Public Radio Audience Wants More Climate Coverage

Double exposure of Hurricane Ida approaching New Orleans on August 29, 2021. Credit: Brian McGowan/Unsplash

Earlier this year, in the space of only a few months, 1 in 3 Americans were impacted by a weather disaster turbo-charged by climate change. The public recognizes that the climate crisis is here, and they are anxious to understand it. According to a recent article in Current, the number one takeaway from expanded climate coverage in public media is that listeners and donors want more climate stories.

Public radio stations across the country have responded, stepping up to report on climate change — the most important issue of our time. It is a local story and simultaneously a complicated global news story, an endlessly expansive issue. Climate One, the only weekly public radio program focused on climate change, complements local and regional reporting by connecting all aspects of the climate crisis: the individual and the systemic.

Sample Climate One episodes from just the last six months include: “Should we Have Children in a Climate Emergency” to the “The Fight Over Pipelines” to “Preparing for Disasters We Don’t Want to Think About” to “Diet for a Threatened Planet” and “Katharine Hayhoe on Hope and Healing.

Addressing the climate crisis begins by talking about it

Host Greg Dalton in the Arctic learning about climate change from the frontlines.

For more than 14 years, Climate One has offered empowering conversations about the climate emergency. Creator and host Greg Dalton, a veteran journalist from the AP and South China Morning Post, dives deep on the failures of capitalism, environmental racism, the emotional trauma of fires and floods, and of course, the politics of it all. In the last four years Climate One has presented those conversations as a weekly public radio program (distributed via PRX) covering the broad range of issues (business, health, justice, etc.) impacted by climate change.

The recent IPCC report — a “code red for humanity” — and the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow mean that this conversation is more important than ever. And stations have been recognizing this. In just the last year, Climate One has been added to the weekly schedules of WAMU, WHYY and WABE.

Host Greg Dalton recording an episode from his studio in the Bay Area.

Climate One going forward

The pandemic brought about a dramatic change for Climate One – it provided an opportunity to make their conversation global. When the world shifted to a remote workplace, Climate One found an opening to shift interviews to Zoom with great success. The program’s carbon footprint was lowered by not flying guests to San Francisco, and the diversity of perspectives increased dramatically.

You can expand your climate coverage by adding Climate One to your schedule. The program is available for free via PRX. Contact Steve Martin 703.715.0827