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CLIMATE CHANGE:THE BIGGEST STORIES OF THE 21ST CENTURY

Journalists are supposed to know something about everything about something. That is when specialization comes into play. My first training on reporting climate change was in October 2010, organized by Development Communication (DEVCOM), an NGO based in Lagos Nigeria. The Program Co-ordinator of DEVCOM, Mr. Akin Jimoh made a statement that always rings a bell in my mind that “climate change would be the biggest story of the 21st century” and I wondered why. During that training I heard lots of jargon and wondered what all this bunch of people were all talking about. After that training I did one or two stories on climate change and the environment. The following year 2011, I had a second training on reporting climate change for broadcast professionals. This time I was much serious and interested in what was been taught because few days before that training, Lagos State experienced 18hours of rainfall that caused flooding across the state with loss of lives and properties. While the training was going on it was still raining and Mr. Akin Jimoh asked the participants a question; what if the rain fell on a Monday or working day? How prepared were Lagosians and the government to combat the level of rainfall experienced in Lagos. To me this was a thought provoking question, how would parent had gone to schools to pick up their children after close of school, how would people have gone to work because those that went to church on the 10th of July were stranded. Everywhere there was flooded in Lagos especially areas where there were not proper drainage channels, water logged areas etc.
I started to give a serious thought to the issues concerning climate change and the environment. This was really going to be the biggest stories of the 21st century. This year have heralded with adverse climate change realities such as the massive flood been witnessed in Australia, death toll increasing across Europe as temperature drops to minus thirty-four degree Celsius and freezing people to death especially the homeless. We are just in the first quarter of 2012 and all these realities are emerging. A US Scientist Mr. Alden Meyer, that was in Durban South Africa during the climate change summit in December 2011 said the government of the US don’t believe in climate change. Mr.Meyer explained that different climate change effects experienced in the US are perceived by the government as natural disasters. This position of the US has been a major setback to reaching a legal binding agreement at the different conference of parties (COP) so far held.
For how long would man continue to benefit from the earth without the earth benefiting from man? This would continue to make climate change the biggest stories of the 21st century.

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