate change or its causes.
According to a new study by Media Matters, in the weeks following announcements that 2015 was the hottest year on record and that February 2016 was the hottest month on record, only one of CNN’s three woefully inadequate news segments about these temperature records made any mention of “climate change” or “global warming.”
And none of CNN’s reporting addressed global warming pollution from the fossil fuel industry or any of the other ways in which humans are causing global warming.
At the same time, CNN aired 23.5 minutes of American Petroleum Institute (API) ads, compared to just five minutes of coverage about climate change or the temperature records. API earned a starring role in our recent Climate Deception Dossiers report because of its efforts over many years to deceive the public about climate science and solutions. And now they’re getting more air time on CNN than the news about one of humanity’s greatest challenges. CNN has refused advertising before for ads that could have harmful consequences – shouldn’t they account for the consequences of continuing the fossil fuel industry’s climate denial and deception in the face of devastating climate change?
As one of the largest news organizations on the planet and a leading network covering key issues like science, the presidential election and more, we need CNN to do better.