Pew Research Center released a new poll last month showing that climate change concerns were increasing among the public.
“Environmental protection and global climate change are rising on the public’s agenda for the president and Congress,” says the poll.
According to EcoWatch, there are two multi-year trends that led to this result: a steady decline in public anxiety about the economy since the decade-old recovery began in 2010, and a significant increase in concern about the environment over that same period, particularly since the 2016 election of President Trump.
During the 2016 election debates, there was a lot of talk about the lack of the climate change discussion from both parties. Sources like The Guardian stated: “Climate change has been the elephant in the room during the past two U.S. presidential debates. Ignoring this issue would be more understandable if this metaphorical pachyderm weren’t about to rampage through the lives of Americans, causing upheaval on a scale not seen since the start of human civilization.”
Then once trump was elected, media coverage on climate change was still of concern. “The rise in coverage from 2016 through the end of 2017 can be attributed in large part to Trump’s bellicose opposition to action on climate change, the singularly most highly visible environmental issue since well before he took office,” says EcoWatch. “By 2018, however, the initial outrage over Trump’s contrarian stance on climate change had dissipated; according to Media Matters, broadcast TV coverage of climate change dropped 45 percent.”
Media Matters and the Media and Climate Change Observatory (MeCCO) believe a huge reason there has been an increase in public awareness and agenda when it comes to climate change is because of media coverage. Both reports state there has been a significant increase in environmental coverage in 2019 especially.
MeCCO released a special 2019 issue talking about media coverage of climate change and global warming in 2019. They stated in a finite ‘news hole’, climate change and global warming garnered coverage through stories manifesting through primary, yet often intersecting, political, economic, scientific, cultural as well as ecological and meteorological themes.
Hopefully, with more media coverage, we will all be able to join together and change the topic from a climate change armageddon to having solutions we can work towards.