HumAngle And The Climate Change Crisis: Tackling It As Individuals And As A Group
One of the several issues reported by the niche media platform is climate change, so we asked staff members exactly what they are doing about it (even outside of journalism).
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns, which may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. The United Nations argues that, since the 1800s, “human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.”
Hazards from climate change include drought, excessive rainfall or lesser rainfall, and flooding. The changes, the UN notes, “can affect our health, ability to grow food, housing, safety and work.”
Murtala Abdullahi, HumAngle’s Head of Armed Violence and Climate Security Desk, explained that climate change is one most important global crises, requiring multi-sectoral efforts to address its impact, especially on vulnerable parts of the world.
“Extreme weather events related to climate change affect our work at HumAngle partly because we are a niche publication that focuses on a lot of the impact of climate change. Extreme weather, such as heat, also impacts productivity and energy needs,” he said.
Head of the Humanitarian and Sustainable Development Desk Aisha Babatunde noted that climate change is an event slated to take place in the future as many governments in Africa would like to believe.
“We’ve seen from the latest IPCC report how climate change is exacerbating food insecurity and displacement risks in Africa, the continent least responsible for greenhouse emissions. It is affecting our physical environment through desertification, sacking hundreds of people from their homes, and also fuelling the herder-farmer crisis over land contests,” she explained.
“This, in turn, has led to food prices skyrocketing to unbearable levels for everybody, not just for me alone.”
So what is HumAngle doing about climate change?
“At HumAngle, we don’t just focus on telling stories on the impact of climate change, we also spotlight solutions,” Murtala answered.
He adds that the organisation is encouraging the use of fewer papers to reduce its carbon footprint. Recently, it acquired an inverter and a bunch of batteries instead of a generator for the same reason.
“There has also been a conversation among employees on the benefits of switching to edible insects instead of eating beef.”
For Planning Editor Yekeen Akinwale, who also breeds livestock, he contributes his bit through his work on food security, though he admits this may not be directly related to climate change.
“Food security affects everyone. When farmers are not able to cultivate, it affects their produce and the availability of food to everyone,” he explained. “If you do not eat well, how do you expect to be productive at work?”
He added that he continues to advocate for strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change as a journalist, while discouraging harmful practices such as refuse burning, poor management of plastic waste, carbon emission, and so on.
‘Kunle Adebajo, the Investigations Editor, told us his own effort to reduce carbon emission is getting a home solar system.
“Though it has a small capacity, because I live in a one-bedroom apartment it’s enough to power my television, charge my phone and laptop, a standing fan, and two white bulbs. I have not used my generator in many months,” he said.
He similarly said that he is a strong advocate of adopting children rather than giving birth to many children, believing this is another climate-friendly move as it reduces overpopulation.
“My own climate action involves reusing old glass jars as juice and smoothie tumblers,” said Assistant Head of the Solutions Desk, Zubaida Baba Ibrahim. “Whenever we finish a jar of jam, I wash it and keep it in the drawers. Sometimes I transfer my shea butter into the jars.”
Aisha mentioned too that she has been conscious about the amount of plastic she uses.
“When it’s not necessary for me to use polythene bags, for instance, I don’t use them. I usually dissuade sellers from giving me one when I buy groceries that can fit into my backpack,” she told us. “I’ve also joined groups in planting trees around Abuja. This, of course, is to conserve my immediate environment since trees serve as windbreakers and purifiers.”
Reported by: Fatima Mustapha Ali
Edited by: ‘Kunle Adebajo