Getting creative to communicate the message on climate change
So here are The Scientists.
They’re working away, finding out about some Serious Things going down with regards climate change (aka, THE PLANET, the planet is going down…..)
They have all this knowledge, (visa vi graphs and figure and such) which they keep “droppin’ like bombs”, but it doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect.
Reason one – people hate bombs.
Reason two – with regards IMPENDING DOOM; no news is good news.
Since our species were hunter gathers – running around terrorizing the mega fauna, we’ve relied heavily on visual memory.
It has played a vital role in our survival and success, so images and their impact are inherently strong and weighted in human psyche.
Now that not only the megafauna, but some of the medium, and even minifauna (made up those last two terms), have disappeared, there are those among us trying to tap into the Primal Power of the visual.
They are taking advantage of how images get through to us, and stick in our minds, in an effort to communicate information of vast importance, that has not been going through.
In bold attempts to impress upon the public the relevance and URGENCY that so many people somehow have not yet associated with Climate Change, there are people saying listen; I don’t want to scare you, but this is real, and it’s coming for the place you live, the planet you live on, and the things you love.
And they’re doing a fantastic job.
For those of us in the cushy, technology dependent first world, it can be undeniably difficult to apply our gnat-like attention spans to grasping the delicate, almost imperceptible balance in which even healthy ecosystems hang.
When you don’t notice a decrease in bird song because you haven’t been outside in THREE YEARS (just kidding, that’s massively exaggerated), peoples’ preaching on the importance of earth worms can seem abstract, unintelligible and frankly boring. (Like earth worms themselves).
Luckily for the Environment, there are impressive numbers of artists attempting to bridge the gap between the KNOWLEDGE of the scientific community and the interest of the general public. Not only can their mode of communication be used to inform public opinion, it can also be employed to express that opinion to the World’s Leaders, directing them towards actuating change.
Artists, by definition, are the world’s most IMPASSIONED sub class.
(Not a fact),
So they tend to LOVE things. If you’re into aesthetic beauty for example, (*cough, artists*) then the Natural World is the place for you.
Add the relatively Rapid And Aggressive DESTRUCTION of said world, and you get passionate, outspoken people who are prepared to stand up and say something about it (hey, they chose career paths as artists, clearly self-belief and path forging aren’t issues here).
Plus, they’ve got a hella effective medium though which to do it.
From drought in California to Melting Sea Ice, from increasing global temperatures  to unprecedented floods in Athlone, people everywhere are feeling the effects of having taken the planet for granted.
The Scientists, researchers, modellers and analysts have the DATA.
The Public have the power to demand the Change that’s needed.
From Making Statements to addressing cultural issues and voicing the opinions of themselves and of others, artists are playing their part in awakening the masses.
I’d like to dedicate the final SHOUT OUT to those of you who’ve made it all the way to the end of the article, despite your skepticism, cus hey;
- Nentwig, W. (2007). 19 Human Environmental Impact in the Paleolithic and Neolithic. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, [online] pp.1881-1900. Available at: http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-540-33761-4_62#page-1 [Accessed 3 Mar. 2016].
- New, J., Cosmides, L. and Tooby, J. (2007). Category-specific attention for animals reflects ancestral priorities, not expertise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(42), pp.16598-16603.
- Oreskes, N. (2004). BEYOND THE IVORY TOWER: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change. Science, 306(5702), pp.1686-1686.
- Reed, C. (1970). Extinction of Mammalian Megafauna in the Old World Late Quaternary. BioScience, 20(5), pp.284-288.