To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, the Women’s Media Center has launched a new digital channel — WMC Climate — that highlights how the climate crisis affects the lives of women, indigenous people, people of color, and others whose needs and welfare tend to come last around the world.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual Arctic Report Card, released on Tuesday, found that the average air temperature from October 2019 through September 2020 was the second-highest recorded in at least 120 years: Temperatures were 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the baseline average for 1981-2010. And with the rise in temperatures comes a widening gap in who lives and who dies, and who lives well vs. who is left behind.
“While women and other diverse and poor communities are bearing the brunt of the effects of global warming, the media tends to pay more attention to regulations and how they affect big industry,” said Lauren Wolfe, WMC Climate editor. “Environmental sexism and racism are real, and with WMC Climate, we’re aiming to help change how the media talks about them.”
“With a world map and articles that look at how climate change leads to violence against women or restricted reproductive rights, among other negative outcomes, we are telling the stories of people who have voices, but too often are not given the space to be heard,” said Julie Burton, president and CEO of the Women’s Media Center.
WMC co-founder Jane Fonda leads a protest movement – Fire Drill Fridays – that demonstrated on Capitol Hill every Friday for months, before the action moved online where it regularly reaches over one million views each month. With her introductory essay on the channel, she urges readers to be alarmed, but not paralyzed, and to recognize that everyone — particularly those who have the least — suffers as the world warms.
“Global warming makes future pandemics inevitable,” Fonda writes. “Such outbreaks are immediate crises, often causing people to change their habits overnight. The climate crisis is less obvious, allowing the more privileged to believe it is something that will one day — maybe — impact them.”
“Climate change affects us all. However, the lack of diversity in the policy arena and in media can obscure the disproportionate impact on women, indigenous people, and people of color. All must be at the table to address this existential threat to quality of life and the future of all humankind,” said WMC board chair Janet Dewart Bell. “Through the WMC Climate channel, we are positioning the people global warming affects the most front and center for readers.”
Other WMC online and on-air journalism channels include our podcast and radio show, Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan, WMC Features, WMC Women Under Siege, WMC FBomb, WMC IDAR/E, and WMC Speech Project.
The Women’s Media Center, co-founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem, is an inclusive feminist organization that works to raise the visibility, viability, and decision-making power of women and girls in media to ensure that their stories get told and their voices are heard. We do this by researching media through the WMC Media Lab; creating and modeling original online and on-air journalism; training women and girls to be effective in media; and promoting women experts in all fields through WMC SheSource.