The media must confront President Trump on climate change

Oliver Milman writes: Imagine the world was facing upheaval on a scale not seen during modern civilization, a change that would imperil the world’s great cities by the rising seas and snuff out species at at the fastest rate since the dinosaurs disappeared. Then imagine you were a journalist, had repeated chances to ask the next president of the United States about this and decided to not do so.

The apparent failure of the media during the presidential election has been multifaceted and fiercely debated. But the absence of climate change as a leading topic in the election of Donald Trump is perhaps the single greatest rebuke to the idea that power should be held to account for the benefit of this and future generations.

This failure was most apparent during the presidential debates, where four-and-a-half hours of television saw not one moderator question pitched to Trump or Hillary Clinton on climate change. It was left to Ken Bone, he of the red sweater and brief internet fame, to come closest with a question about coal mining.

The mind-boggling consequences of unchecked climate change, which is essentially what Trump proposes by denying the problem exists, dwarfed every other issue – yes, including emails – discussed during the debates. And yet it wasn’t raised. It was the equivalent of getting an exclusive interview with Churchill and Roosevelt in 1942 and not asking them about the war. [Continue reading…]

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