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
After recently watching a lot of TV programmes on climate change (for the shortlist for the People’s Choice which will be revealed next week, with AIB members and those registered to vote the first to hear) and reading lots of articles about it, I have been wondering how people will make the changes to their habits that seem to be becoming more and more inevitable.
Will governments (multi-party democraties or others) impose top down changes to industry and consumption that are necessary for sustainable development? Or will concerned individuals persuade others and change behaviour from the bottom up.
Also if, as expected, the Democrats in the US are soundly beaten in the elections later this year, then the US government is even less likely to take strong measures that support environmental concerns. So any moves from the US in the future look likely to result from the actions of individuals and concerned groups.
Maybe, in the end, it will be simple economics rather than bottom up or top down that will bring about changes. With increasing pressures on resources increased by changes in the climate, costs of food, transportation and most resources will increase so we will be forced by our wallets to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. But that would be business as usual… would that work?
In the US, the Woods Institute for the Environment have carried out their 5th annual survey. 74% of respondents in a 100o person telephone survey responded yes to the question “Has the Earth’s temperature probably had been heating up over the last 100 years?”. The figure is down slightly from last year, when it was 75%, and has declined each year from the first survey in 2006 when it stood at 85%. The analysis showed that the recent fall was due to those who are sceptical of climate change scientists reacting to cold weather in the last two years.
Note how this figure of 74% compares with the 63% figure found by Gallup for US citizens who are aware of climate change and believe it to be due to manmade changes (see our previous blog post). It seems to suggest a large majority of Americans who think the earth is warming believe that it is humans who are causing it, with the majority of sceptics not believing in global warming at all.
The Woods Institute survey, led by Josh Krosnick, also showed that despite the recent controversies, trust in climate scientists had actually risen slightly over the last year.
The newly published Ipsos Mori poll carried out with Cardiff University paints a similar picture of belief in the UK. In 2005, 91% of those surveyed thought that climate change was happening and this has now reduced to 78%. With 58% replying that they had noticed changes for themselves, it shows the power of personal experience and that we are reaching a stage where a majority have some relevant experience to back up any studies by experts. However, 40% of respondents thought that the seriousness of climate change is exaggerated.
Overall, the studies show a smaller fall in belief in climate change than might be expected after the recent high profile controversies over the accuracy and independence of published results and also after recent cold weather that has caused headlines to change from “global warming” to “climate change”.
The new People’s Choice award in this year’s AIBs is very exciting for a number of reasons. It is the first time we are asking the general public to vote for awards, which allows the shortlisted entrants to gain a wider exposure for their programmes, as viewers will come from throughout the world, including many countries where the programmes are not currently broadcast. The voting process will also use social media to gain interest and attention, providing another example of the sort of audience engagement and participation which is becoming more and more important to broadcasting in the 21st century.
In addition climate change, the subject of programmes in the People’s Choice award, is a highly topical subject which provokes fierce debate and raises issues which could have a dramatic impact on the way that all nations live. Different countries, and even different tribes and regions within countries, risk being affected in different ways. For example, the indigenous people of the Amazon risk their lands turning into dry savanna (see here for how our sponsor, ADB, is helping the Surui tribe) while the coastal regions risk more flooding.
Because of the differing risks, as well as different political viewpoints, the range of views on climate change is enormous and the challenges of exploring and explaining the science are great. We hear about the fierce debates in the US Senate ; India and China are signing up to the Copenhagen accord; a survey in Africa shows that many Africans blame God and not global emissions for climate change; countries as diverse as Mongolia, Saudi Arabia and Madagascar show increasing awareness by joining in Earth Day celebrations.
We are eager to see the submissions for the People’s Choice award to see how broadcasters from throughout the world are tackling this contraversial issue which raises such passion and which is so important to all of our futures.