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Things More Important than Climate Change: Joe Biden's Smile

J. Mijin Cha

A new Media Matters study shows that not only was climate change absent from the Presidential debates, it was virtually absent from media coverage. Total media coverage of climate change was just over three and a half hours since August 1st. However, the vast majority of this -- two and a half hours worth -- was on MSNBC. The other networks combined spent 51 minutes discussing climate change. Vice President Joe Biden's smile, on the other hand, was worthy of an hour and half of coverage -- twice the amount dedicated to climate change.

The time spent on the Vice President's smile in and of itself is an indication of just how far media standards have fallen. Yet, adding to this is the fact that climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our economy and future well-being. New York City is still trying to recover from superstorm Sandy and over 18,000 public housing residents are still without heat or water. Without bold, comprehensive action, this will be the norm. We can expect dire economic consequences from damage to our coastal cities, extreme droughts in the bread basket, increased transportation costs -- literally every aspect of our economy will be impacted by climate change.

But yeah, let's focus on the Vice President's smile. It's not like we're running out of time, or anything.