It’s Wednesday, January 2, and Meet the Press just got real about climate change.
This Sunday morning, NBC’s iconic public affairs show dedicated a full hour to climate change — something no other weekend news program has ever done. The episode could mark the beginning of a new era in mainstream media: one where warming is discussed without giving climate deniers a microphone.
My colleague Eric Holthaus broke down the 60-minute program and found that a majority of the segment was dedicated to talking about climate solutions and giving voice to solutions-oriented politicians. The show featured California Governor Jerry Brown, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and outgoing Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo of Florida, who helped form a climate solutions caucus during his tenure.
As Holthaus points out, the segment left out a few key players. “Notably absent from the conversation were direct voices from the current generation of climate leaders,” he writes. For example, Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has galvanized progressives around a bold proposal called a Green New Deal in 2018, didn’t appear on the show.
Regardless, the episode set a new bar for the media. Host Chuck Todd said it best at the beginning of the segment: “We’re not going to debate climate change. The earth is getting hotter, and human activity is a major cause, period.”
Happy New Year, readers!
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