**Meteorologists Facing Backlash for Reporting on Climate Change**
TV meteorologists who discuss climate change in their weather reports are experiencing backlash from viewers. This anti-science trend has created a hostile environment for these meteorologists, who are already skeptical of the news media. This article will explore the increasing harassment faced by meteorologists, the political landscape affecting their work, and the consequences of self-censorship.
**The Growing Harassment Faced by Meteorologists**
TV meteorologists, such as Chris Gloninger from Iowa, have faced intensified harassment as they connect extreme weather events to climate change. Gloninger received threatening emails and even had someone threaten to show up at his house. This kind of harassment has become all too common for meteorologists across the country.
**A Hostile Political Landscape**
The hostile political landscape has affected various nonpartisan professions, including librarians, school board officials, and election workers. Unfortunately, meteorologists are not exempt from this trend. Beliefs are amplified over truth and evidence-based science, creating a challenging situation for the nation.
**Abuse Towards Meteorologists**
Meteorologists have long been subjected to abuse, and this has only gotten worse in recent years. Name-calling and harassment have become more prevalent, simply for sharing climate change information that some viewers may not want to hear.
**Progress in Climate Reporting**
Over the past decade, more TV meteorologists have started discussing climate change on air. Previously, they wanted to do so but faced resistance. Scientist Heidi Cullen, the Weather Channel’s first climate reporter, received sexist and bitter resistance as she challenged other forecasters to address global warming. Climate Matters, a National Science Foundation-funded project, has also supported reporting on climate change by providing data analysis and graphics.
**Consequences of Self-Censorship**
While many TV meteorologists now report on climate change, some hesitate to use explicit terms. Instead, they focus on highlighting the effects of climate change, such as the increasing number of days with temperatures above 90 degrees. However, if they prioritize the negative feedback from a small minority, they fail to serve the majority who are interested in and affected by climate change information.
**Public Response to Climate Reporting**
Despite the backlash, public interest in climate change has grown in many areas, including largely conservative states. The severe impacts of flooding, drought, and extreme weather have made people more receptive to data-based reporting. Farmers, for example, depend on weather conditions for their livelihoods, making climate change an important topic for them.
**Global Impact on Meteorologists**
The harassment faced by meteorologists is not exclusive to the United States. Meteorologists in Spain, France, Australia, and the U.K. have also encountered complaints and harassment from viewers.
**A Wider Issue in the Industry**
Harassment is not solely a result of reporting on climate change. It is a pervasive issue within the industry that affects some individuals more than others. TV reporters, in particular, are more likely to experience harassment or threats compared to reporters in other mediums.
**Declining Confidence in Science and the News Media**
Confidence in both the scientific community and the news media has declined in recent years, with significant gaps between Republicans and Democrats. Last year, confidence declined across the aisle, reflecting the increased attacks on science as a whole.
Meteorologist Chris Gloninger, who faced intense backlash, realized that a small percentage of people who reject climate change contribute to the overwhelming negative comments he received. He believes that the majority of Iowans support climate coverage and appreciates the efforts made by his station.
In conclusion, TV meteorologists reporting on climate change often face harassment and backlash from viewers. This is a reflection of the hostile political landscape and the amplification of beliefs over scientific truth. Despite the challenges, many meteorologists continue to report on climate change, recognizing the importance of addressing the issue.