3.4. Climate Change


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Guest lecture by Therese Haakonsen Karlseng in Media & Politics, Lillehammer University College

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3.4. Climate Change

  1. 1. Media and Politics: Climate Change Therese H. Karlseng, Managing Director Inland Norway Energy Agency
  2. 2. My background •  Political Science, Fridtjof Nansens Institute •  Point Carbon –  International Carbon Markets •  Ministry of Petroleum and Energy –  National Climate Change Policy, EUpolicy, International Negotiations •  Hedmark County Consil –  Energy, Mitigating Climate Change, Climate Change Adoptation •  Norwegian Parliament –  Energy/Environment, Transport and Communication (Media) •  Inland Norway Energy Agency
  3. 3. About INEA Regional knowledge centre for energy efficiency and renewable energy. The first of its kind in Norway. We support the transition to more sustainable energy systems ie. mitigating climate change. INEA spread management practices, provides guidance, and offer a range of services based on specific local needs. We serve municipalities, public and private businesses and households. INEA is a non-profit and independent company.
  4. 4. Road Map •  An Inconvenient Truth and Framing of Climate Change •  Framing Climate Change and the Norwegian Parliamentary Election •  The new IPCC-report –  Process –  Key Findings –  Media Coverage and Responses – deniers •  Questions
  5. 5. An Inconventient Truth •  Nisbet: Frames are interpretive storylines that set a specific train of thought in motion, communicating why an issue might be a problem, who or what might be responsible for it, and what should be done about it •  Which frames do Al Gore use in this film?
  6. 6. Frames Used Monster Al Gore mentions: Hurricanes, downpours, floddings, droughts, soil evaporation, icemelting affecting polar bears and the golf stream (if it stops we could enter a new ice-age in 10 years time..), sea level rise affecting millions of people, illness, vectors, 100 of millions of refugess
  7. 7. Public Accountability Al Gore: ”Scientist are obliged to represent the truth as they see it.” ”We already know all we need to know. We have everything we need – say political will” President Obama similarly invoked the public accountability frame and Gore’s film while announcing his science policy advisers: ”Because the truth is that promoting science isn’ t just about providing resources—it’ s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’ s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’ s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient— especially when it’ s inconvenient”
  8. 8. Moral and Ethics Gore: ”How should I spend my time on this earth” ”It is a moral issue – to rise again to secure our future”
  9. 9. What About Scientific Uncertainty of Human Induced Climate Change? •  Gore: It is a misconseption created by a few with the objective to reposition global warming as theory rather than a fact. •  Scientist agree on the human induced climate change. •  However in the US (at that time) more than 50 % of the articles on climate change mentiones uncertainty
  10. 10. Media and Climate Change •  Political reporters apply a conflict and strategy frame to the policy debate •  News criteria: identification, importance, sensation, conflict, actuality (Kvisa) –  Journalists in Norway and other countries use these criteria to write stories that sell –  Or you use these to get your news story on
  11. 11. •  The conflict and strategy frame on climate change creates a false balance; by giving equal weight to contrarian views on climate science, journalists has presented the false impression that there is limited expert agreement on the causes of climate change •  And many reporters do not challenge climate sceptics arguments
  12. 12. •  Generally: It is getting better - less false balance. In Norway – national media is better than local media •  INEA: Should we participate in the debate on human indued climate change or use other frames ie. an economic frame showing the possibilities of savings, green jobs etc.
  13. 13. Climate Change in the Norwegian Parliamentary Election
  14. 14. Strategy •  Climate change is one of the (or the) greatest challenges of our time •  But can you win an election on this topic?
  15. 15. •  Al Gore: ”If an issue is not on top of the constituencys tongue, it is easy to ignore. We deal with that tomorrow” •  Nisbet: Although the Obama administration is committed to addressing climate change, the necessary level of public engagement with the issue still appears to be missing. - So what is the situation like i Norway?
  16. 16. 2011: Spring floddings and rain summer and autumn
  17. 17. 2011: Insurance companies register 37 113 damages due to water in buildings. Compensation payments NOK 2,2 billion
  18. 18. 2013: Spring rain and floddings Nettavisen 22. mai: Tog står, veier er stengt og kjellere er oversvømt Trafikken på E6 ved Espa er hindret av flom og vannmasser Vallset: Hus og biler under vann etter flom i lokal bekk Kvam sentrum ødelagt – her fra oversvømt jorde og undergravd jernbanelinje i Kvam Foto: Mosvold Larsen/NTB scanpix Nationen 31. mai: Over en million dekar matjord rammet av flommen
  19. 19. Source: MDG-net
  20. 20. Norwegian Parliamentary Election and Climate Change – which Frames were used?
  21. 21. Moral and Ethics…
  22. 22. Other Frames?
  23. 23. The new IPCC report – last Friday –  Process –  Key findings –  Media focus - responses and climate change deniers Questions?
  24. 24. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) •  UN's scientific climate panel. •  IPCC does not undertake research of its own but focuses on review and structuring of existing research to assess the state of research. •  Provide world's countries with best possible scientific basis on climate change and effects for humans, natural environment and society •  More than 800 experts from 85 countries working on the IPCC reports to be published in 2013-14 (Fifth Assessment Report, AR 5). •  AR5 contributions from three working groups. WG1 - physical science basis of climate change, WG2 - impacts, adapation and vulnerability, and WG3 - mitigation of climate change. Syntesis Report (oct 2014) draws on assessments made by WGs
  25. 25. IPCCs 5th report says •  with 95% certainty, humans are the dominant cause of global warming since the 1950s •  the period from 1983-2012 in the Northern Hemisphere was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1,400 years. Each of the last three decades has got successively warmer, and these decades have all been warmer than any of the preceding decades since 1850.  In  the  last  IPCC  report  2007  that  came   a4er  Gores  film  –  scien9st  were  90  %,  very  likely  –   now  95  %   •  90  %  certainty  hea9ng  of  the  oceans,  90%  emissions  
  26. 26. International reactions UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the study was a call for governments, many of which have been focused on spurring weak growth rather than fighting climate change, to work to agree on a planned UN accord in 2015 to combat global warming. “The heat is on. Now we must act,” he said. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the report “yet another wake-up call.”“Those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire,” he said in a statement, referring to skeptics who question the need for urgent action. European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said it was time to treat the Earth’s health. “If your doctor was 95 per cent sure you had a serious disease, you would immediately start looking for the cure,” she said.
  27. 27. Skeptics’ reaction: “No one should trust the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report issued today,” said Bob Carter of the Ottawabased International Climate Science Coalition. “The IPCC has a history of malfeasance that even includes rewording recommendations of expert science advisers to fit the alarmist agenda of participating governments.”