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Climate Change and the Media Biases

Introduction

Climate change and global warming are the two topics that have taken the lead in many social and political discussions. The impact of climate change is not limited to life; it affects economies, limits growth and development, and threatens to wipe away some of the world’s most essential natural resources. The media has been in the frontline of addressing climate change and its effects globally. This essay’s primary purpose is to address the media bias concerning the rising global warming and climate change, referring to news articles made by scientists and various scholars. To fully understand where the world is heading in relation to climate change, this essay aims to analyze the presentation of climate news looking at the angle taken, the audience addressed, and the political bias present in the news coverage. According to Chomsky, leaders have, for many years, controlled the public’s view and perspectives since they take charge of what they see by manipulating democracy, which calls for a revolution in manufacturing consent (KIRKRH1). Connecting to Chomsky’s ideas, the public has not understood the causes of climate change or mitigating factors because those in positions of power have created obstructions in their path of climate justice. The public’s understanding of climate change and the roles of different classes of people will be addressed in this essay.

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Article Summaries

The impact of climate change on human and animal life is addressed in FOX news. Ciaccia, in his article, “Climate change could destroy half of Earth’s animal and plant species in the next 50 years”, shows that climate change is a global threat (1). In summary, the article relates the rate of temperature rise to plant and animal life. It shows that a 2.9 degrees Celsius temperature rise could potentially lead to the extinction of almost 95% of all animal and plant life globally. The article focuses on local extinctions by analyzing several climatic variables in different sites to demonstrate the extent of change to which a population can withstand. The impact of human activities and the different views on climate change is also highlighted in the article.

The second article is titled “The climate crisis is disrupting life for millions, a report finds” published on CNN news. The article is written by Levy and Miller to highlight the impact of climate change in the recent past (1). In the article, the authors discuss food insecurity as one of the effects of prolonged drought caused by climate change. Food insecurity is believed to have affected over 22 million people in Africa in 2019. In addition to drought, climate change has caused flooding, leading to the displacement of over 22 million people worldwide (Levy and Miller 1). The authors also describe the impact of heatwaves which claimed the lives of 1,462 lives across Europe and Australia wildfires, leading to the destruction of more than 17 hectares of forest cover.

The third article addresses the same issue as the first two articles from a different perspective. It relates climate change to human activities, specifically addressing carbon emissions. In this article by Briggs published on BBC news, the role of human activities in global warming and climate change is emphasized (1). The article, titled “Carbon: How Calls for Climate Justice Are Shaking the World”, addresses the activism of Xiye Bastida, whose voice against climate injustice is relevant to today’s campaigns on sustainable living by minimizing carbon emissions. It highlights that climate justice is equivalent to social justice, insisting that human beings carefully consider their activities to be a call to justice. According to Bastida, the main problem is historic climate injustices demonstrated by the carbon footprint of the rich and mighty (Briggs 2). Essentially, the article gives a solution to the climate change challenges addressed by the other two articles mentioned above.

Media Analysis

The article “Climate change could destroy half of Earth’s animal and plant species in the next 50 years, disturbing study says,” by Ciaccia approaches the issue of climate change from a scientific research perspective. The author uses the picture of a tree frog to give an impression of climate change impacts on animal life (Ciaccia 1). The authors refrain from using personal or political points and stick to the scientific research and evidence presented in line with their study. The article is intended for the general public who need to understand the current state of climate change.

Although the article focuses on the negative impacts of climate change backed up by research, there is a measure of bias in the presentation. The authors appear to be questioning the logic behind the move by the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. This is shown by the consequent statements that link the decision to individual nations strategizing on their climate change techniques. According to the article, the Paris agreement of 2015 has been effective in curbing climate change by regulating how nations emit heat trapping gases (Ciaccia 3). A large part of this article shows the dark future brought about by climate change, and only a short part, in conclusion, is dedicated to the counterargument. In comparison to the other two articles, Ciaccia’s political bias seems to be less open.

In the second article by Levy and Miller, the focus is laid on the global impact of climate change by addressing the different effects witnessed in different parts of the world. This article is intended to raise the understanding of the public and leaders of the urgency of dealing with climate change. The authors use statistics to reinforce their ideas and draw their points from verified research. The article uses images of a flooded area in Mozambique to demonstrate how devastating climate change is globally.

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The concluding part of the article hints at the authors’ political bias. Levy and Miller quote the words of Brian Hoskins that climate change” points to a threat that is greater to our species than any known virus” (Levy and Miller 1). These words show that the authors believe leaders are not giving climate change enough attention as they are diverted by viruses that plague the world. In essence, the authors point out that climate change should be prioritized above any virus, contrary to what leaders have done. This appears to be open disapproval of the present political systems in contrast to Ciaccia’s article addressed above. The use of images displaying the adverse climate change effects serves to reinforce the authors’ points.

The third article by Briggs demonstrates a higher degree of command, personal views, and political bias. The article focuses on climate justice as a form of social justice. This claim itself is subjective because it is based on personal views and not backed up by scientific research or proof. The main basis of this argument is the activism by Xiye Bastida, a vibrant and upcoming climate activist (Briggs 1). The language used by the authors displays their disapproval of social injustice, especially because the rich have the highest carbon footprint, but the consequences of climate change fall more heavily on the poor.

The authors refer to various characters such as Dr. Bjoern Soergel and Amy Norman, who suggest that politicians should do everything to involve the public in the move towards zero carbon emissions. The authors fail to point out any counterarguments to their views or mention how politicians respond to the claims made against their leadership strategies. The article uses pictures of activists, drought, and fuelling to give the reader a hint of the concepts discussed therein. In comparison to the articles by Ciaccia and Levy, and Miller, Briggs demonstrates clear disapproval of the political system in what appears to be a campaign for reformation of current political systems.

Conclusion

Marshall McLuhan describes the world as a global village implying that today people have access to information on what is happening at any place as if it was happening next to them. According to him, electronic media have enabled the public to access a wide variety of information from any part of the world, thus informing and influencing many decisions. This concept is demonstrated in the media analyzed in this article. For instance, the article by Levy and Miller uses statistical evidence to reveal the impacts of climate change in Mozambique, Kenya, and Australia. Similarly, Briggs informs the public about the climate change activism demonstrated in the U.S and the significant impacts of climate change in Nigeria, Bangladesh, and India. Reading through the article, a reader gets a global view of the climate change situation in various countries. Relating McLuhan’s global village perspective to Ciaccia’s article we find that the address of climate change impacts on plant and animal species is well represented. By referring to the giant tree frog of Madagascar, the public is made aware of an issue that may not have been open unless showcased in the media.

References

Briggs, Hellen. “Carbon: How Calls for Climate Justice Are Shaking the World.” BBC News, 2021. Web.

Ciaccia, Chris. “Climate Change Could Destroy Half of Earth’s Animal and Plant Species in The Next 50 Years, Disturbing Study Says”. FOX News, 2020. Web.

KIRKRH1. Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing Consent 1 Of 9. 2009. Web.

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Levy, Hannah, and Brandon Miller. “The Climate Crisis Is Disrupting Life for Millions, A Report Finds.” CNN News, 2020. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2023) 'Climate Change and the Media Biases'. 3 February.

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