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Priorities, Priorities: "Kardashians Get 40 Times More News Coverage Than Ocean Acidification"

1 min. read

We already knew the Kardashians desperately needed to get real jobs, but how about the media focusing on real priorities instead of this silliness?

Carbon dioxide emissions are not just warming up our atmosphere, they're also changing the chemistry of our oceans. This phenomenon is known as ocean acidification, or sometimes as global warming's "evil twin" or the "osteoporosis of the sea." Scientists have warned that it poses a serious threat to ocean life. Yet major American news outlets covered the Kardashians over 40 times more often than ocean acidification over the past year and a half.

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In sum, ocean acidification is a major threat to our oceans and the millions of people who depend on them for their food and livelihoods. Yet 77 percent of Americans say they have read or heard nothing about ocean acidification, according to a 2010 survey conducted for the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. Of the 23 percent who say that they have heard of ocean acidification, only 32 percent understand that ocean acidification is caused by carbon dioxide. In other words, less than 8 percent of Americans understand the very basics of one of the largest threats to our oceans -- and a major culprit for that ignorance is the national media.

In sum, thanks to the media's skewed priorities, the American people know a lot more about such irrelevancies as who the Kardashians are and what they're up to than they do about one of the most important topics there is: the future survival of life in our oceans, and on our planet. It might be funny if it weren't so sad.