One doesn't expect genius from sports reporters, but one should be able to expect basic responsibility from major media outlets. We stress the "should be able".
ESPN announcers Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes mainstreamed the right-wing myth that cold weather in January disproves man-made climate change.Among actual scientists, this is considered settled science. The research is overwhelming. Now, it may be a bit complex for brains that aren't, but the existence of winter does not disprove global warming, and in fact, some scientists attribute the current deep freeze to global warming, an idea that is not new.
During the first half of a January 7 game, Dykes discussed a pattern of cold weather blanketing much of the United States and said he had observed a national television debate earlier over "whether or not global warming was still taking place." While laughing Dykes said, "I listened to about 30 seconds of it, but the guy saying no it has not, I think he won the debate." Nessler laughed in response.
The ESPN announcers' ignorant irresponsibility may seem like a small matter, but it is not. Pop culture has a disproportionate impact on public opinion. And whether or not there is sufficient scientific evidence to link the current extreme weather to the fact of anthropogenic global warming, the fact of anthropogenic global warming remains a fact. This is not about politics, it is about science. And it is dangerous when people who have no idea what they're talking about are allowed to use the platforms of popular culture to promote disinformation. And it is particularly dangerous when that disinformation is about an issue of unprecedented importance.