The Climate Forum
The climate is changing and the media has made it more of a political debate than a social crisis. Whether you think this change is because of human actions or is naturally caused, we must address the way humans are informed about the environment around them. Complete depolarization of the media is unreasonable and harmful to society, but the United States certainly has the capability of minimizing the competition between media spectrums if climate change is addressed nationally. The proposed “Climate Forum”, as its own separate entity, would lead to monumental change for the betterment of the environment and society as a whole.
A successful climate change forum will only occur if all publishing sources advocate and approve of this new media outlet. People put their trust in sources like Fox News or CNN because they are acclimated to them and feel comfortable hearing information that will support their opinions.
Throughout history, humans have used cognitive filters to shape their cultural identity. We develop opinions based on values that are consistent, pre-existing beliefs, which we can fit within a certain group of people. With that being said, some people perceive given information differently than others. Individuals must learn to set aside these subjective filters when it comes to important global issues like climate change because it will impact the entirety of humanity. While people may not care to recognize the importance of the Climate Forum now, if their trusted media outlets are advocates for the government-lead organization, people will feel inclined to engage with information from the forum. All things considered, this separate organization would be in place to not purposely depolarize new media sources because, historically, that control causes citizens to be voiceless and creates conflict.
In 1933, for example, Nazi control over the independent press and raids at opposing parties’ news offices left citizens in disarray and confused. It seemed as if democracy vanished out of thin air. If something similar—in regard to depolarization of the media—were to happen in the United States, voices would be shut down and single stories would surface.
Depolarizing new media sources creates unnecessary control of the government and that is against what the United States considers to be free. So, the Climate Forum will allow for discussions to occur, information to be shared, and scientific data to be analyzed by the general public. This sort of forum will diverge from the media sources to which we are so accustomed. The proposed forum also will disseminate scientific information in an objective, non-biased way that has never been seen before. In order for this to happen, though, new media sources must be advocates for accepting data, rather than opinions, and people need to become more willing to set aside pre-existing cognitive filters.
The forum will provide easily accessible statistics from scientists and testimonials from people across the country and eventually the world. More often than not, people fear change because out of the ordinary events may present challenges. With that being said, the Climate Forum should run much like new media sources but as stated above, would be a completely separate government organization in which objective data analysis would be presented. In order to cater to multiple generations, the app, radio station, and televisions channels will be easily accessible and functional. This sort of immersion of environmental awareness into the everyday lives of people will eventually create societal acceptance of climate change awareness.
The Climate Forum will bridge the disconnect between polarized media sources and citizens of the United States. It will rely less heavily on the opinions of the media and bring people together through the basis of scientific data and subjective stories through discussion. The way it will succeed is if people are vulnerable and take away the shield of cognitive filters. Like discussed earlier, polarized media helps make many voices heard and it brings progress and decline to many aspects of life. In order to create a better future for all, there must be change regarding how we give and receive information about the environment around us. We’ve got the world in our hands, let’s make sure we protect it!