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Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 Environmental problems and the power of media Media, Politics and the Environment Miklos.

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Presentation on theme: "Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 Environmental problems and the power of media Media, Politics and the Environment Miklos."— Presentation transcript:

1 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 Environmental problems and the power of media Media, Politics and the Environment Miklos Sukosd Lecture 2, January 30, 2013

2 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 2 Topics to discuss in class 1. The major environmental problems of the 21st century – and their media representation with video clips 2. The functions and power of media 3. How to prepare for the tutorial next week?

3 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 3 Major environmental problems in the 21st century 1. Population overgrowth 2. Global warming 3. Sweet water shortage, falling water tables 4. Shrinking cropland per person: food crisis 5. Collapsing fisheries -- overfishing 6. Deforestation 7. Species extinction [ + Pollution/contamination: sea/water, soil, air] - Brown, Lester R Challenges of the New Century. In: State of the World 2000: A Worldwatch Institute Report. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, pp

4 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1.1. Global population growth : =6.1 Billion people on Earth : =8.9 Billion people on Earth 2.8 Billion growth: most in the developing world (Africa, Latin America, poor parts of Asia) Shrinking per capita supply of natural resources: waterm food Overpupolation Social consequences: poverty, hunger, health risks, immigration 4

5 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1.2 Global warming Global warming or climate change? Increasing concentration of CO2 in atmosphere, due to human industry and transportation Beginning of Industrial Revolution (18 th century): 280 parts/milligram (ppm) 1959: 316 ppm, 1998: 367 ppm Global average temperature; : : (growth of 0.44 celsius) 5

6 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 2.2 Global warming cont. Projection for 2100: 1-4 Celsius growth of average temperature Changes in ecosystems: coral reefs, sealife, migration of animals, change of flora Increasing seas levels by 17 cm-1 m by 2100 Melting glaciers and ice caps Melting taiga Changing weather and sea movement patters 6

7 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1.3. Falling water tables Falling underground water reservoirs Overpumping for cities (due to increas of urban population), industry (quadripling in China since 1980s) and irrigation Major problem in China and India Consequences: food prices increase Water as a strategic resourse in the 21 st century Strategic and security issues 7

8 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1.4. Shrinking croplands Decreasing cropland per person : o.24 hectares to 0.12 hevtares Causes: population growth, urbanization, and use of land for biodiesel Consequences: food scarcity, poverty, decreasing life expectancy, immigration 8

9 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1.5 Overfishing Decreasing fish stock in oceans Scarcity and even extinction of wild fish : 19 million tons to 90 million tons annual catch This is unsustainable Fish farming is not an option for replacement Threat of food crisis 9

10 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1.6 Deforestation : from 0.5 hectares to 0.38 hectares Need for industrial use (lumber, paper, fuelwood) Deforestation also contributes to global warming Forests--habitat for animals and plants Forests--aesthetic and medical values 10

11 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1.7 Extinction of animal and plant species Vulnerable or immediate danger of extinction: 11% of bird species 25% of mammal species 34% of fish species Causes: habitat destruction, pollution, rising temperatures Food, ecological, medical, and ethical considerations 11

12 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 12 The power of media 1 To provide information: news and facts To provide frames: interpretation (causes) and evaluation (good-bad) To set agendas: what is important? To effect change among audience/user: media effects on attitude, behavior To educate audience/users: new scientific findings, paradigms

13 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 13 The power of media 2 To represent issues problems, actors, groups, interest To mobilize (activists, supporters, donors) To entertain: movies, tv series, celebrities/gossip To provide forum for discussion among stakeholders To affect public opinion —politicians—policy making To change consumer attitudes and behavior


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