The Daily DeX 07/22/2019: Climate Change And The Weathermen

+“Climate Change Is Everywhere. Just Not on TV” | Vice |Geoff Dembicki  

‌”A June episode of HBO’s Big Little Lies dove into the subject in an unexpected way when the young daughter of Laura Dern’s character has an anxiety attack about the future of the planet. The storyline constituted just a single subplot, but it spawned a minor eruption of hot takes, analysis pieces and recaps. Grist discussed the question of how to talk to children about climate change. Esquire deemed the second grader’s panic-stricken retreat into a closet as “a metaphor for living in 2019.” Vulture called up a child psychologist. “Climate-change anxiety is now a part of growing up,” declared the Washington Post. “Pop culture has caught on.”

Well, not exactly. At a time when television—especially glossy, made-for-binging prestige programs like Game of Thrones—dominates the culture, the medium is strikingly silent when it comes to climate change. John Mitchell, an editor and writer with the Washington DC-based Climate Reality Project, set out this spring to find major TV shows addressing the damage that humans are inflicting on our atmosphere and could only come up with three: Game of Thrones, a National Geographic docu-series called Life Below Zero and the Norwegian political thriller Occupied.

“I was surprised to see that there really wasn’t much there,” he said. “We talk about this as the biggest challenge of our time, well, wouldn’t you think that would take up a bit more air in popular entertainment?”

A crisis that’s reshaping every aspect of human experience is being effectively ignored by TV, and advocates think that lack is harming the chances for real, aggressive action on climate.”

–>Is climate change on prestige television dramas really the issue? Over the last three days, heat indexes along the mid-Atlantic and northeast United States reached the 110s. These are Mad Max temperatures, yet not a single meteorologist I watched on tv over the last three days mentioned climate change. The Weather Channel posts excellent articles on its website (like  “Climate Change Fuels World Hunger, UN Report Says” and “It’s Not a Coincidence That Many Meteorologists, Especially Those on TV, Are Wearing Stripes Today.”) But much more than “ecomodernist” parables on Game Of Thrones, what we really need are familiar and trusted meteorologists on our local news channels addressing climate change on a regular basis. We won’t see any of this, however (especially on Sinclair stations), because meteorologists putting weather in a climate change context would easily alienate and offend half their audience. So be it. That half has been convinced by lies and propaganda that climate change is a hoax in ways that have nothing to do with their political or cultural interests. It’s time to tell them the truth. 

Read more:

+“Local Meteorologists Are Making the Climate Connection” | Climate Reality  

+“Why ‘Game of Thrones’ Was about Ecomodernism – Resilience” | Resilience | Vasilis Kostakis  

+“5 Types of Climate Change Deniers, and How to Change Their Minds” | Big Think | Matt Davis   

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