Republicans on Campaign Trail Largely Ignore the Climate Deal

In the New York Times article, Thomas Kaplan discusses the opinions of Democratic and Republican leaders in regard to climate change and the fate of the Paris climate agreement in the hands of Obama’s successor.

Overall, I thought the article was fair in providing quotes from both parties. The quotes helped show how Democrats and Republicans view climate issues and how they prioritize protecting the environment. Since this is an older article, this could have been useful to the general readers that were learning more about the presidential candidates and the issues they care about.

Although Kaplan provided a lot of different quotes and sources, only one poll reflecting voters opinions was brought into the article and it was from a New York Times poll. Do you think that there was an appropriate amount of facts and coverage of what Democratic and Republican voters thought about climate change? Do you think there was any bias created in picking the quotes and facts, or did you think it was unbiased and both sides were represented fairly?

The article starts with a quote from Obama stressing the importance of protecting the planet. Do you think this article puts enough emphasis on the importance of climate change and the Paris climate agreement?

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3 Responses to “Republicans on Campaign Trail Largely Ignore the Climate Deal”

  1. One of the first things that stood out to me in this article was the selection of quotes from Democratic and Republican leaders. Ultimately, Kaplan chose quotes which painted Republicans in an extremely negative light. While I agree that the Republican Party, as a whole, has some outlandish views on climate change, I feel like Kaplan could have certainly found some more balanced quotes.

    I’m not sure what the point of this article was other than to reinforce the beliefs of those who already accept the legitimacy of climate change. Honestly I’m pretty confused as to what the purpose of writing this was because it didn’t emphasize the importance of climate change, call for action, or really do anything besides illustrate the differences in the way Democrats and Republicans view climate change. I really thought that these differences were pretty obvious to the general public and didn’t really warrant an entire article describing them.

    Some things I’m wondering about are whether other people feel like this was written from a Democratic perspective, for Democrats? If not Democrats, who was the target audience? Do you think that there was a call to action of any sort in this article with respect to combating climate change or prioritizing the economy?

  2. I also questioned the relevancy of the article. Most of the information and data covered seemed a little redundant and I couldn’t pick up on the “why should I care?” The article did a good job of contrasting the opposing viewpoints between Republicans and Democrats, but as the main topic of the article I thought the lack of audience engagement made it seem more like a statistical report than an article.

    Despite the lack of interesting data, I felt intrigued from lede. As someone who cares about environmental policy, I felt the quote from President Obama and the campaign reference really grabbed my attention. As the article developed the data seemed to more explicitly support a left-leaning bias. While most of Republican conversation around climate change can be absurd, it didn’t seem like the author attempted to bring a more non-partisan perspective to the reporting.

  3. I think the article was definitely relevant when it was published (a similar form of the article would be currently relevant if it touched on the fact that climate change was rarely mentioned during the general election). Climate change and the promises Obama made in the Paris Agreement are very important. It was definitely newsworthy that the Republican candidates barely spoke about it at all, especially since climate change was a much more prevalent topic in the Democratic primaries in comparison. Since scientists almost unilaterally agree that climate change is real, I don’t think it’s fair to say that this article only reinforced the beliefs of people who already accept climate change. Journalists have a responsibility to report the truth. It would be irresponsible for the the writer to include something false about climate change being an illegitimate phenomenon.

    I’m also not sure if I necessarily agree that the article supports a left-leaning bias and is partisan in its reporting. The article provides a perfectly reasonable –though obviously that’s up to reader interpretation– explanation as to why some of the Republican candidates don’t think climate change is an important policy focus (because they’d rather focus on terrorism and immigration issues). I wouldn’t really say that article was geared towards Democrats. The article is geared towards New York Times readers who have some opinion about climate change. For readers who care a lot about climate change, they may decide they don’t want to vote for a Republican in the general election. On the other hand, some readers may decide they want to vote Republican after this article because they don’t care about climate change and disagree with Obama’s promises in Paris.

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