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Fox News Refuses to Let Editor Discuss Climate Change

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Fox News Refuses to Let Editor Discuss Climate Change

A prediction of what could happen in science over the next five decades without mentioning climate change could only come from one network—Fox News.

Michael Moyer, a Scientific American editor, was invited to appear on the Fox & Friends morning program April 30 to discuss what science and technology might bring over the next 50 years. After submitting some talking points in advance of the appearance, a Fox producer told Moyer that the climate change portion of his points would be omitted.

Moyer still went along with the appearance anyway, later tweeting that it was an experience that made him "kinda feel like I should take a shower." 

The first of the above tweets included an embedded video of the appearance from Fox's website, but the network is believed to have deleted it some time after a series of tweets from Moyer. Those tweets also included opinions about an atmosphere in which "everyone's in a bubble" producing a program in which "every single segment was anti-Obama agitprop."

Media Matters For America later uploaded a video of the segment. Remember, you won't hear any mention of climate change: 

"We invited Michael on for a segment on technological and scientific trends we can expect in the future. We worked closely with him and his team and there was never an issue on the topic of climate change," Suzanne Scott, senior vice president of programming at Fox News, told Business Insider. "To say he was told specifically not to discuss it, would be false."

Moyer told a different story in a blog on his employer's website.

"I understood that there was little chance the topic would make it into the show, but I’m not going to self-censor myself from the get-go," he wrote. "The Fox producer came back and very politely and matter-of-factly said that we would have to replace the climate change item."

Video screenshot: Media Matters for America

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Climate change can evoke intense feelings, but a conversational approach can help. Reed Kaestner / Getty Images

Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.

"It's easy to feel dwarfed in the context of such a global systemic issue," says psychologist Renée Lertzman.

She says that when people experience these feelings, they often shut down and push information away. So to encourage climate action, she advises not bombarding people with frightening facts.

"When we lead with information, we are actually unwittingly walking right into a situation that is set up to undermine our efforts," she says.

She says if you want to engage people on the topic, take a compassionate approach. Ask people what they know and want to learn. Then have a conversation.

This conversational approach may seem at odds with the urgency of the issue, but Lertzman says it can get results faster.

"When we take a compassion-based approach, we are actively disarming defenses so that people are actually more willing and able to respond and engage quicker," she says. "And we don't have time right now to mess around, and so I do actually come to this topic with a sense of urgency… We do not have time to not take this approach."

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

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