Major media organisations sign a statement that ‘Journalism should reflect what the science says: the climate emergency is here.’
“It’s time to use a term that more than 13,000 scientists agree is needed,” wrote Mark Fischetti, a senior editor at Scientific American on 12 April 2021. “Given the circumstances, Scientific American has agreed with major news outlets worldwide to start using the term “climate emergency” in its coverage of climate change,” stated the article.
Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States, reaching more than 10 million people around the world each month.
An official statement about this decision, and the impact the media outlets hope it can have throughout the media landscape, was coordinated by Covering Climate Now, a global journalism initiative with more than 400 media partners, and was published by, among others, Scientific American, Columbia Journalism Review, the Nation, the Guardian, Noticias Telemundo, Al Jazeera, Asahi Shimbun and La Repubblica:
“The planet is heating up way too fast. It’s time for journalism to recognize that the climate emergency is here.
This is a statement of science, not politics. Thousands of scientists—including James Hansen, the NASA scientist who put the problem on the public agenda in 1988, and David King and Hans Schellnhuber, former science advisers to the British and German governments, respectively—have said humanity faces a “climate emergency.”
Why “emergency”? Because words matter. To preserve a livable planet, humanity must take action immediately. Failure to slash the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will make the extraordinary heat, storms, wildfires and ice melt of 2020 routine and could “render a significant portion of the Earth uninhabitable,” warned the January Scientific American article.
The media’s response to COVID-19 provides a useful model. Guided by science, journalists have described the pandemic as an emergency, chronicled its devasting impacts, called out disinformation and told audiences how to protect themselves (with masks and social distancing, for example).
We need the same commitment to the climate story. As partners in Covering Climate Now, a global consortium of hundreds of news outlets, we will present coverage in the lead-up to Earth Day, April 22, 2021, around the theme “Living Through the Climate Emergency.” We invite journalists everywhere to join us.”
→ Add your name or your media organisation’s name to the joint press statement on www.coveringclimatenow.org
→ Read more about the Global media initiative: ‘Climate Emergency Week’
“Failure to slash the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will make the extraordinary heat, storms, wildfires and ice melt of 2020 routine and could ‘render a significant portion of the Earth uninhabitable,'” the statement said, quoting from an article in, where else, Scientific American.
→ Scientific American – 12 April 2021:
We Are Living in a Climate Emergency, and We’re Going to Say So
“It’s time to use a term that more than 13,000 scientists agree is needed.”
"Declaring a national climate emergency is more than just a symbol of our commitment to this fight. It will literally unlock the tools needed to get the job done." @repblumenauer on the National #ClimateEmergency Act with @AOC and @SenSanders https://t.co/H83S2zPp5k
— The Climate Mobilization (@MobilizeClimate) April 12, 2021
Climate Emergency Week starts today, and it just so happens to end on #Earthday and our eighth anniversary! Keep an eye on our page between now and April 22 for news, information and more on renewable energy and the #ClimateEmergency!#ClimateAction #ClimateEmergencyWeek pic.twitter.com/9WVrx1yeEg
— CORENA fund (@CORENAfund) April 12, 2021