The AIB’s climate change portal captures stories and blog posts from over 100 sources of news on Climate Change. Using technology from UltraKnowledge (UKn), the content of each item is automatically tagged and the portal allows you to search by any term and then it brings up related terms. Inthis way you can deepen your research or find unexpected connections and head off down new tracks.
I have just been making a virtual journey through the database of articles. To start with, I wanted to find out more about Prop 23, the proposed legislation in California which pitches “Big Oil” against “Big Green”, with companies that make their living from traditional energy sources ranged against those who are investing heavily in new energy technologies.
A search for “Prop 23″ on the Climate Portal led me to a video in which Joel Francis, a college student, challenged the billionaire Charles Koch, head of Koch Industries, to a debate about support for Prop 23. One of the tags on this story was Larry Page (since his wife is supporting the “No to Prop 23″ campaign) so I clicked on it to see what he and Google were up to in this area (since Google long ago planned to be carbon neutral).
The latest story from Google is that of the robotic cars that seem to have been driving around in the US, with a human driver who can intervene if necessary but who rarely has to. Two interesting results of having robotic cars would be to improve fuel usage (since they would accelerate and brake smoothly) and to allow cars to drive closer together so requiring fewer roads for the same amount of traffic (or fewer new roads if traffic increased).
That led me to an article on car sharing which described it as the “gateway drug” for the sharing movement since research shows that once someone shares a car they are more open to sharing other physical goods. From there it was a move to an article about how the web is helping people share their goods.
I had moved some way from the initial article and its debate on energy pollution, but somehow ending up with an article on innovative web services made me feel that I had come back full circle – geographically at least – to California.
It seems as though we have been waiting a long time for voting to start in the People’s Choice category, “Best Coverage of Climate Change”. We launched the 2010 AIBs, international media excellence awards, on 12th April 2010 and were excited to announce our two new categories – one for “Best Children’s Factual Programme/Series” and the other the People’s Choice.
The People’s Choice is a radical departure for the AIB, since it will be the first time that an award has been judged by online viewers rather than a panel of distinguished broadcasters. We had lots of questions to consider before launching it: “Would broadcasters want to submit their work to be judged by online viewers?”, “Would we have enough entries?”, “Would we attract a big enough online audience?”. But we felt that with the increasing convergence of broadcast and online media it was important to reflect this with an award that involved the online community and the new ways that broadcasters need to engage with their audience and obtain direct feedback. We also felt that the chosen subject for 2010, climate change, attracts such wide interest and even controversy, that viewers will be drawn to watch the short list and make their own choice.
The first set of questions, about broadcasters’ involvement, has been satisfactorily answered with a high quality field of entries from which it was difficult to chose the short list. The resulting short list contains strong entries from major broadcasters such as the BBC, CNN and Sky, as well as important contributions from China (Phoenix Satellite TV) and the United Nations – not forgetting the Belgian entry from VRT.
Now we are excited that a small selected group are trying out our system in a “Premiere” viewing of the entries and that general voting will begin next Monday. We will be building up the campaign to involve the largest possible number of viewers from all over the world during the next month.
If you are not part of the Premiere viewing that is currently going on, why not instead have a look at some of the interesting entries that did not quite make the short list? Click here to view them.
I attended a debate at the Frontline club on Thursday where there was a discussion on whether human rights should be at the heart of climate change policy.
It raised an interesting perspective that I had not considered before because human rights have an existing international legal framework. So if climate change impacts a person’s (or often those of a community or indigenous group) there is a path for redress. It may be difficult to follow it, because the people affected are usually poor, spend all their time just struggling to survive and would not know about these legal rights, let alone how to pursue them.
But those affected can be empowered (with the help from groups such as LEAD) and they can be helped by powerful advocates such as Amnesty International.
Human rights is another lens through which to view climate change and one that opens up more possibilities for holding to account those who contribute to it – who, of course, can be not only governments and corporations but ourselves as consumers.
We are delighted to announce a high quality and truly international set of short listed entries for the People’s Choice category at the 2010 AIBs.
The “Best Coverage of Climate Change” award will be decided by online voting between:
• “Going Green – The Climate Summit” from CNN International
• “Low Impact Man” from VRT, Belgium
• “Earth Rescue Operation” from Phoenix Satellite Television in Hong Kong, China
• “Hard Talk on the Road to Greenland” from the BBC
• “Ross Kemp: Battle for the Amazon” from Sky Television
• “21st Century” from the UN