In a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, reporter Garry Maddox — under a headline that read “Cli-fi forum envisions TV dramas as ways to focus cameras on global warming issues” — wrote that for one marine ecologist Down Under, Professor Adriana Verges, the problem of climate change is so vital and urgent that scientists and TV producers need new strategies to draw public attention to it.
One way is through cli-fi novels, such as James Bradley’s “Clade” (which was recently re-released as an international paperback outside Australia where the original release did well inside the country). Another way is through Hollywood movies, such as “The Day After Tomorrow” from 2004 and this year’s latest cli-fi movie titled “Geostorm” from producer Dean Devlin.
For TV writers and producers in Australia, TV dramas appeal more and more as useful vehicles to reach the public with storytelling that has emotional heft and resonates with viewers.
Enter the idea of developing TV dramas that focus not on ”sci-fi” ….but on “cli-fi.”
And enter the Australian Film, Television and Radio School’s recent forum that brought together a variety of scientists, TV producers, actors and scriptwriters looking to make a dent in a public apathy that seems to be sleep-walking to a ”Climapocalypse” Down Under.
“For ages scientists have been using our graphs and our data and our facts to try to communicate our science, but it’s been demonstrated that this doesn’t really work very well,” Professor Verges told the Herald. “It very rarely influences people’s opinions and hardly ever motivates action.”
There are lessons here for TV producers and networks in North America and Canada as well. In every country on Earth!