Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.
The US press has generally played a dismal role in warning people of the imminent dangers of climate breakdown and upcoming thresholds beyond which humanity may not survive as an organized species or a species at all. The media should be every day reporting on both the record breaking temperatures of 2016 as well as alarming changes in the surface of the earth that have resulted and will likely result from the enormous heat.
Questions for the recent 2016 US Presidential debates reflect the norms of disregard for climate among US pundits and the press, as no single question during the debates was posed that had anything directly to do with climate change and carbon constraints. That Donald Trump was able to win the electoral college, came close to frontrunner Clinton on the popular vote with 60+ million votes, and therefore win the Presidency on a platform that included straight-out “hard” climate denial is in part a function of the “soft climate denial” rampant in the “liberal” political elite and media. Hard climate denial, for that matter any climate denial, should in an adequately aggressive media environment, be viewed in 2016, by far the hottest year on record, as a disqualifier for high office. The mostly pro-Clinton elite media, in the latter part of the election, were supposedly either exposing or informing the public clearly about the implications and dangers of Trump’s positions, yet, as consistent with “soft climate denial”, treated Trump’s “hard climate denial” with avoidance and/or delicacy, seemingly out of fear or maybe, charitably, disbelief.