Search Results for Tag: Media
On the streets of Copenhagen
One of the main things that gives me hope that all might not be lost in the battle to avert climate catastrophe is the sight of all those people demonstrating on the streets of Copenhagen at the weekend. Even the danger of being handcuffed by mistake by police looking for troublemakers (1.000 people detained?), and having to wait it out in the frost didn’t put them off.The politicians in the conference rooms have to take the decision. But grassroots pressure – or support, depending on how you look at it – can’t do any harm. (The British art of understatement).
For one reason or another I am not in Copenhagen, but there’s no shortage of journalist colleagues on the streets, in the conference halls and at the numerous side-events, keeping the world abreast of what’s happening. And some of us have to tie the threads together at home.
Here in my Bonn office, the email system is being bombarded by press releases, briefings and reports. “Mega-hype”? And will something come out of it?
People keep saying the fact that so many world leaders are turning up in Copenhagen this week is a positive sign. Well, I’m glad they’re showing an interest – or is it a question of being interested in the show?
The proof of the pudding…in this case is whether they can actually agreed on BINDING targets and funding for affected
DateDecember 14, 2009 | 10:46 am
Sisyphos and the climate
Apologies for blog-silence. For one reason and another I wasn’t able to blog for the last couple of weeks.
The question is – did you miss it? Or have you been reading, watching, listening to so much about climate change you are getting tired of the subject?
I am very concerned that the international community is accepting that there will be no legally binding agreement in Copenhagen. I am even more concerned that a lot of people are getting tired of the climate change topic and simply don’t care. Is there a danger of “overkill” in our media coverage? I was giving a training session to some young journalists yesterday and some of them told me about a project they were planning dealing with that very subject. They have the feeling that there is so much attention to the topic that global warming is starting to leave people cold. (Sorry!) People like me were pleased that climate change came onto the “mainstream” political and public agenda. But unless there is a big disaster – and a clear link to climatic factors – people are tending to “switch off”.
I’ve been speaking to friends in the UK about the latest floods in northern England. People are happy to blame politicians, local authorities or private companies for inadequate drainage or flood protection. Some say “it’s just nature”. But few are willing to even consider a possible link to scientists’s predictions of an increasing number of extreme weather events because of climate change.
Yvo de Boer from the UNFCCC is giving a major press conference today about the Copenhagen meeting. I don’t envy him his job. Trying to keep interest alive in view of the apparent concensus that Copenhagen will not “seal the deal” has something of the Sisyphean about it.
DateNovember 25, 2009 | 9:19 am
Greenland in the Headlines
Well, your ice-blogger is back from Greenland and trying to get back to business as usual, if there is such a thing.
(Meltpond on the Greenland ice sheet from the air)
I’m still working on stories for radio and online and will put some links to shorter pieces below.I’m making some longer features as part of our international “Pole to Pole” project, which will only be ready later. Meanwhile there’s no shortage of climate developments to keep a journalist out of mischief in the run-up to Copenhagen.
Other media reports have been confirming my own experiences on climate change in Greenland.
The Guardian had a huge spread, including front-page coverage, on the rapid loss of mass from the ice sheet.
Guardian Correspondent on Greenland
The Guardian is actively running a campaign it calls 10:10, reduce your own emissions by 10% in 2010. Does that sound like a lot to you or far too little?
The background on 10:10
A large-scale campaign like this has surely got to be a good idea?
More alarming ice-breaking (-melting?) news came out in the form of a WWF report launched at World Climate Conference 3 in Geneva.
(Why do we need yet another climate conference?)
The report sums up the latest scientific evidence on the changes taking place in the Arctic and warns that feedback effects from the warming will speed up and increase climate change all over the planet. A quarter of the world’s population could be affected by flooding as a result of melting ice.
WWF’s Arctic Climate Expert Martin Sommerkorn on Arctic and World Climate
WWF’s Arctic site
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon picked up on that same theme addressing the conference after a trip up to the Arctic the same week. You’d think that meant top priority for the climate change issue. But is it resulting in any action?
A couple of Greenland article links:
Climate Change already visible in Greenland
Young Volunteers help protect World Heritage Ice Fjord
DateSeptember 9, 2009 | 8:32 am
Apologies of a multitasking blogger…
Snowed up? One of the university buildings.
Attending a conference like this as a reporter has some disadvantages. You have to balance your time between listening, interviewing and producing the radio features. Inevitably, you miss out on some things. It’s all in a good cause, of course, to spread the message about what’s happening with regard to the climate in the Arctic region.
I produced a report for the environment programme Living Planet last night and this morning, which you can hear on this week’s programme.
Right now I’m attending the International Polar Year conference, which is one of two sessions available at Arctic Frontiers today. The present topic is the dynamic response of Arctic glaciers to global warming. It’s very technical and requires a bit more concentration, so I’ll leave you for now.
(These Tromso students are really dedicated to reducing emissions…,)
DateJanuary 21, 2009 | 12:39 pm
The Liberty to Rant…
When members of my family in the UK talk about somebody “ranting on”, they’re normally not being flattering. The suggestion is that they get carried away with a particular “hobbyhorse” kind of issue. That’s probably why I was surprised the first time (quite a long time ago) I heard colleagues at the BBC use the term to mean a “form of journalistic expression”. It doesn’t have an exact equivalent in German (or in the German media?) – correct me if you can come up with one! There are political commentaries, the “Glosse” (anybody got a good translation for that)but not one single word for the right to go on at length in a very personal manner about something you feel strongly about. Right,blogs are the ideal place for that. Ha! Found my medium.
I’ve been reading a German book called “Öko” (translates as eco)- “Al Gore, the New Fridge and Me”, by journalist Peter Unfried. It’s all about how Al Gore’s film, amongst other things, inspired him to try to live a sustainable lifestyle without becoming a fanatic or a “green weirdo”. (I came across an interesting climate blog as I was looking at other opinions on the book. Most of the entries are in German, but not all. Here’s the link:)
Climate Blog by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, “the green political foundation”
I can sympathise with a lot of Peter Unfried’s experiences. One of the issues is plane travel. I got an email from my sister this week about our problems trying to find a weekend for a family reunion. She mentions, kind of tongue-in-cheek, something about me trying to save polar bears but flying around the world for conferences and reporting trips. It’s a tough one. Of course you can say you compensate by paying into the funds that plant forests etc. And it is my job to report on things and draw attention to global warming, endangered species etc. But she has got a point and, yes Sis, I have got a guilty conscience. Her other point (equally tongue-in-cheek sister, I assume?!) was the summer in northern England was so bad maybe a bit of warming wouldn’t do any harm. Well that brings me to the summer here in Bonn, Germany, which has just come to an end – from the meteorological point of view. It was something like 1.6 degrees warmer than the long-term average. But we had far less sunshine than in other years. And there was a shortage of rain. Now I still managed to get enough water for my garden from the rain barrels, and water warm enough to shower – MOST of the time from the solar collectors. But this is making us think whether our project of putting photovoltaic cells on the roof is really going to be a good idea. A lot of people think climate change will just mean better weather for countries in northern and central Europe. In fact it’s much more complicated than that, as this summer’s statistics for my own region here could seem to indicate. In degrees Centigrade it was warmer, but subjectively we feel it was a poor summer with so many dull days.
Meanwhile, I’m still watching the US election campaigns with interest and concern. My colleague Nancy Greenlease gives an interesting assessment after watching last week’s Democratic Congress.
Listen to Nancy’s report
Public attention has turned to the story of Sarah Palin’s daughter’s teenage pregnancy. Well, these things happen. What’s worrying me is that the governor of Alaska and candidate for the vice-presidency supports oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
DateSeptember 17, 2008 | 10:03 am