Meanwhile, some of the media finally are coming around, catching up with public opinion. Once enslaved to the notion of having to give equal weight to both sides despite the overwhelming evidence supporting climate change, they're changing their tune. A few months ago, the independent BBC Trust said that the British broadcaster was giving "undue attention to marginal opinion" when it came to airtime for climate deniers and should adjust accordingly.
The Los Angeles Times
announced it would no longer print climate change denial letters to the editor -- contrast that with Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal
, which last year ran more anti-climate change letters than any other major newspaper. And last month, The Washington Post
, long criticized for the space given such climate deniers as columnist George Will, ran a week's worth of climate change editorials, declaring, in the words of its editorial page editor, "an existential threat to the planet."
So we have to ask, how long will we allow the climate deniers the prominence and weight that lets them give our political leaders cover to run and hide from reality?
Two men in Massachusetts decided: No longer. This past May, they used their lobster boat -- the Henry David T., as in Henry David Thoreau -- to block a coal freighter from docking at a Massachusetts power station. They turned themselves in and faced charges that could have resulted in two years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.
But last week, the local district attorney, Sam Sutter, stood on the courthouse steps and announced that he had dropped the criminal charges. "Climate change is one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced," he said. "In my humble opinion, the political leadership on this issue has been gravely lacking."
He then announced his intention to be at the People's Climate March in New York.
Pope Francis would say "Amen" to that. "Safeguard Creation," he warned, just around the same time the Henry David T. was blocking that coal freighter. "Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us!"
*Michael Winship is the Emmy Award-winning senior writer of Moyers & Company and BillMoyers.com, and a senior writing fellow at the policy and advocacy group Demos.
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Bill Moyers is President of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy.