Carbon omission: How the U.S. media underreported climate change in 2017

This report examines media coverage of topics relevant to climate change that garnered significant attention in 2017, such as extreme weather events, and assesses the extent to which U.S. media coverage explicitly connected the topics to climate change. The proportion of pieces that mentioned climate change in climate-relevant contexts was decidedly low. There was no topic that media connected to climate change in more than 33 percent of pieces. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that high-water mark comes from articles discussing record heat. From there, the numbers drop off steeply. Some topics, like hurricanes, saw scant mention of climate at all, with just four percent of pieces discussing Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, or Nate mentioned climate change or global warming. Finally, among pieces that mentioned climate change or global warming, only nine percent discussed solutions or mitigation.

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