Despite waves of environmental movements, climate change remained a relatively economically, politically and socially marginalised issue until recently. Climate activists weren’t able to gather the resources — diverse perspectives and skill sets as well as material support — needed to secure sufficient political and social buy-in for meaningful change. For this reason, climate scientists nobly rose to the challenge of also communicating the science to the public. But communications is its own science, and scientists were not only taking on a role that was out of their comfort zone, they were also up against well-funded disinformation campaigns and lobbying by the fossil fuel industry.
Full-time climate communications work is no longer a rarity. Yet as a relatively new career path, it’s full of uncertainty, with a need to experiment, ‘feed’ on errors, learn quickly and iterate. Focusing on practice offers the chance to correctly position knowledge as cumulative and up for revision. It provides an opportunity for an honest reckoning with human cognitive limitations, an approach that is in sync with a world that, with every passing shock, seems to be demanding we adapt to it.Continue reading “The Story is a Forest: How to Talk About Climate Change”