Current TV host Cenk Uygur said Tuesday he hoped the devastation wrought by superstorm Sandy shook the New York-based national media out of its complacency regarding climate change.
“If tornadoes hit you in the Midwest, well, they didn’t see it,” Uygur said on The Young Turks. “If hurricanes hit you in Florida, they might not see it. But now that they’ve seen it, they just might understand that climate change is not something that’s gonna happen 50 or 100 years from now – it’s happening right now.”
And even if Sandy is “just one storm,” Uygur said, it is part of some disturbing trends: as Think Progress reported, September marked the 331st consecutive month that global temperatures exceeded the 20th century global average. And this year alone, the U.S. experienced record-setting heat waves and drought and an above-average fire season before Sandy lashed the eastern seaboard.
Uygur also cited an NBC News report that mentioned a sharp increase in the amount of named storms over the past 40 years, going from an average of 8 hurricanes a year during the 1970s to 18 last year alone and 19 hurricanes with a month left in hurricane season this year.
“Is the media doing justice to this?” he said. “Oh, hell no.”
Just 8.7 percent of television news media, Uygur said, mentioned climate change during the record high temperatures around the country in July. And coverage of GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) workout habits were covered three times as much as the drop in Arctic sea levels.
Watch Uygur’s commentary, aired Tuesday on The Young Turks, below.