Petition: ‘Environment News’ Slot

Rising Horizon is now closed in The Scottish Gallery. Thanks to everyone who made it to the show, and to those who’ve been in touch from further afield. Photos of the exhibition can be seen in my previous post, and you can also watch a video of our ‘in conversation’ event on the exhibition webpage.

The exhibition has highlighted to me that there’s appetite for such environmentally focussed projects. My studio work within this theme will continue. During the exhibition, whilst the artworks were out of the studio, I spent some time putting together the following petition, which I’ve just launched on Change.Org.

The petition calls for a more regular Environment News slot to be heard on radio: offering daily, bitesize chunks of information on what we can all do, and what’s being done by others, both at home and further afield… the bad, the good & the inspirational. I spend most of my working day listening to radio and have become increasingly dismayed by the scarcity of environmental coverage in the daily news.

Adobe Stock Photograph

One of the most pressing issues facing our planet today is climate change. This petition outlines one basic suggestion that a more regular Environment News feature could be heard on key British (notably BBC) radio stations, spreading vital information and insight, elevating the topic within our everyday lives.

An idea which requires minimal intervention

This idea is a starting point – an example of the format this feature could take.

Throughout the day, we are kept abreast of Sporting News updates. At a time when our environment needs as much media coverage as possible, the same style of feature-slot could be employed for an Environment News broadcast. As just one solution, why not alternate the Sport and Environment broadcast each hour?

At this stage, I'm presenting this basic proposal and looking for numbers to take to the BBC / OFCOM, to show that there is public appetite for such a slot: that we want to be kept updated, more frequently, of climate change related news and of innovations in the everyday roles we ourselves can play. From global updates, to everyday lifestyle, dietary, recycling and campaign information. 

Why is this important?

This idea is merely a starting point: an idea that simply alters an existing structural feature of news broadcasts. Whether it takes a bi-hourly form or not is beside the point: the intention is to integrate environmental news into our daily lives, generating demand for more frequent updates from our policy makers. Every step counts.

In UK news the topic of Brexit has dominated headlines for many months. This has distracted from the fact that a turning point has been passed, that we must all now come together to act, to save our Earth for future generations. The window for action is quickly closing: we must grab hold of our rising global average temperature. We must know what decisions are being taken and how on-target we are for achieving the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement.

This would be a simple step in raising awareness: Environment News (like Sporting News currently) heard throughout the day will dramatically increase public engagement and elevate the topic within daily lives. Currently, one has to actively research independently to grasp the range of issues facing our planet as a result of climate change: this should not be the case.