Climate Change and the Media


Yesterday, I was participant to this mini-talk on Climate Change and the Media, with ABS-CBN’s Mr. Abner Mercado as speaker. He echoed some of the things he learned when he attended the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, “The Heat is On: Climate Change and the Media”, in Bonn, Germany last June.

I love how he said that though here, media should be “walang kinikilingan” (neutral), if we are to talk about climate change, then we should shift perspectives and be biased — pro-environment. True!

Mr. Mercado also talked about the very young Felix Finkbeiner (from Germany), and that at twelve years old, he hatched the idea to plant a million trees, presented it to people, and in three years, were able to plant an additional one million trees in Germany. Now, his target is now to plant more than two hundred million trees. His slogan by the way is “Stop Talking and Start Planting”.

In connection, I wish to also note the initiatives being done by our kids here in the Philippines. Our youth are very active partners in all environmental activities — be it tree-planting, or waste picking, or cleaning up of shores. 🙂

Anyway, right after his talk, the participants shared the dilemmas we are facing as environment journalists. As you see, environment is really difficult to “mainstream” as not all seem to be interested in it. The news would rather air crimes than positive stories, just as people would rather watch their telenovelas than be told how beautiful yet fragile their environment is. At the end of the day, it’s all about economics and what is “fun”.

I, myself, share the same sentiment. Sometimes, I feel that for people to take environment seriously, lives should be taken first. Just look at what happened in Ondoy. We have come to take waste management a bit more seriously now because we dont want another catastrophe like that to happen. It is like we act properly out of fear, and not because it is the right thing to do.

Again, writing about the environment is not easy. I’m not even sure if I have readers here *insert tears*, but I just keep doing it because I feel that it is a sensible thing to do.

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