Posted on November 18, 2020
Telling the Story of Climate Change
Humans are story animals. For more than 10,000 years, we have developed our philosophies, created cultural identities and tried to understand our place in the world through story. Stories give us context and guidance. They move us. They guide action in the real world. But the story of climate change has been challenging to tell. Deniers obfuscate the truth. Politicians and businesses conflate pseudoscience with fact. And while many voices have been raised in opposition, they rarely speak in unison. At The YEARS Project we dedicate our efforts to addressing these issues by telling the story of climate change and how to fix it so that it becomes the top political, economic and social issue in society. We do this not only to save the planet, but to protect the most vulnerable on it.Organized efforts by deniers to discredit the science have been ongoing for decades. First, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, they claimed that climate change was not happening. Then, they suggested it was happening, but was a natural process. Followed by claiming that it’s anthropogenic, but somehow good for us and the planet. All these lines of argument were false and promoted in order to put profit ahead of climate science.
With such ongoing efforts to undercut the facts, politicians and businesses have successfully used bad science to advance their interests. Political appointees beholden to oil interests have been put in charge of our most significant environmental institutions. Fossil fuel companies have successfully lobbied for massive tax breaks to make their businesses more profitable. And virtually every major bank has continued to support the oil and gas industry investing our money to profit from climate change.While climate change affects every place and person on the planet, our most vulnerable neighbors in front line communities suffer disproportionately. They don’t have second homes to escape fires and floods nor the resources to rebuild after they pass. Polluting power plants are often located in less affluent neighborhoods populated disproportionately by people of color. And indigenous peoples, who have an intimate connection to the land, are seeing their way of life destroyed by rising waters, raging fires, drought and species extinction.
But the tide is turning. On Earth Day 2020, the Pew Research Center released a study that found that two-thirds of Americans believe the government should be doing more to fight climate change. The YEARS Project has been instrumental in achieving that milestone. By providing unrelenting, science-based storytelling to our millions of followers on social media and via an extended network with a reach of more than 400 million people, we have covered and amplified the youth climate movement, supported divestiture campaigns, provided a platform for leading scientists, called out the deniers and outlined the solutions that will get us to a carbon free world. Now that the facts are clear, we will continue using powerful, personal stories to outline the solutions, give voice to the communities most at risk and support the ground game in the battle to save our home. The YEARS Project is the only media organization dedicated solely to covering climate change. Beginning with our award-winning series “Years of Living Dangerously”— seen in more than 170 countries — and continuing through hundreds of millions of views of our social first videos, we have used the power of story to motivate action on climate. We know the approach works. Stories guide us, unite us and provide a framework for understanding where we are and what we face and in the end, stories might very well save us from ourselves.
CREDO is proud to be an ally of the YEARS Project and to support them via our CREDO Donations Program for the first time this month. To learn more about our donations program and vote for this month’s grantees, please visit CREDODonations.com.