A news release was issued last Thursday that I flat out missed, which was unfortunate (though I’m glad I eventually found out about it). A study (submitted to Geophysical Research Letters for publication) was conducted by climate scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO, Climate Central in Princeton, NJ, the Weather Channel, and the National Climate Data Center in Asheville, NC. They examined trends in record high temperatures and record low temperatures over the past 6 decades, through 2006. What they found isn’t terribly surprising: the ratio of record highs to record lows became unbalanced in the 2000s. There were twice as many record highs as record lows across the continental United States. That’s an increase from 1.36:1 for the 1990s and 1.14:1 for the 1980s. Climate change is affecting us today. Not tomorrow, not later this century. Today.
Two announcements were made this week that are pretty disappointing.
CNN is closing its science and technology unit. Miles O’Brien and six producers are being cut. CNN says science reporting will be folded into its general structure. I’m not impressed.
Then, NBC announced that it was cutting the Weather Channel’s “Forecast Earth” weekend program. NBC (General Electric, really), with private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, bought the Weather Channel earlier this year.
On the one hand, I find it disheartening that a mega-corporation like GE, which is tied to funding anti-climate change white papers from right-wing propaganda tanks, has decided to cut the only environmental newsmagazine show. Forecast Earth was allowing laypersons access to critical information. At this time, more than any other, Americans need that information.
On the other hand, more information sources are available to Americans than any time before. If the corporate gatekeepers decide to remove sources from us, we’ll go get it by some other means.
I won’t say much about the millions of dollars wasted on every show NBC makes that is of poor quality. It’s their money to waste, not mine.
More from A Siegel.