Category Archives: Climate Communication Narratives

Epuron ad screenshot

So lonely, misunderstood…

What a great example of how to breath life into an abstract topic—renewable energy—by turning it into a human character.    Add bits of emotional drama, surprise and slightly-risque humor. . . and the story becomes irresistible!

This award-winning ad by the power company Epuron and the German Ministry for the Environment (BMU) went viral a few years ago,  and has taken on a life of its own,  recently reaching 4+ million hits on YouTube.    A good story always draws a crowd.

This ad was shown at the Climate Reality leadership training in SF last August to illustrate effective communication.

Book-Burning Party: Change the story, then change the world.

Last week at the Climate Reality Leadership Training in San Francisco, storytelling guru Andy Goodman led a spellbinding session on the importance of “changing the story.”    Goodman described research that confirmed what many of us have experienced:  in a public debate, a misleading but vivid anecdote can trump reams of data and logic.    (Anybody remember Ronald Reagan’s wildly exaggerated “Welfare Queen” imagery?)

So often, the only way to dislodge emotionally-charged disinformation is to tell a better, more compelling story.

To see this principle in action, check out this wonderful little clip from Goodman’s Free Range Thinking newsletter about a successful campaign in Troy MI that defeated the Tea Party and saved the city library.    Lots of lessons here!  Continue reading

Breaking out of our bubbles

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a bubble. Actually, we all live in our own custom-made bubbles that are shaped by our life experience and our education.

The world in my bubble is different from the world in your bubble.    The TV show Madmen dramatized this in an early episode, when Betty comes home with her drycleaning.     After a few minutes, the kids come running out of the bedroom Continue reading

“The Air Force, that’s who!”

Simply the best short videos on climate.  Ever.

That’s the only way to describe EOM’s “How to Talk to an Ostrich” series of short clips answering common skeptical  questions.   It’s a spin-off of the PBS series “Earth the Operators’ Manual,” starring Dr. Richard Alley Continue reading

Bill Harley: “Let me tell you a little story. . . “

Watch this 13-min video, and you may never want to get up in front of an audience again without uttering, at some point, the seven magic words in the title.    Why?   Because. . .

“Story is how we are reminded, and how we remember. If we want it to be memorable, it must be a story. . .    We are not built to memorize lists, or unrelated facts. We are built to remember narrative.” Continue reading

‘But we can’t afford to change our ways.’

People who say we can’t afford switching to a low-carbon economy almost never consider the cost of not making that transition.     This reminds me of one of my all-time favorite cartoons. (1)

Yes, moving to a low-carbon economy will be difficult, bumpy and entail costs.    Yet by almost any measure it will be far, far more costly Continue reading

“If climate change isn’t real, I’ll give you my Beretta”

A veteran hunter has challenged skeptics with a bet in the sportsmen’s journal Field & Stream:

“If you can convince Conservation Hawks chairman Todd Tanner that he’s wasting his time, that he does not have to worry about climate change, he will present to you his most prized possession:   A Beretta Silver Pigeon 12 gauge Continue reading

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe — Evangelical Climate Scientist

[Update:  In light of the disgusting recent attacks directed at Dr. Hayhoe, and this terrific interview we are reposting her profile from last October.]

Yes, the headline has two possible meanings, and both fit.   Texas Tech Professor of Atmospheric Science Katharine Hayhoe is an evangelical Christian,* Continue reading