Qatar’s Al Jazeera America Puts US Climate Coverage to Shame

Al Jazeera climate change coverage, US news, Qatar-based tv channel, Al Jazeera, flooding, extreme weather, global warmingRecently launched by Qatar’s Al Jazeera Media Network, Al Jazeera America has already made a splash for its no-nonsense climate change coverage – something local media stations have been too timid to tackle.

Perhaps timid is not the right word. Squeamish is better.

Fox News and CNN have both failed to provide balanced climate change coverage, according to Media Matters, mostly because of political wrangling.

But Al Jazeera America, launched 20 August, 2013, has no such qualms.

“Al Jazeera America’s 30 minutes of climate coverage (about 24 minutes not including commercial breaks) represented nearly half of what was seen on all network nightly news programs in 2012, and more than what was featured by CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront and Anderson Cooper 360 and Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor and Hannity combined in the past four and a half months,” writes Media Matters.

The segment aired during Tuesday’s edition of Inside Story, according to the paper, and promises to usher in a refreshing new era of balanced, science-based environmental journalism.

Dr. Heidi Cullen, Vice President and Chief Climatologist for Climate Central — a non-profit science journalism organization headquartered in Princeton, NJ, was one of the show’s first guests.

She said it is essential to come to terms with climate change and the fact that we are both the cause of and solution to manmade global warming. Instead of inciting political drama, the show focused on the inevitable consequences of climate change – including fiercer ecological crisis such as drought, storms, and rising sea levels.

A director competitor to the news outlets that have helped to fuel America’s great left/right divide, Al Jazeera aims to be a pioneer in straightforward climate change coverage – even focusing occasionally on solutions in order to hopefully catalyze positive, proactive action, and they’re not shy about criticizing news outlets that don’t.

Media Matters reports:

“Over the past ten years,” said Michael Mann, the director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State, “[special interests] have literally spent hundred of millions of dollars in a major disinformation campaign—a campaign aimed at confusing the public.”

Per capita, Qatar ranks among the world’s worst polluters, and parts of the small emirate, which hosted COP 18, are also deeply vulnerable to rising seas.

For more details, head over to Media Matters.

Image of flooded house via Shutterstock 

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3 thoughts on “Qatar’s Al Jazeera America Puts US Climate Coverage to Shame”

  1. Thanks for this comment Michael. I think it’s nice to have a news channel that isn’t so completely tied up with US politics… so refreshing, right?

  2. Michael Lehner says:

    Al Jazeera America was a new cable channel I hit while surfing. I stopped and sat there glued to the set for hours. While I cannot specifically say what it is that fascinates me so much about this station, I think it is that this station takes an “Eastern culture” look at “Western culture” life. I write those words in quotes because the reporters were western people mostly talking like westerners (Americans, if you wish). So the differences are more subtle and I did not get any impression that the reporting was slamming western ways. I looked up Qatar, where Al Jazeera America is headquartered. It doesn’t exactly promote Judeo-Christian religion, they are tolerant of them. And Qatar has the same obesity problem that the USA is suffering. They have the usual Shia/Sunni mix but we don’t hear that one side is trying to annihilate the other. All in all, I think Qater is a reasonable muslim country and I think Al Jazeera America is going to be one of my favorite news stations.

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