I’m convinced that the key to making a difference on climate change is finding new ways to communicate the urgency of this crisis. Much of the messaging on this crisis has been too scientifically technical and communicated in print, and has not been effective in reaching those who are in denial, doubtful, disengaged, or confused.
Our culture has shifted and most people now get their information from visual sources. Moving images — whether on TV, movies, or YouTube — have a capacity for emotionally connecting and reaching its audience in a manner that is lacking in other media. The truth about climate change is known from the work of scientists but most Americans have never met or heard from the climate scientists themselves.
I believe that a compilation of videos of climate scientists speaking directly about their feelings, concerns and thoughts about climate change — and not the scientific data — could have a significant impact.
The website of the organization, More Than Scientists (MTS), features hundreds of videos of climate scientists, many of them describing their concerns for the future of their children and grandchildren.
I spoke several times on the phone with the director of the organization, Eric Michelman, who worked for Microsoft in Washington State before becoming a climate activist. I also met with two New England scientists, Alan Betts and Michael Rawlins, filmed my interviews with them, and edited the material. Three videos from those interviews are now on the website.
I believe that if people watched a few of the MTS videos, they will see that these scientists are intelligent, sincere, honest, and trustworthy — and everyone should take their warnings about the dangers of global warming very seriously.
Of all the lies and distortions about climate change that are promoted by the right-wing media, the one that really gets me angry is that climate scientists are only saying that global warming is happening and caused by human activity because they want money for their research.
I only wish that the people who believe that nonsense knew about these videos and gave them the time and attention they deserve.