Doing it right
Deputy Director of the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, Rod Lamberts, recently published an article in The Conversation. He points out that scientists need to be aware of two things when trying to communicate climate change; who their audience is and what their goals are.
ITHYF’s audience is the apathetic and disengaged. People that may be aware of the existence of climate change but don’t see the relevance to their own lives, or just don’t see it as a problem. Our goal is to raise awareness of climate change in this audience and to combat apathy. This is a big challenge, even the scientists feel apathetic sometimes.
It’s not all about fear
Something that struck me as suprising whilst collecting and compiling all the letters for this project was the vast number of emotions being expressed by the scientists. I expected fear to dominate.
Fear is a valid emotion, but it can lead to more apathy. Fear of something that is seen as 'too hard' to change can lead to people simply altering their own outlook and ignoring the real problem.
Certainly some scientists have said they are scared, even angry. But many have shown optimism too. Many researchers are still hopeful that we as a global community can work together and turn this disaster around.
And thing is, we can do something about climate change, but we need to do it now.
A selection of ITHYF letters were recently shown at ANU’s Photospace Gallery. Many viewers indicated that the exhibition made them want to learn more, and do something about climate change. I feel this letter, left by an individual who viewed the exhibition, is evidence that we are achieving something;
So, if we take all this into account is ITHYF worthwhile and effective?
I think so.