By CNBCTV18.com |
A climate reporter has claimed that the burning of fossil fuels kills an estimated 10 million people a year and compared it to being “on the scale of the Holocaust.”
New York Magazine editor-at-large David Wallace-Wells and ‘Heated’ newsletter writer Emily Atkin sat down to discuss the topic of news coverage of climate change with anchor Brian Stelter on his show Reliable Sources on CNN.
Stelter began by saying that meteorologists and journalists are running out of words and ways to describe the impact of climate change. “Unprecedented just doesn’t cut it anymore,” he said.
The CNN anchor asked his guests how the news should “cover a permanent emergency” such as climate change.
Wallace-Wells said the media must remain in an “alarmist state” while reporting on climate change.
“We can’t shy away from scary projections about the future or the scary facts as we’re living them today,” Wallace-Wells said on the episode.
His advice to reporters: “Start thinking a little harder, be a little clearer in our story-telling.” He added that “learning to live in this new future, which will continue to get worse — probably considerably worse from here — is not just going to require decarbonising, although that’s very hard.”
Wallace-Wells then quoted estimates that “suggest burning of fossil fuels kills 10 million people every year, which is dying on the scale of the Holocaust — in fact, larger than the Holocaust — every single year. And yet we don’t see many public health stories, we don’t see many moral crises stories addressed to that issue.”
Wallace-Wells was referring to a 2012 Science Direct study, which indicated that pollution from fossil fuels caused in excess of 10 million (one crore) deaths every year across the globe.
Six million Jewish people died in the Holocaust, according to BBC.
A Harvard study conducted in 2018, however, said this number could be lesser at around eight million (80 lakh) people per year.
Emily Atkin advocated amplifying the threat of climate change and blaming fossil fuels for the damage. Atkin said climate reporters don’t necessarily have to speak to scientists to attribute an extreme heat event to being an effect of climate change.
Atkin added that climate stories should also clearly state that global warming is caused by fossil fuels because climate change is “not something happening to us” but “being done to us.”