Climate Change Experts To Media: Foster Contextual Reporting

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AMIC Chairperson Prof. Crispin Maslog, Ph.D., one of the speakers in Communicating Climate Change forum last March 1, 2017 at the Titus Brandsma Media Center

“The coverage by local Media is mostly traditional disaster reporting of casualties, physical destruction and damage done to property,” began Prof. Crispin Maslog, Ph.D., Chair of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, Inc. (AMIC) during the forum on Communicating Climate Change held at the Titus Brandsma Media Center in New Manila, Quezon City last last March 31, 2017.

“There is not enough contextual reporting and little explanation of why these natural disasters are happening more often and more violently now,” he said during his talk, Communicating Climate Change: The Role of Media in the said forum.

He emphasized the need for Public awareness to properly educate man on how he can combat this global phenomenon, stating that, “to achieve disaster resilience, we must be truly educated on this inconvenient truth but undeniable fact.”

He suggested that science journalism may be taught in schools to foster in-depth reporting of climate change and its phenomenal impact on humanity and our planet.

Meanwhile, Prof. Ruth Guzman, Ph.D., Chair of the Philippine Association of Tertiary-Level Educational Institutions in Environmental Protection and Management, echoed this need not just for a more informative reporting but a higher level of knowledge to be imparted to the populace.

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A Warming Earth Is A Planet In Peril speaker Prof. Ruth Guzman, Ph.D. during the Communicating Climate Change forum last March 1, 2017 at Tituts Brandsma Media Center

“Education can do a lot to contribute to the empowerment of society to combat climate change. Education has the power and the potential to change mindsets and habits,” she said in her talk, A Warming Earth is a Planet in Peril.

She cited a recent declaration by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change–a body of scientists that track data worldwide on the changes of the climate–in its Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4) states that the “warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” and that “temperatures are rising globally and it will continue to increase in the coming years”.

“The brunt of climate change came from our unsustainable practices,” says Guzman, who happens to be a parishioner of Christ The King Parish in Batasan Hills, Q.C. “We have already overwhelmed the kindness of our earth and overextended our hospitality.”

By unsustainable practices, she meant:
. The use of non-renewable sources of energy or the greenhouse effect, the presence of too much greenhouse gases (GHGs) in our midst, namely carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, halocarbons, water vapor and other industrial gases.
. Deforestation

She shared two important response strategies to address climate change adapted from the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC): Adaptation and Mitigation. Adaptation reduces one’s vulnerability, as well as, moderates or prevents impacts and enhances benefits and opportunities.

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While Mitigation reduces or avoids GHG emissions, as well as, enhances GHG sinks. This means looking at limiting climate change by reducing the emissions of GHGs and enhancing sink opportunities.

In layman’s terms, she advised the following: Reduce our carbon footprint, Paper recycling, Waste segregation, and Art appreciation.

Held in celebration of Carmelite Communication Day, members of the Media were invited to the forum Communicating Climate Change: The Role of Media for a deepening of understanding on the said issue. Rappler and the Diocese of Novaliches Social Communications and Media Ministry (SocComm Nova) were among those invited.

Also present were parish priests, representatives from Religious Congregations, representatives from the government, and sponsors of the event, which included Apple Computers’s iMac. The event was organized by Titus Brandsma Media Center headed by Christ The King Parish, Filinvest 2 Guest Priest Rev. Fr. Arnulfo Alindayu, O.Carm. (~Lulu Reclusado-Nario)

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The Communicating Climate Change Forum Speakers of Titus Brandsma Media Center last March 31, 2017: Prof. Crispin Maslog, Ph.D.; Prof. Ruth Guzman, Atty. Mary Ann Sering, and Ph.D.; Fr. Dexter Toledo, SJ

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