Letters to the Editor: Why climate journalism needs to give readers a reason to hope
If you have to ask why I wanted to write this column, it’s because I believe that climate journalism is still suffering from a massive malaise. The news industry is in many ways the epitome of democracy in action. I have a job where I learn new things every day and I am always told that my opinions do not matter. That may sound like I’m not contributing to journalism, but it actually means I am. It means I am able to make people think, argue, and change their opinions about something that they are not only hearing about on a daily basis, but also about which will have the most impact on the future if they don’t change their minds.
At least, that’s the way I thought long ago. I thought that climate journalism was an industry that needed to do its part to help the world solve its problems. I thought that it was important to give readers such a reason to believe in the work that climate journalists do at the University of California, Irvine, especially when the University of California is funded to the tune of $100 million by a foundation that is also funded by ExxonMobil. I believed that the work of journalists like Brian Kahn, John Cook, Ben Strauss, and Emily Atkin is part of a bigger movement that is more important than ever – it’s part of a bigger change that we need to bring about in our political and societal systems. I believed that climate journalism should be about hope.
But over the past few years, it’s become a place of despair for me. On the one hand, there is the issue of climate change itself. We’ve gotten a lot of people to understand the need for environmental protections and the need to think about the endgame of climate change. We’ve gotten people to see what’s going on with the future of food and the way food impacts our health. And we’ve