Delivering Climate Change to the Masses
More Americans are accepting the reports on climate change. A recent poll shows 70% of Americans now believe global warming is real and supported by factual evidence. Even so, there are still many Americans, and other people around the world, who believe otherwise. This is in spite of melting polar ice, rising sea levels, and increasing temperatures.
Due to the adverse effects, climate change has on humanity and life as we know it, scientists continually struggle to share that concern. But as statistics show, this knowledge often goes in one ear and out the other. Ironically, one of the biggest obstacles to creating change is not convincing people who don’t believe in climate change that it does exist. It’s convincing the people who do believe in climate change that it’s time to act.
This struggle will only continue if scientists do not find better ways to make climate change and its effects more easily understood. This involves not just speaking clearly and directly, but finding interesting ways to grab people’s attention.
No Scientific Jargon
Many people advise against using scientific jargon, and for the most part, this advice works. But giving people a glimpse into the professional world helps to pique their curiosity as well. When they leave that experience knowing what might seem like insider information, they feel more enlightened than they did previously.
For instance, a scientist might make mention of “anthropogenic climate change” and then add “which is just a fancy way of saying ‘climate change caused by human activity.” This gives the masses a better understanding of this piece and allows them to better understand other documents on climate change, which once seemed too technical.
There’s a reason social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are so popular, even for businesses. Not everyone likes to read, and even those who do might not have the time. However, condensing articles into a short video – or even a series of short videos – can prove effective. It helps scientists reach people who might have otherwise skipped over a 2000 word article.
Pictures also come in handy, as scientists use them to depict changes in the environment in a way people can see and understand. Impactful images used over the years show polar bears clinging to ice, snow in the springtime blanketing New York, and before and after pictures showing how rising sea levels have reclaimed land.
Infographics have also been extremely useful for condensing te
chnical information into images and shorter descriptions people understand. Never underestimate the power of showing as opposed to telling.
Interactive e-Book or Website
Many professionals use interactive e-Books or websites to showcase their work. This is because even something as boring as work history and prior clientele can be illustrated and shown in a way that anyone might enjoy.
These interactive mediums are usually highly responsive to how users scroll or move the mouse. These actions cause logos, items, pictures and pages to move and react in unpredictable ways. This movement keeps people interested and turns reading into a sort of game where there is more to see than just words lined up one after the other.
Show Marketing Benefits
Man-made climate change implies that regular human activities push climate change over the edge. However, the most damaging effects of climate change happen when companies make poor decisions negatively affecting the environment on a large scale. This could include anything from spilling millions of gallons of oil into the ocean or pumping waste into nearby rivers.
To convince more companies of the benefits of making climate-friendly decisions, appeal to their bottom line. Show companies how doing what’s best for the environment now can cost them less money down the road. While people are more likely to think about current needs and resources, companies must plan ahead to please shareholders and other key influencers of their business.
Celebrity endorsement can make or break any campaign. The key lies in finding a celebrity who not only provides lip service to the cause but who supports climate change even after the cameras stop rolling. Leonardo DiCaprio has used every platform available to advocate for action to slow and prevent climate change.
It took DiCaprio more than a quarter of a century of producing films before he finally won an Oscar. And what did he do? He turned this major win into an opportunity to speak to an issue much dearer to him than being recognized for his great work. This kind of celebrity sends the right message to the masses. It also allows the message of climate change to reach a broader audience.
A Kiddie Version
The best (and worst!) habits begin within our youth and often follow us into adulthood. This applies to climate change, just as it applies to table manners, hygiene, and taking one’s schoolwork seriously. The earlier children are taught about global warming, the more ingrained it becomes, which in turn affects their daily decisions.
But feeding children facts and figures meant for adults doesn’t work. Scientists and other advocates need to find simpler ways of bringing the message of climate change across to children in a way that is fun, easier to understand, and provides easy tips to apply what they have learned.
While most people believe climate change exists, not enough people are taking action. As a result, scientists should use these tips to step up their advocacy game plan and become more creative in their approach.