Can we make climate change sexy — or at least less boring?
Photo: Frank KovalchekInterest in climate change plummeted last year, says Der Spiegel, and now enviros (er, climate hawks) are trying to use sex and sentiment to reverse that trend. “They’re searching for so-called ‘mind bombs’ — highly emotional images that reduce a complex problem down to one core message,” the German mag reports.
Unfortunately, the biggest mind bomb of last year bombed big-time — because it was about blowing up kids.
A bikini-clad researcher posing at the Arctic? Slightly better.
As anyone who’s heard of PETA knows, using sex to push your agenda is older than farting. And — though effective — some might even call it tired and misogynistic. (And by some I mean myself.) Thankfully, Der Spiegel also mentions other tactics that could get people to care:
- Finding a post-Al Gore “climate messiah”
- Using imagery that’s emotionally charged but not too much of a bummer
- Turning climate scientists into journalists
- Dropping the façade of objectivity
- Breaking climate messaging into digestible nuggets (like forest activists did when they pushed to “save the orangutans” instead of “save the rainforest”)
New strategies are desperately needed because, as filmmaker Randy Olson says, “climate is quite possibly THE most boring subject the science world has ever had to present to the public … This stuff is bo-ho-ho-ring.”