Not long after spiking an op-ed because of its decision to use “not reliable” conservative sources, USA Today published a cover story Tuesday that came across as more of an op-ed than an actual news story. The story, titled “Climate change: war, famine, drought, make more women not want children,” asks the question “is the future simply too horrific to bring children into?”
The article, written by Elizabeth Weise, profiled a series of groups including US-based Conceivable Future and Europe-based #BirthStrike. These groups consist of women who have decided to forego having children because of their fears about climate change. Weise spoke to many women in the article who have decided to opt out of motherhood, regardless of whether or not they subscribed to a larger group or not.
Eventually, the article went into full-blown activism mode; with a subheading reading “Climate change poses a real danger.” This particular section of the story cites a United Nations report warning that mankind has 12 years to act to avoid “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” which would include “more wildfires, more droughts, more floods, rising sea levels, and the loss of almost all coral reefs.”
The rhetoric of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change closely matches the talking points of freshman Congresswoman and Green New Deal architect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was quoted in the article. The article devoted an entire subheading to Ocasio-Cortez titled “A Congresswoman asks: Is it OK to have kids?” The section quoted one newlywed who agreed with Ocasio-Cortez, stressing “It’s really important to respond to the climate change crisis by actually treating it like a crisis. One way you do that is you don’t go on with business as usual.”
Towards the end of the article, the author stressed that "the decision to not have children isn’t a full-on movement; it’s more a discussion beginning to bubble up in people’s consciousness.” This comes across as ironic considering the fact that the author discussed the groups’ Facebook pages earlier in the article. Having a Facebook page and many “house parties” seems more like a “full-on movement” than a mere discussion.
This so-called “news” article was completely one-sided and did not seek out any opposing points of view or quotes from any scientists for that matter. It’s not like Weise had no scientists or experts to interview. Back in 2011, when she wrote an article about whether or not global warming caused Hurricane Katrina, Weise included a quote from an economics professor at Wesleyan University who argued that climate change did contribute to stronger hurricanes and a quote from the former Director of the National Hurricane Center who subscribed to the opposing view.
Instead, Weise’s climate change anthem only manages to find quotes from dystopian women who fully buy into the most extreme elements of the environmental movement as pushed by Al Gore. Between this USA Today article and a recent monologue from MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, it looks like the media have decided to abandon the pretense of objectivity when it comes to climate change.