This assignment had me analyze coverage two media outlets gave a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report was accepted by the panel March 30, 2014.
Specifically, we’re dealing with IPCC’s Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. It consists of two documents: The Final Published Report & Summary for Policymakers, the latter baring more significance to the layperson in terms of clarity & understanding. Luckily for laypeople like me, a press release & video compliment the report.
Press release – Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability
Working Group II video
From the press release, I gather the report is similar to many publications we see today regarding climate change – Nothing I read/saw I would call groundbreaking; but perhaps I’m so saturated in climate change science, every revelation/claim seems hyper-realistic.
This unimpressed kangaroo is judging me for just saying that.
This report in particular focuses on risk in relation to climate change. Here’s what I found significant from the press release & vid:
- Those living in poverty, especially in the Third World, are more susceptible to the risks of climate change due to their lack of resources.
- The sooner we implement solutions, the less likely we’ll experience severe risk – Common sense but useful in developing optimism
- I enjoyed seeing solution efforts implemented, especially the reforestation of South Africa by the local community.
Reforestation Project – Buffelsdraai Community
We were to evaluate a New York Time’s article and an NBC News special on their coverage of the above report.
Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come – NYT article, published 31 March 2014
Our Year of Extremes: Did Climate Change Just Hit Home? – NBC News special, published 7 April 2014
Before I evaluate either source, I’d like to direct you to one of the other maymester students’ blog post touching on media coverage of climate change: Climate Change in the American Media, In a Nutshell
Analysis of the Two
To start, these media sources are different in form – one is an article, and the other a video sequence (split into six, sevenish-minute segments).
I thought the NBC special succeeded in portraying the big picture of current climate change findings/happenings. Ann Curry, NBC News reporter, spent a lot of time covering the connection of recent weather disasters, like the drought on the US’ West Coast & the long, harsh winter of 2013/14, with the occurrence of climate change. Is climate change causing these catastrophic events?, seemed to be one of the main questions during the special. From what I gathered, the most-acceptepted answer was, Probably but not we don’t know. The known, of course, includes the fact that Earth and oceans are warming and sea level is rising. The combined effect of the two may be a direct cause of all this severe weather.
Dried mud flats in San Luis Resevoir near Los Banos, Calif.
Snow & ice stall traffic in Atlanta on Jan 28, 2014
Unlike the NBC special, Justin Gillis’ NYT article didn’t stray far from the IPCC report – not a bad thing whatsoever. Along with touching on recent severe weather and the vulnerability of the impoverished, he also cited the report’s claim that the effects of climate change may lead to violent conflict over land, water or other resources. IMO this theory is one of the scariest regarding effects of climate change.
Toward the end of the article, Gillis reveals that pressure from several wealthy countries, the US included, caused the IPCC to remove a portion of its report claiming that poor countries need as much as $100 billion a year to try to offset the effects of climate change. That portion of the report is significant, Gillis says, because poor countries are expected to renew their demand for aid this September. The wealthy countries argue the $100 billion-figure is too high.
Sneaky, America. Very sneaky
In Relation to Australia
What key points are most relevant to my Australian adventure?
The coverage, especially by the NBC special, of severe weather relating to drought is extremely relevant. Most of the Australian continent is already uninhabitable because a lack of inland water. Intensifying these already-dry conditions is a looming drought.
A helicopter water bombs bushfires in southern Australia early 2014.
This isn’t recent but I had to share it:
After responding to a bushfire in early 2009, a firefighter holds a koala’s hand as he feeds her water. The video of the koala later named Sam went viral after being posted online.
What ideas occur to you for reporting on your Australian ecosystem?
Carnarvon Gorge, Australia
My Australian ecosystem, in this case, is the Outback or bush – The students in my maymester were each assigned an ecosystem in which to lead journalistic coverage on. My group will be in charge when we’re at Carnarvon Gorge.
The use of videos & photos will obviously come in handy for coverage. Carnarvon is an oasis of the bush, so we could focus on comparing it to the dryer areas of the Outback. Perhaps if we found an odd dry patch at Carnarvon, we could somehow explain, with visuals, the patch may be the gorge’s new reality if drought continues. Interviews with experts on the region will also be useful. It would be effective to conduct an interview while walking through the bush. Doing so would not only make the interview more visually appealing, but also give more context.
Tbh though this will probs be me trying to conduct a smooth interview, scream and all: