Networks Ignore U.S. Agreement on Global Warming

Networks Ignore U.S. Agreement on Global Warming
Partnership includes energy-hungry China and India, but media arent interested.

By Amy Menefee
August 10, 2005

     Its been about two weeks since the United States joined a new international pact on energy and global warming. But the major networks havent mentioned it at all.

     President George W. Bush announced the U.S. joining the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate on July 27. None of the three broadcast networks mentioned it in aBusiness & Media Institute survey of coverage since July 20. But during that time period, CBS and ABC both found time for a new study linking strong hurricanes to global warming. On two occasions, reporters passed along the studys findings without any critique of the results.

     Unlike the medias adoration of all things warming, the six-nation pact is major news. Thats because it includes the high-emissions countries of China and India, which had no emissions caps in the media-favored Kyoto treaty. But the pact doesnt include mandatory regulation of greenhouse gases, which the media have consistently indicted as causing global warming. Instead, it embraces free-market solutions to the future of the worlds energy consumption. As Margaret Kriz reported in National Journal August 6, the new pact allows private innovation to pave the way for cleaner, more efficient energy technologies.

     According to the White House, the six countries aim to reduce harmful air pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Considering European nations failure to comply with the original greenhouse gas controls of Kyoto, a new agreement by the worlds major emitters is significant news. The media have not let audiences forget that America didnt sign on to Kyoto, and in coverage of the June Group of Eight (G-8) Summit, they blamed Bush for the U.S. position. The Senate, however, voted 95-0 against joining Kyoto a treaty estimated to cost the United States upwards of $400 billion annually if implemented. Those costs are rarely mentioned in media reports, as the Business & Media Institute found in its earlier studies, Crazy 8s and Destroying America to Save the World.

     The Bush administration continues to oppose any policy that would achieve reductions by putting Americans out of work or by simply shifting emissions from one country to another. For journalists who usually jump at the chance to cover American job losses, that should be good news. Unfortunately, broadcasters have ignored the free-market approach to advancing the worlds energy policy.

For more information:

White House Fact Sheet: Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development

Crazy 8s: Live 8, G-8 coverage cheerleads sending billions of U.S. dollars to Africa

Destroying America to Save the World: TVs Global Warming Coverage Hides Cost of Kyoto Treaty