Tuesday, December 22, 2009

‘Age of Consumerism’ May Need Rethinking; Journalism Climate Summit Suggested Here

Drs. Tom Brislin, Toufiq Siddiqi and Susan Chandler in HPR's studio.
Guests spent the hour on Monday’s Energy Futures program reflecting on the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and suggesting policy options that will be required for Hawaii to adapt to the climate realities of the 21st century.

Dr. Toufiq Siddiqi of the East–West Center was not as pessimistic as some about China’s refusal to allow inspections of its greenhouse gas emissions and presumed future reductions. He said it’s a relatively easy matter to know how much fuel is being burned. The Reaganesque “trust but verify” dictum may be outdated, he suggested.

Drs. Susan Chandler and Tom Brislin of the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center predicted policy shifts that will help the state adapt to climate change. A major conundrum will be how Americans will adapt their own lifestyles if and when the fight against climate change becomes the moral equivalent of war. The Age of Consumerism that has been raging since World War II in the United States may soon be out of fashion.

As the hour-long program wound down, participants discussed the role of the news media in “partnering” with government and others in the climate fight. Unanswered was the question whether media executives and gatekeepers are sufficiently educated on climate issues, and that led to suggestions that a global journalism summit could be held in Honolulu that would benefit from the leadership of the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center, whose Jefferson Fellowships journalism program is highly-regarded.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” 5-6 pm HST on Mondays on Hawaii Public Radio's KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and via streaming on HPR’s website. Monday's show has been archived and will be available there for several weeks.

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