We’ve been following local and national news reports, and want to tell you that we are worried about the recent extreme heat and wildfires raging across the country. We feel for people who’ve lost their lives and/or livelihoods to extreme weather, and we believe that it’s only a matter of time until it directly hits us and our community.
Seeing headlines about these climate disasters made us realize that most news stories show no connection between the disasters and their main cause: fossil fuels.
News coverage has increasingly made the connection between extreme heat and climate change, but what remains missing is the fact that climate change, and thus, these disasters, are the direct result of burning coal, oil, and gas.
The science is clear, the longer we allow coal, oil, and gas companies to extract fossil fuels, the worse the impacts of the climate crisis will be. With every fraction of a degree of warming, we’ll see and suffer more extreme heat, droughts, floods, wildfires, and hurricanes. But the fossil fuel industry continues to ignore the science and push a false narrative, thereby undermining our chances for a safer future. Meanwhile, CO2 emissions keep rising. We all know this is causing global heating, and resulting in extreme weather events, yet they keep digging, pushing, and profiting, with zero accountability.
Climate impacts, like the recent heatwaves and wildfires, disproportionately affect people and communities who are already marginalized and disadvantaged. People who did the least to cause the climate crisis suffer the worst from its impacts, they lose livelihoods, hope, and worse: their lives, while oil companies post record profits. This is wrong on so many levels.
Local and national media have an important role to play – and a moral obligation to tell the whole truth. It’s time to make one thing about extreme weather very clear: it’s not a “crisis” that just happens to us; it’s a crime, and the fossil fuel industry is to blame. And saying it once isn’t enough. Media has an important job to do to turn the tide of public opinion and help the world avoid even worse climate impacts.
Please tell the real story about the climate crisis.
For Earth Matters, Manchester: Carl Bucholt, Anne D’Olivo, Letitia Scordino, Carol Berry, Stephanie Moffet-Hynds, Jim Hand, Susan Levitan, Chris Anderson, Anita Pomerance, Loretta Murphy