Following the lead of NBC News, which created a climate change news and analysis unit this year, alternative media sources, such as NowThis News and BuzzFeed News, continue the media’s push for climate change activism in much of their online content. NowThis News recently published a video championing this past year’s climate change movement, without offering context or contrasting opinions and views.
The video, entitled, “Year in Review: The Youth Climate Movement,” exclusively promoted climate change activism as the only manner to force change on the grassroots, national, and global level. The video praised teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg and credited her with starting a multi-million-member climate change protest movement. It also used video footage from protests to emphasize the emotional appeal of the protests, such as Thunberg calling anti-climate change rhetoric “empty words.”
One of the activist groups highlighted in the video was Zero Hour, which was founded by a teenager named Jamie Margolin. There was no mention of Zero Hour’s partners, such as the Sierra Club, Women’s March Youth Empower, and other environmental and left-leaning activist groups. These facts demonstrated the partisan leanings of the video but were ignored in favor of promoting climate change activism.
Another group that received positive attention was a group of plaintiffs in the court case Juliana v. United States. Twenty-one young people were listed as plaintiffs in this case, which sued the U.S. government for not taking enough action on climate change. The video did not discuss how the lead plaintiff, Kelsey Juliana, has been a lifelong climate change activist and therefore has a vested interest in climate change protests. NowThis later included a link to the “Juliana kids” for the viewers.
Now This News’s video was a one-sided, partisan video that promoted climate change activism without discussing research, context, and opposing viewpoints.