Developing a positive narrative around climate change issues

1MW in the world by Bronte Hogarth – 1MW International Correspondent

Sustainability needs a new language, and developing a positive narrative around climate change issues may be our best hope. Although we are seeing increasing levels of environmental activism around the world, there is still a great need to expand the message to reach a larger circle of people.

Decades of ecological warnings have not been successful. Sustainability needs a narrative more compelling to the average person if we are going to see the societal changes necessary to combat climate change. We must do more than preach solely to the converted as the committed environmentalists in the world today are not enough to make these changes alone.

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This shouldn’t be so hard to do when you consider the fascinating realities and endless mysteries of our natural world! There is endless inspiration from nature to communicate climate change ideas in a way that’s both factually accurate and emotionally appealing. We are all part of the web of life that surrounds us, a piece-of-the-puzzle – and yet humanity is a piece that could affect the way the puzzle fits together forever.

Let’s change the narrative instead

Climate change and environmental communications have a history of being geared towards an elite group and not the general population. The typical language on climate change and sustainability information can be a confusing, and full of fear-inducing figures that ultimately prove to be both polarizing and paralyzing.

The planet’s ecosystems and the web of life we all coexist in must be appreciated as more than a collection of facts and figures. The earth should be portrayed at the centre of a hopeful narrative in which the value of sustainability is shown through the endless aspects in our natural world that will be safe-guarded.

Richard Matthews writes…

Finding ways of communicating the value of sustainability to the masses is one of the most prescient issues of our time. To disseminate the message on a truly global scale, we need to tap into the positive emotional and spiritual elements of the human psyche.

A holistic approach

Of course we need governments to be acting on climate change too through legislation and regulations. We also need businesses and organisations to be actively working to advance sustainability, but if we are to bring about lasting results, we need to be speaking to the hearts and minds of all people.

What is already evident:

  • Fact based approaches to climate change have not always worked.
  • Fear based approaches can make matters worse by breeding avoidance and apathy.

We need a holistic approach to this issue, where governments, businesses and people are all working together to change the consciousness of climate change and the need for sustainability on a global scale. We need a new system of messaging that uses factually accessible AND positive emotional elements. We need to inspire climate action.

This kind of communication is far more likely to induce people to act, and for sustainability to become embedded into our core value systems. Acting on climate change must become part of life, not an adjunct to life, something people embrace and practice everyday.

Inspiring climate action
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This is what 1 Million Women is all about. Inspiring climate action by showing how easy it is to make a difference through simple everyday actions, and by sharing stories about our incredible earth and the people thinking about the future.

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 2.35.57 PMNatalie Isaacs, 1MW CEO and Founder will be attending the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit happening this month in New York. At the 3-day summit involving 100 woman delegates from all the world, Natalie will be co-chairing a session focused on – Stories, Media and Messaging – Communicating Climate Change, Solutions and New Cultural Narratives.

This is going to be an incredible chance to discuss ideas and solutions for developing a positive narrative around climate change issues. We’d love your input to shape this discussion at the summit.

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We are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at www.1millionwomen.com.au