The world seems to be divided on the topic of climate change its important to see the underlying reasonings why both sides that differ. I feel that if we can understand the underlying implications for and against the idea that climate change caused by humans, we will have a better chance at addressing this current, environmental issue. We know the stance of the democrats and their impervious desire to address this worldly issue in a timely manner. On the other side we can see the republicans minimize the effects of emissions from humans on the atmosphere causing global warming. This article isn’t posed to take side on this national debate and the most controversial topics in presidential campaigns and politics, but merely aim to show the biases and fallacies through media that’re exemplified throughout time due to a pre-existing ideology, values and beliefs. The great Buddha has a quote in which I believe resonates with this issue, “What we think, we become.” And in the sense of environmental media production it is no different. What we think, see and internalize, we often take on into our ideas, perspective and beliefs from the information we consume.
Id like to further instate that human’s beliefs are influenced in a multitude of different ways throughout our lives. Our perceptions are shaped and molded through a perpetual cycle of deeply embedded belief systems and values which are re-affirmed through media mediums throughout our lives. We as humans will often seek out information that validates our beliefs, and find ourselves creating a cultured environment that affirms ones deeply embedded ideology. This cultural cognitive association is a derivative factor that is influence from the subconscious, and fosters a deep internal belief system that fall in congruence with our values. And those values can be passed down generationally, which sometimes never change. Whether you’re a Radical Republican or Radical Democrat or in-between on either side, you’re bound to have these predisposed belief systems which can misconstrue the fact-based reality.
When belief systems and values are threatened, we shut our mind closed like a trap door. Nothing can penetrate that, which is why I’d like to point out that it’s interesting that Fox New’s uses verbiages correlated to how “addressing climate change would kill the economy and bring us back to the stone age” (Public Citizen). Framing a message in such a way, appeals emotionally to the radical right and they feel their values are being threatened. And when people’s livelihoods are at risks, there is turmoil and negativism surrounding the issue and the buck stops there, no engagement and no further argument is necessary. I would feel the same when my livelihood, beliefs and ideologies are at risk for change for complete transformation and regression. Messages such as these to reader seemingly factual, if it’s the only source of news they receive on a daily basis. Neglecting the aspects of how renewable energy employs more than dirtier sources of energy like coal mining, will show the contradiction and fallacies in the philosophy. If the facts are that renewable energy is a bigger market than old industrial sources, we are already headed in a environmentally friendly trajectory (Vox). Then is this really about climate change or is it more about politics and who controls the jurisdiction of power. Are we just using this topic of climate change merely as a platform to gain traction politically and severing the left and the right?
Perhaps conservative news and its viewers have fallen into one of the predisposed cultural cognitive biases, and has attributed towards viewers to think and believe the in the same ways. In a research survey I conducted with conservative I asked them questions about their thoughts in climate change, and what media platform these use to view their news. Three out of five conservatives said they watch conservative new stations only such as “fox news”. The other two conservatives chose to widen their perspective and challenge their beliefs. Both participants shared similar philosophy in that they knew there’re biases within media, and they “needed to balance out the facts for themselves”. Statistically if we had more individual who took it upon themselves to search for their own factual based evidence surrounding important issues such as climate change, the world would maybe in a different place. But this isn’t the reality of what the research show within an array of different statistical data.
In this study, three out of the five participants negated the severity of climate change derived from human emissions. Those three participants only watched conservative news, without falter. The other two participant who widened their pallet within consumption of media, agree without reasonable doubt there has been climate change resulting from human activity and emission due to studies on factual evidence.
Furthermore, a recent study done published by the “Navigator” on March 21st, 2019 show the statistics and percentages of believers in climate change versus non-believers on the climate change issue who watch “Fox News”. Only twelve percent of people who watch Fox News, believe in man-made climate change. The survey goes onto to state that non-Fox watching Republican are twice as likely than other republicans who watch other news besides fox, to believe in human caused climate change (Navigator).
Analyzing the correlations between my survey’s conclusions and those of the Navigator, its clear, branching out and widening a consumption of news on climate change helps to minimize the biases of Fox News which inhibits challenging thoughts on climate change. When you have a vast a majority of population reading, listening and watching to the news of one specific news production, these predisposed ideologies are fostered continuously. And when the factual evidence on climate change is omitted, it further keeps the stalemate that we as a nation find ourselves in on the topic of climate change. The public citizen report a further biases of fox news when discussing climate change stating, “Of the 247 segments, 212 or 86% were dismissive of the climate change crisis, cast warming and its consequences in doubt or employed fear mongering when discussing climate change” (Public Citizen). Addressing the content of the news reporting on climate change through Fox, these messages grab hold of the community of conservatives, and attaching to their values polarizing them from other perspectives. In order to create change on this issue and other national predicaments, it’s clear a change is needed in the underlying biases media and viewers partake in, particularly conservatives, which hinder growth from cultural unity to form.