Climate Communications Top 10
2014/08/05
By : Cynthia LaGrou
Climate change presents massive social, political and economic challenges, and with the US now officially leading the world in climate denial, while ranking 43rd in the world on climate policy, it's high time to move beyond the scientific and rational debate given the scientific consensus.

A Pew Research poll shows a long-term trend of declining interest in climate change while scientific studies are claiming that climate change is accelerating. Further studies show that painting a dire picture of climate change without providing a solution may cause an audience to reject the message. Add to that, the fact that mainstream news reporting on the subject is minimal, keeping viewers in the dark on the matter.

Perhaps it's time to creatively engage the public via media, artists, writers, poets, musicians and filmmakers who have the ability to inspire, interpret scientific data, transcend cultural barriers, and communicate on a human and emotional level.

Stephen Beal, President of California College of the Arts (CCA) expressed the need for creative STEM communication, "We need creative people to form productive collaborations with scientists, educators, and technologists to make a positive impact on the world.

We need art school graduates to take what they've learned to work across disciplines, across diverse strands of society, across this fictional science-art cultural divide to help solve some of the world's thorniest problems. We need artists, architects, designers, curators, and writers to find new ways to see, feel, and create meaning in our world."

Here are our Top 10 picks for the Best Creative Climate Communications showcasing TV series, artists, films, and organizations pioneering cultural response in the evolving art and science of climate communications.

1. TV documentary series: Years of Living Dangerously
Produced by Oscar-winning James Cameron (director of the two highest- grossing films of all time) and other Hollywood heavyweights, the documentary series "Years of Living Dangerously" has been publicized as "the most important climate change multimedia communication endeavor in history."

2. Film Documentary: Chasing Ice
Chasing Ice is the story of one man's mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of climate change. Using time-lapse cameras, his videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. The stunning visual impact of this film will change your view of climate change forever.

3. Best interviews and reporting on climate change and climate communications: Bill Moyers

4. Best Culture Hacking: 350.org
350.org Building a Global Climate Movement. Climate-focused campaigns, projects and actions led from the bottom-up by people in 188 countries. Training leaders, books, Do the Math Movie, aerial art, data, social media, protests, activism, fossil fuel divestment, speaking to power. Bill McKibben and 350.org unquenchable flames of passion to save a reckless humanity from itself and turn the tides of climate change never go out.

5. Best Multimedia: Facing Climate Change
Facing Climate Change documentary team, Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele, specialize in stories about people, nature and climate change. They help nonprofits, publications, scientists and other clients tell important stories through photography, multimedia and web design.

6. Addressing the climate consensus gap: The Consensus Project.
The Consensus Project. People can't be expert in every subject, so defer to the consensus of experts on many subjects. For this reason, climate scientists are the most trusted sources of climate science information. There is a large gap between the public perception of consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and the reality of 97% agreement among climate scientists. This "Consensus Gap" has real-world implications. Research into climate change attitudes has found that a correct perception of scientific consensus is linked to support for climate policy. In other words, when people don't realize there's a scientific consensus, they're less likely to support climate action. This underscores the importance of closing the Consensus Gap.

7. Best Study on Climate Dissonance: Yale
A study Funded by the National Science Foundation, was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School which involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults. The study set out to evaluate political controversy over climate change to the public's ability to understand science, and, to understand opposing sets of cultural values.

The study concluded that public apathy over climate change was unrelated to science literacy. It wasn't a matter of understanding the science, but according to Dan Kahan, the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and professor of psychology at Yale Law School, "The study suggests the need for science communication strategies that reflect a more sophisticated understanding of cultural values."
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