The Weather Channel was quick to respond. As soon as Trump announced our withdraw from the Paris Agreement yesterday afternoon, they were ready to teach Trump a valuable lesson.
From a homepage of tornadoes and heatwaves, the weather.com was soon a billboard for protest.
The layout, though updated throughout the afternoon, stayed nearly the same through Friday morning.
The home page sent unsuspecting readers — including the millions of people simply checking the daily temperature — a pointed message: pay attention.
Climate change “is real and backed by science and is happening now,” Neil Katz, the Weather Channel’s senior vice president and editor in chief, told The Washington Post.
“We wanted to make that point very clear,” Katz said.
The idea was the brainchild of the Weather Channel’s senior homepage editor, Eric Zerkel. It came together “creatively and a bit spontaneously” Thursday morning, Katz said. The editors wanted to not only make a statement, but to create “something that’s more than the sum of its parts.”
More than 30 million people from across the political spectrum visit the digital properties daily, Katz said. This gives the Weather Channel a unique opportunity to break through, to give readers news outside their own “echo chambers.”
“We very intentionally wanted to do something with impact,” Katz said. “This is a story that people need to take notice of.”
And indeed, people took notice.
Here’s a collection of many headlines that appeared on the Weather Channel’s website yesterday:
“So, What Happens to Earth Now?”
“Still Don’t Care? Proof You Should,”
“…and More Proof…” appeared, along with “…and even More Proof…”
“Or the Imminent Collapse of a Key Ice Shelf”
“…Or Antarctica Turning Green…”
“…Or California’s Coast Disappearing Into The Sea…”
Trump doesn’t realize the consequences of his actions, but perhaps soon he will. Unfortunately we may all have to suffer those consequences as well.