The Politics of Weather

The Weather Channel standing up against Fox News

Fox News is launching a weather channel.

Fox News. A Conservative leaning channel that continually downplays the dangers of climate change, or outright denies that climate change is happening, is launching a weather channel.

Ok, ok ok. Fox News will tell you that they’ve been hiring top meteorologists, and poaching top weather forecasters from other news networks, including the Weather Channel itself. Supposedly they are trying to do this the right way.

But, I mean, are they really? There’s money in the weather, and more importantly, “the weather” has become more than something to awkwardly talk about when you’re stuck alone with your best friends new boyfriend. Like most big issues in the United States, the weather, climate change, and the impacts of climate change are all politicized. Rather than come together to solve a solution to a problem, we’ve decided to fight over whether the problem actually exists. It’s the American way.

Ok…So What?

I have no doubt that Fox’s weather channel will downplay future climate catastrophes brought about by global warming. To me, our inaction in the face of a changing climate is frightening, and I believe it will bite us in the end. Climate change has the ability to impact everything from what we eat to where we live. In my (not so?) humble opinion, climate change should be something we rally to solve, not something we argue over.

Yet here we are. With Fox News starting a weather channel. FML.

This “weather channel” concerns me, because it’s the intersection of weather – a scientific phenomenon – and right wing conservative politics. Specifically, I’m talking about migration and the U.S. border. As climate change intensifies, there will be more events that cause wide scale human displacement. This is already happening, we see it in the current migrant crisis on our border, not to mention the mass migration of people around the world.

As the climate crisis intensifies, people/nations will compete for land, food, water, etc. The world will experience outbreaks of disease, and displacement from extreme weather events. “Climate Migration” will intensify, and the global community will need to manage and care for people who’ve lost their homeland because of weather.

And Fox News, and their weather channel, will politicize, downplay, or obscure the facts of all of it. My fear is that this “weather” channel will escalate the politics of “us” vs. “them”, rallying a large group of American citizens against solutions for climate change. In essence, they’ll choose fear mongering over solution making.

So what’s to be done? First, don’t watch or engage with this new weather channel. Second, be aware that climate change is not just extreme weather and high prices on avocados – it’s displacement, disease, and the loss of homelands. Third, use what power you have. Vote, speak up, tweet, write/call/lobby your elected officials. Make sure the people you vote for are actively enacting policies that find solutions to climate change AND its effects.

Ultimately, you can do your part to make your carbon footprint smaller, but the fix is bigger than you or me. The fix has to come on a national, and international level. It also has to be a fix that takes into account the massive amount of change wrought by the politics of weather.

If you’re interested in migrations and borders, I suggest reading Border and Rule by Harsha Walia.

By mshipstory


I'm Lindsay Adams. I'm passionate about history, teaching, and writing.

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