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Climate Change: Citizen Journalism Can Make a Difference

Mon ,03/12/2012
 This is a guest article by Pabitra Mukhopadhyay about citizen journalism which was first published on his website, Pabitraspeaks.  It is great honor that Pabitra chose this website as an example of citizen journalism. Pabitra’s posts and articles on Climate Himalaya, Th!nkaboutit.eu, and his website, Pabitraspeaks, show that he is a citizen journalists of the first order, concerned about his fellow man and a sustainable environment.
“The authorities in New York are discovering what Egypt also learned — that it’s not as easy to regulate or arrest journalists when everyone is a journalist. But while that may make our lives a little more complicated, it is fundamentally a good thing for society,” writes Mathew Ingram in his post ‘What happens when journalism is everywhere.

 I think Mathew uses the word ‘Journalism’ only because there is no other suitable description for world citizenry finding a voice and articulating independent views about the environment from a strong personal perception. This is one important node where social media branches off from the mainstream media, which in today’s world is a corporate institution. The Arab spring reporters reported with mobile phones, with no formal journalistic training and without financial incentive.

But this citizen reporting, whether or not you credit it with journalistic neutrality has come to be reckoned with a credibility that is almost undisputed now. This is deeply linked with a wave of neo-democratization that mainstream media is riding instead of refuting. For example, we see media offshoots like BBC’s User-Generated Content Hub, Reuter’s partnership with blogging network Global Voices, and sites like PJ Media .

In the sea of blogs that piece through world events with views ranging from practical to outrageous, there are few that are slowly but steadily debunking the myths of power and politics in determining our world views. J.C.Moore’s story is one such silent reconstruction.

J.C. Moore is a native Oklahoman who earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Kansas State University. A retired professor of chemistry and physics, he is a member of the American Geophysical Union and Republicans for Environmental Protection. Dr. J.C. Moore is also a blogger who yielded key-board when people of his age and position would prefer spending time playing golf and not asking uneasy questions. He comes from the state whose legislature resolved to condemn invitation of Richard Dawkins by the University of Oklahoma because professor Dawkins is known for his stand against biblical genesis being taught as an alternative creation theory besides Darwinian Evolutionary theory in the state. J.C Moore also represents the same state that flaunts the Global Warming denier Senator James Inhofe – who recently proposed a law that would forbid funding for climate research.

Interested readers may find it worthwhile to check Dr. Moore’s blog JC Moore Online – a body of work that bespeaks of passion and rationality of appropriate mix. It’s not because I have been following his work for long now and come to respect his sincere efforts to engage Climate Change deniers with science and evidence, but because of his strength of conviction I find this man inspiring.

And such silent work should not go unnoticed for mostly the people for whom he is primarily concerned. Happily enough the review by Moore of Inhofe’s book ‘The Greatest Hoax’, a shorter version of which was also published in the Tulsa World recently became part of Senate debate between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. James Inhofe, where Sen. Sanders quoted Moore’s lines to refute Sen. Inhofe’s views and policies. Here is the C-SPAN clip of Sen. Bernie Sander’s speaking.

This is citizen media at its best. It is inspiring to see my Think blogger colleague achieving something, which, considering his location and position corporate media will give a hand and a foot to do. And for J.C. Moore it neither takes fancy TV Channels nor high selling media campaign.

I missed the good fortune of interviewing Dr. J.C. Moore in person as we are half a world apart, but this is what he has to say about the above episode.

I wonder about what happens when there is one J.C.Moore in every society.

(c) 2012 Pabitraspeaks