The Moving Image and Climate Change 6.1.16


Our old TV less lounge

I have always had a preference for the written word and my wife and I remain in the 1% of the Australian population that do not have a TV. However in retirement I have used the ABC’s iview occasionally on my computer for entertainment (a timewasting ‘whodunit’) or work (Mediawatch, climate and renewable energy programs). I also have a number of friends and relatives who contact me when something is being shown relevant to my interests. Recently I have seen three programs or films on climate and renewable energy worth commenting on.

The first was the Naomi Klein film This Changes Everything which was screened at the Paynesville Community Centre on 3 December with an audience of 32. I have a brief blog on this event here  The second was Time to Choose which was sent by my sister in Canada. Unfortunately I was continually disrupted by the phone and other household chores whilst trying to watch this.

The third was an ABC Foreign Correspondent program called How to Save the World (no longer available on iview). It was more succinct than the Klein film and delivered a precise message – tying renewable energy advances to the end of coal. The organiser of the Paynesville screening Laura Owen noted: “After watching the foreign correspondent on iview on Tuesday night I did wish I was screening that rather than the film [This Changes Everything] because I felt it had a more uplifting/encouraging tone to it. I thought Klein’s book gave a strong message of hope and empowerment that was not portrayed so much in the film. Anyway, it got people together and got a discussion happening so that is the main thing.”

On a personal note the messages become repetitive. I do not have to be persuaded but because climate change has been so politicised many in the general public do. They need to be alerted to the dire consequences of doing nothing. They need to be made aware how damaging ‘denialist’ opposition is. And these messages needs to be repeated continuously. There remains a huge knowledge gap between what the general population know and the basic science of climate change; how the greenhouse effect works, how the greenhouse effect became established science, how climate change influences weather, the connection between fossil fuels and warming and many other aspects that are either established or can be demonstrated.

A series of short educational adverts is needed to build an understanding of basic science of climate change in the wider community. These (mainly TV) ads should not be political. For a relatively small investment in public education our PM could help educate the masses and at the same time defeat the denialist faction within his party.