The media have started asking about climate change

“Climate? Tune in at 10” is on Grist’s Beacon

By Nikhil Swaminathan

President trump on scientist's political agendaOnline  —  “Last week, in the wake of the latest U.N. report, the Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan issued a challenge to journalists: ‘Climate change, she said, must be kept front and center with the pressure on and the stakes made abundantly clear at every turn.’

“The U.N. report’s alarming message that we have essentially a decade to take meaningful action on warming combined with Hurricane Michael ripping through the Southeastern U.S. ensured that the media couldn’t avoid talking climate change this weekend.

“CNN’s Jake Tapper and CBS’s John Dickerson asked Florida Senator Marco Rubio directly about the impact of climate change on storms like Michael. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow if the president would act on warming.

“And in her 60 Minutes interview with President Donald Trump, Lesley Stahl asked him point blank: ‘Do you still think that climate change is a hoax?’

“Surprise!

“Trump walked back his hoax stance.

“But then he questioned the political motives of scientists, humanity’s role in causing climate change, and whether the warming trend would continue.

“Similarly, Rubio suggested that policies to address climate change were a danger to the economy.

“Kudlow, with denier cred in place of expertise, said the U.N.’s assessment was an overestimation. (In what was very nearly a televised debate on climate change, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appeared later on Stephanopoulos’ show calling Kudlow’s comments “irresponsible” and “dangerous.”)

“If you were looking for a chink in the GOP’s armor of denial, it came from a familiar source: Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. On the topic of climate change, Flake told Stephanopoulos that ‘Republicans need to be at the forefront if we want to keep our place and keep our seats.‘ (Flake is notably not seeking re-election.)

“The point here is the media (beyond Grist) are now pressing politicians about climate change.

“If this keeps up, it just might spur some movement toward the massive mobilization needed to get us out of the mess we’re in.

“Granted, a weekend of tough questions is just a start, but it’s also a reason to be hopeful.”

ED NOTE (OPINION): I focus on this subject and publish informative articles from sources like GRIST beyond just being interested in real science and US politics despite strongly being in favor of the historic republican approach to governance, they are:

1. Global warming and its consequences are vitally important to me, my family and friends and I believe if one does a reasonable effort to understand the so-called “debate” about it one will realize that those who deny it have uninformed, possibly grossly under-informed, views.

(They seem to confuse debate with science; non-scientific opinions with scientific facts. Worse yet, as a probable consequence of the USA’s poor history in science education, they probably do not understand science and the meaning of scientific conclusions. Science requires thought and effort! That’s giving them the benefit of the doubt about their motives for denying, that some question seriously.)

2. Republicans who deny the science are doing themselves and the country a great disservice and, if continued, will lose power, some as a result of mistaken policies, but most for not acting in favor of the well-being of their constituents. This could be the one subject that will bring the Democrats back into power more quickly and more powerfully than ever expected.

(If I were a Democrat running in this election and especially in the 2020 one, I would be making hay about Global Warming, its prospects and the lack of Republican smarts and dismal efforts to address the problem. Blame President Trump, big time!)

3. The idea of scientists as a group having a ‘very big political agenda’, as I heard President Trump say on 60 Minutes last night, was frankly an absurd viewpoint, in MHO. That statement alone undercuts my belief that he was trying to do a good job for the majority.

(Listen to the Democrats’ cheers!)

Clearly President Trump and many Republicans deny the science and act as if unconcerned with the ramifications of that denial. Even if the scientists have overstated the situation, can we risk not listening and acting? The rest of the world is doing so and many US organizations are involved, despite Republican denials.

(Perhaps this is a consequence of the USA ranking 22nd to 30th in the world in Science, or STEM, education in the recent past-not very good, but very telling.)