Climate Change Messaging for ‘Generation Hot’

by Bill Chameides | February 18th, 2011
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

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A slick, animated, hip-hop take on climate change for the younger generation.

When it comes to climate change, how the information is given and who delivers the message appear to have a huge effect on how people receive the information and perceive the problem. Recent research suggests that messages that focus on solutions rather than dire warnings work better. (See two recent posts here and here.) At least for adults. But what about kids? What works best for the younger generations, the segment of our population that environmental reporter and author Mark Hetsgaard refers to as “generation hot”?

ACE Trailer from ACE Space on Vimeo.


The Alliance for Climate Education or ACE thinks it’s got the answer and has taken its animated presentation on the road to high schools across the country. The basic theme and call to action go something like this: we youth didn’t cause this global warming thing but it’s up to us to solve it. And it’s wrapped into an upbeat, funny multimedia presentation that continuously entertains while it informs. You can get a sense of what they’re doing by watching the trailer.

Does it work? Well to judge by reactions posted on the group’s Web site, the video is getting rave reviews from kids and educators everywhere. Maybe so, but bear in mind that that’s according to ACE — the ones who produced it. Nevertheless, it’s different and it’s raising an issue that high schoolers should be thinking about and I suspect often are not. Even more noteworthy: the ACE effort is one more sign that the task of informing the public about climate change, formerly the sole domain of scientists and journalists, is being taken up by a far more creative group of artists and communicators — and in this scientist’s view, none too soon.

filed under: climate change, faculty, global warming, science

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