Google defines climate change as a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. This week we discussed the impacts of global crisis in relation to global media.
The concept of climate change has come under scrutiny by major industrial companies, such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Here In Australia a carbon tax was developed in order to reduce emissions, and gain funds in order to combat climate change. David Ritchie, the Australian senior career officer of the department of foreign affairs and Trade stated “Yes, we need long-term vision from our policy-makers to address the big issues – however, this is where we need to work together as an industry to help create awareness, informed debate, and meaningful discourse.” Mr. Ritchie’s comments from 2010 were disregarded, as were many others that supported the issue of recognising climate change as a global threat. The Media has shaped our outlook on climate change, where news channels such as FOX NEWS have shown a whopping 93% of references to climate science were misleading. Only 3 were accurate. This dilemma of falsified information addresses why ‘media education’ is so important as climate change is the “most debated environmental issue” in the mass media (Boykoff and Mansfield, 2009). Printed media and television are the most significant sources of “environmental information for the public in industrialised countries” (European Commission, 2008; statistics Finland, 2007).
One of the major consequences of climate change is the vulnerable state it put small Pacific Islands such as Kiribati. Kiribati is at the forefront of climate change impacts. Kiribati is about to be wiped out by climate change, and it wont be the last! If scientists are correct, the ocean will swallow most of Kiribati before the end of the century, and perhaps much sooner than that. Water expands as it warms, and the oceans have lately received colossal quantities of melted ice. Recent studies have proven that oceans are absorbing heat 15 times faster than they have in the last 10,000 years. Kiribati citizens may become refugees very soon, due to the consequences of global warming, as we saw in the video last week peoples homes were affected by the high sea levels that travelled through their town and main roads, and more tragically the island itself will very rapidly deteriorate, resulting in 103,000 citizens of the island to flee their homes. On the 20th of September 2014, the Kiribati people participated in the ‘Peoples Climate March’ hosted by the Kiribati Climate Action Network (KIRICAN). The March was about standing in solidarity to show world leaders, that people are ready for climate change. World leaders are meeting in New York City for a United Nations Summit to discuss climate change and because of this, thousands of people from around the world including Kiribati are coming together to show that communities are powerful, united and resilient.
When the global media fails to provide awareness on issues like climate change, celebrity figures emerge to use their popularity to reach out to the public and inform them of the seriousness of issues. Recently, actor Leonardo DiCaprio spoke at the United Nations as a concerned citizen asking for more education and action taken against climate change.