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Summer heat wave across America explored on new "EarthFIX" PBS TV show

Dave Masko's picture

America is having a heat wave that's unlike anything in it's history; while experts on the new western regional PBS TV program "EarthFIX" attempt to explain what's happening "environmentally" for those who watch television on PBS.

Want to know why today’s summer heat wave is breaking records across America; tune into the new daily “EarthFIX” TV and online program on PBS that asks experts about the latest environmental concerns. In turn, both weather and environmental scientists at the new “EarthFIX” TV and online program - that’s now featured on PBS network stations in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California - point to hard scientific data that America and the rest of the world is facing “real global warming” when pointing to recent National Climatic Data Center reports stating that more than “1,000 temperature records have been broken across the country over the past week,” including dozens of new daily high temperature records reported July 6 in the middle of the nation. Why is most of America on fire with such heat, asks EarthFIX; while attempting to provide both answers and context related to global warming issues.

EarthFIX TV on PBS out West focuses on global warming

With a record heat wave gripping much of the U.S., PBS programmers know that today’s sophisticated television audience wants more details about why it’s so very hot; even while summer’s past have not produced such recording breaking temperatures as this current “record heat wave” that the National Climatic Data Center experts told “EarthFIX” is “basically due to global warming trends.”

Also, another top expert in the “science of weather and its impact on society, told EarthFIX in a recent TV report on Oregon PBS that “this heat wave could be even more extreme than one’s from the past. "Nationally and internationally we are much more aware of the danger of extreme heat than we were in 1995," explained sociologist Eric Klinenberg, whose book “Heat Wave: A social autopsy of disaster in Chicago,” details “the three-day heat wave that caused 739 excess deaths and thousands of hospitalizations in 1995.”

In addition, Klinenbert told EarthFIX that: "We're more prepared than we were in 1995. A lot of Americans are still vulnerable, and our power grid is vulnerable, too."

Klinenberg adds how “even worse disasters happened in Europe in 2003, when 70,000 excess deaths were caused by an extreme heat event that lasted three weeks and in Russia in 2010, when a heat wave caused 50,000 excess deaths.”

In turn, EarthFIX experts think most Americans today may not realize that – due to global warming – more “extreme heat events” will likely happen” because, they assert, “it’s just a matter of time.”

Weather getting fierce means “entertainment” on many TV weather reports

Ratings for TV’s “The Weather Channel” and other TV news programs get a boost, say experts, when the weather gets bad and even worse in a sort of warped “entertainment” for viewers.

In turn, “The Weather Channel” and other TV reports featuring “weather experts” claim the Colorado wildfires are another symptom of global warming that’s now produced “tinderbox-dry conditions and more fire danger” as the summer season across Colorado and most of the West is “unseasonably hot.”

Thus, it’s no surprise that with decades of now “an inconvenient truth that global warming is wreaking havoc” with weather over most American communities, the reporting of “bad weather” has now become a ratings boom for many popular TV programs that report today’s weather.

At the same time, TV viewers will not a big difference between corporate controlled TV weather reports on say the major networks; and this new daily PBS "EarthFIX" reporting that's not "about giving you a shock as to entertain with the latest on environmental happenings, but to inform you in the best means possible," explained EarthFIX TV fan "Blake" who says he rarely watches mainstream TV reporting due to "way too many commercials and who's paying for the show?"

Weather Channel delivers the worst of the worst for “entertainment value”

Nobody will admit it, but those who watch such TV stations as the “Weather Channel” do so to get that “rush of something that’s not predictable and dangerous,” because Weather Channel fan Richard says “weather is fun to watch.” Fun, maybe for the voyeur whose safe and sound at home under good weather conditions; but how about those people hurt by fierce rogue weather systems?

The New York Times asked that question recently.

In turn, the Times report found bad weather to be “compelling TV;” while pointing to how “the Weather Channel’s ratings are never higher than when a hurricane is making landfall. Like Home Depot selling plywood for windows or Wal-Mart selling jugs of water, the Weather Channel sells coverage of weather-related disasters. Delivering on its promise to take people into the path of Mother Nature is what makes the channel a must-carry for cable systems across the United States, and what allows it to sell so many storm-related ads to insurance companies and home improvement stores before, during and after storms.”

When covering fierce weather, TV networks will do anything it takes to capture “the action, the drama and even the human loss” since crazy weather stories have the makings for top TV ratings; that translates, unfortunately, into big earnings for the TV networks.

For instance, the Times report noted how “it took three men to hold down the camera, which was perched on a slippery second-floor deck, peering down at the reporter on the wet beach. The crew feared the deck railing might fly away, so they moved to a safer third-floor balcony, eating up 45 minutes of broadcasting time. A different section of the deck railing did, indeed, collapse an hour later.”

Still, TV weathermen such as Today show’s Al Roker seem to relish really bad storms that, in turn, allow them to get dressed up in bright yellow slickers and stand near raging storms while reading the latest tragedies via teleprompters that are out of sight so the weathermen can pretend to be brave; risking their lives and their crews to “bring you the latest breaking weather information.”

TV news today gears up for top ratings when weather gets bad

One major weather related reported over the weekend on the Weather Channel and other popular TV news programs - that seem to hype bad news about the weather with a sort of muted glee that can only be described as someone keeping a secret they’re enjoying – is a new report that is said to “give the best look yet at the effects of warming oceans along the Pacific coast.”

In turn, the Weather Channel reported how the West Coast will see “a Pacific Ocean several inches higher in coming decades – with southern areas of California “expected to get several levels a half foot higher by 2030” – stated weathermen reading their teleprompters reporting on TV after the recent release of a study by the National Research Council on why most of the Pacific coast will experience global warming “big time” by 2030 when it rises four or more inches.

Thus, it’s no big surprise that the New York Times reported this eye-opener about TV’s coverage of bad weather today during the summer of 2012; when stating: “All of the major television networks extended hours of news programming over the weekend; they knew that although some viewers laughed at images of reporters being blown over by winds, they were definitely watching. They were accused by many of overhyping the storm, but as the longtime anchor for NBC’s New York station, Chuck Scarborough, said on air on Sunday, ‘We’re in the news business. We deal in doom.’”

EarthFIX also helps TV viewers with other “green” issues

In addition to helping out the current “USA heat wave” into context, locals here in Oregon say that watching daily “EarthFIX” reports not only helps ease their worried minds about the “latest climate projections,” but this new PBS TV program also offers perspective on other “green” environmental issues.

For instance, recent EarthFIX reports for July included:

-- “High bacteria levels found in Washington State waters”

-- “Oregon coastal port is rapidly filling with sand”

-- “Tsunami dock species put under the microscope”

-- “The call and noise of the open road”

-- “Oregon and Washington governors set to fly over derelict vessels”

-- “Environmental groups say it will take 20 years to thin Northwest forests”

-- “Conservationists sue over White Salmon River area proposal”

-- “Tackling water pollution one creek at a time”

-- “Conservationists say thinning on federal lands could provide steady timber supply for America”

PBS viewers get mostly unfiltered information on EarthFIX

Overall, local PBS stations – such as the PBS member station SOPTV for “Southern Oregon Public Television” that serves southern Oregon and northern California – states that those who wish to view the new “EarthFIX” daily reports can “catch up on the episodes you may have missed, and watch your favorite, full-length reports online at

Southern Oregon Public Television (SOPTV) and other regional PBS stations like it are “nonprofit, commercial-free, educational telecommunications organization that works with various partners to provide diverse cultural and informational programming and services.” This TV organization also explains that it offers TV and online “activities for the benefit of the communities we serve.”

In addition, unlike most corporate controlled TV, SOPTV and other PBS TV organizations are focused on fostering “an informed and active citizenry; through knowledge and creative life of the arts, sciences and humanities available to the widest possible public. In turn, this and other PBS TV organizations are focused on “reflecting positively the diversity of our community and audience, inviting a sense of inclusion and better understanding of each other.”

Also, go to, for example, to view what’s happening “green wise” in Idaho; while EarthFIX offers the same “local” and “national” look at daily environmental issues that appeal more and more to TV viewers who want more from say local or national weather reporting than just five minutes from some talking head.

In turn, EarthFIX offers daily reports on pressing environmental issues that are reported on TV with more details and context that most corporate TV stations, say local environmentalists here in Eugene, Oregon, where “EarthFIX” has become a new “go to” TV program, adds famed Eugene environmentalist named “Blake” who also points to EarthFIX as “not being owned or controlled by the oil companies and others that want information censored so not to upset the apple cart.”

Also, PBS viewers across the country have recently learned out the famed “PBS NewsHour” recently collaborated with EarthFIX to “inform its national audience on what’s happening in the Pacific Northwest and northern California, thanks to this new PBS TV and online “EarthFIX” service that brings viewers more “unfiltered” information about their environment.

Image source of a recent July 5 report on the new TV and online channel “EarthFIX” that warned boaters and swimmers about high bacteria and algae levels found in this Oregon lake; while also offering daily updates on weather and local boating conditions. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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