Kudos for Don’t Look Up! But please don’t stop with that movie, Adam McKay and the rest of the entertainment industry. According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications, the majority (72%) of U.S. adults recognize climate change is happening— i.e. recognize that the proverbial comet is speeding toward Earth—but only 39% talk about it. With our country’s deep political divisions, 72% is practically unanimous. So, I think people are hungry to learn about solutions—especially if delivered in an entertaining way that is light on the facts and fear. Facts can be disputed and fear pushes people toward depression, denial, distancing, and distraction.
No pressure, but I think it’s up to you (and your colleagues) to save humanity from ourselves by taking the climate narrative a step further. 😉 It’s time to explore SOLUTIONS with a binge-worthy series bursting with colorful characters with diverse backgrounds that everyone can relate to in some way. Overwhelmed people will tune in for the story and learn about the climate solutions by accident. While these are definitely challenging times, this is also an extraordinary time to be on the planet and influence the direction of civilization by tapping into our creativity, solidarity, and innovation.
I know this is a longshot, but I’m a mother of two who will stop at nothing to protect my children’s (ages 10 and 12) futures. So here’s my bold ask. Would you help paint the picture of what a fossil fuel-free society could look like? I’m not famous. I don’t have any connections. But you do.
The story could be anything and you’re the clearly expert here. But in case you’re looking for an idea, one idea could be a story loosely based on “EJECTED—The Story that Solves the Climate Crisis.“* The premise of this book is that people responsible for excessive greenhouse gas emissions are ejected from the planet. In order to return to Earth, the “Ejected” need to decrease emission levels so the world can support them once again. It’s basically a twist on Lost and Gilligan’s Island but instead of people trying to get off an island they are trying to return to Earth.
The beauty of this premise is that it is quite silly, so there’s lots of room for humor, a wide range of characters, creativity, and joyfulness. Another positive aspect is that the solutions presented in the book are based on solid science. If the solutions discussed in the book were actually implemented in the world we live in, we would change the trajectory of the climate crisis and give our kids the world we want them to have. I think the key is creating something that a diverse audience (not just liberals, like me) would binge on.
*Full disclosure: EJECTED is my book but this is NOT a pitch for me to make money or for book promotion. I seriously don’t care about sales. In fact, it’s a free download on this website. Was it a bestseller? Nope. However, it did get reviewed by notable Bill McKibben! I honestly only care about every child’s future and want to help shift the current narrative away from doom and helplessness to clarity, unity, and optimism. I want climate discussion to be in daily conversations.
What I think is unique about this book is that it:
- is optimistic
- is [hopefully] a fun and engaging story that weaves complex social and political aspects of climate change together to attract a larger audience. All throughout history, stories—not statistics—have united cultures. People remember and connect with stories because they build familiarity and allow the reader to enter the story wherever they are in their own lives. Stories make people more open to learning and, perhaps more importantly, more open to feeling. Stories also offer multiple ways for people to connect with information.
- is a story that doubles as a guidebook and lays out a plan to solve the climate crisis based on science and research (largely Climate Interactive and Project Drawdown)
I would love to hear what you think of my idea and hear if you’re up for the challenge.
Mother, Advocate, Fellow Human Being concerned about things beyond my own life
dawn (at) we all need food and water (dot) org