Greenwashing is not going away: here’s what you can do about it

    • By SWS staff

    In June, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, called on PR firms, media outlets and tech companies to stop promoting fossil fuel advertisements that lie to the public and hide the role the industry plays in the climate crisis.  HEATED wasted no time in jumping on the speech to assess which organizations are the biggest purveyors of fossil fuel adverts, finding the New York Times, Edelman, Glover Part, Cerrell and Ogilvy some of the worst offenders. A report released by The Intercept and partners in December 2023 found that Bloomberg, The Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times, Politico,…

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    Three must-see european films about climate change

    • By collaborator, Isaac Shamam

    As the urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensifies, so does the need for compelling climate communication and storytelling. Films addressing climate change are scarce, and those that do often fall into the "disaster" film category. They rarely educate audiences about the underlying causes or potential solutions of climate change. And they don't typically stir emotions that inspire action either. The challenge lies in connecting the consequences of the climate crisis to relatable aspects of everyday life. While some TV shows and films have ventured into this territory, there’s still a vast landscape of untapped potential in cinematic storytelling to…

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    Introducing the 2024 World Days calendar, your new climate comms hack

    • By SWS staff

    International awareness days are useful hooks to hang campaigns and messages on. And because the environment is the biggest cross-cutting issue of our time, on most world days there will be a climate story to tell. To kick start your climate communications in 2024 we’ve designed a World Days Calendar, which details more than 50 international awareness days to help you connect the dots, communicate about the climate crisis and demand urgent action. For some of the days, the links are direct and obvious, like World Wetlands Day (2 February), International Mother Earth Day (22 April), the International Day of…

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    Is hope all we need to ignite climate action?

    • By SWS staff

    Hope is key to getting people to deal with the climate crisis, but we need strategies to keep it alive. One of them is telling way more stories about the solutions we have and the people behind them. Hope is a powerful emotion. Along with anger and a small dose of fear, it plays a key role in getting people to act for the planet. For Lesley Hughes, one of Australia’s most prominent climate scientists, hope drives her vital work. “I’ve come to the conclusion that hope has to be a strategy,” she recently said. “You have to use hope…

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    The power of influence: using public figures to inspire climate action

    • By SWS staff

    One of the biggest influences on human behaviour is other people. So how can we harness the power of public figures – from celebrities to social media creators – in our climate communications? In our media-saturated culture, celebrities and influencers thrive. Those with fame or followers wield huge power, so how is this being used to inspire people to engage with the issues of climate change? Celebrities As far back as 2014, National Geographic showed just how useful celebrities can be in driving climate messages home when it released the Emmy award-winning Years of Living Dangerously. The hit show followed…

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    Climate fiction literature is on the rise; can it help spark debate, and even climate action?

    • By SWS staff

    Climate fiction, or cli-fi, has been steadily gaining prominence in literature. As the climate crisis escalates, it’s no surprise that this genre is rising in popularity. Works like The Blue, Beautiful World and The Ministry for the Future vividly illustrate the consequences of global warming. But can cli-fi effectively convey the real threats of climate change to spark debate, and even climate action? ‘Climate’ is becoming a cross-cutting theme in literature Cli-fi is technically considered a subgenre of science fiction. And it’s easy to see its connection with science and technology. However, resources on the Hub show how ‘climate’ as…

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    Can comedy help us communicate climate change better?

    • By SWS staff

    More and more activists, scientists and educators are turning to comedy to tell the climate story. But can using humour really encourage a greater response to the climate crisis? “Climate comedy, like sea levels, is on the rise,” quips Aaron Sachs in his book Stay Cool: Why Dark Comedy Matters in the Fight Against Climate Change. Sachs, a Professor of History and American Studies at Cornell University in the USA, argues that human beings have been using comedy to cope with difficult things for centuries —the worse things are, the darker the humour – so why should climate change be…

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    Three reads to get you started on the Climate Communications Resources Hub

    • By SWS staff

    There are so many resources to read about climate communications. And not just ‘read’ but listen to and watch as well. Where do you begin? We’ve gathered three of our favourite resources to help you dive in, going from the classic, to the serious, to the hopeful. If you want to jump start your climate action reading, these resources are a great way to begin. 1. Don’t even think about it: why our brains are wired to ignore climate change ✅ Why we like it: This is a classic published in 2015 by Climate Outreach founder George Marshall. It really…

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    Communicating about climate change: which emotions inspire action?

    • By SWS staff

    How the climate crisis is framed can evoke hugely different emotions. And which emotion is most likely to spur people to act is a hotly-contested topic. So which feelings are the ones most likely to inspire engagement with the biggest issue of our times?  Fear In the Fairytales and Fear: Stories of Our Future podcast, climate fiction author Paolo Bacigalupi argues that, “if you want to create change in a democratic society, people have to believe there is actually a threat”. Of his readers he says, “I hope to leave them so profoundly disturbed that they actually do something”. You…

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    Five storytelling tactics to save the planet and the people on it

    • By SWS staff

    Calling all creatives! According to Futerra, humans are 22 times more likely to remember a story than any other communication. This makes storytelling one of the most powerful tools in the fight to save the planet that we all depend on. But what kinds of fictional narratives will inspire real-world action? Here are five easy hacks for harnessing the awesome force of our imaginations. 1. Show sustainable practices as normal, everyday things In her talk at the Responsible Media Forum on the role of scriptwriters in the culture of consumption, Denise Baden, Professor of Sustainable Practice at the University of…

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