What are opinion polls and what exactly do their outcomes signify?
Their results are predicated on two things:
1) The level of information the respondents have been exposed to.
2) The framing of the questions on the poll.
What is missing, when the media report the results of these polls, is their own failure to adequately inform the public on the issue at hand in the first place. Thus, the responses in a recent Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation Poll on the Green New Deal (GND), as reported in an article in the November 27 edition of the Post, reflected the fact that most people know almost nothing about the GND at all. This is hardly surprising. Most mainstream media outlets, whether print, radio and television or on line, saturate us day after day with everything Trump.
The climate crisis is at last starting to get some traction in the media. But it’s way past due. And it’s only happening now that there is a crisis. The opportunities to heed the scientific warnings even decades ago and start enlightening the public then, were missed, deliberately or otherwise.
To realize just how long the media has been delinquent in properly educating its audience about climate change, l’m reminded of a letter to the editor written to the Washington Post by the late New Jersey senator, Democrat Frank Lautenberg. It’s worth reproducing in full because it encapsulates the longstanding negligence of the media in general on the subject of climate change, and its costly and misguided insistence on debate over fact.