Better Climate Stories 📚 & Narratives 🗣️📰 = A Better Future

by | October 15, 2021

Two main things for you today:

  • Our latest podcast episode is out featuring award-winning actor and director Damon Gameau who recently produced an inspiring and hopeful documentary on climate solutions called 2040.
  • We’re hosting a virtual screening of 2040 on Wednesday, November 3rd at 7 pm ET! Also, we made sure the film will be available online for 48 hours in case you’re busy at the initial time. Get your tickets here – they’re free, donations encouraged!

Climate solutions are here and ready to go

The great majority of solutions to our planetary emergency exist today.

Rapidly scaling these solutions would save us trillions of dollars over time…not to mention millions upon millions of people’s lives.

But as Project Drawdown says, “solutions do not scale themselves.”

And not only do they not scale themselves, but there are incredibly powerful special interests like the fossil fuel industry who have spent billions to prevent and delay climate solutions from seeing the light of day by paying off politicians and conducting what may be the biggest propaganda campaign the world has ever seen.

They’ve been doing this for decades. And they’re still at it as you read this.

So, to counteract these forces and scale climate solutions, people like you and me need to step up and accelerate these solutions in the places where we live and work.

How do we accelerate climate solutions?

“Accelerators are critical to move solutions forward at the scale, speed, and scope required.” – The Drawdown Review

According to The Drawdown Review, there are seven main accelerators. The most powerful accelerator is to “Shape culture”.

This is as intangible and immeasurable as it is important.

Cultural norms determine what is acceptable in society and what isn’t.

Culture is the context – the foundation upon which decision-makers stand when they make the policy and investment decisions that determine future emissions.

So creating a culture where people understand how dangerous and deadly ongoing greenhouse gas emissions truly are, and, more importantly, how much better our lives will be once climate solutions are implemented, is absolutely critical.

This will be a culture where policy or investment decisions that make the planetary emergency worse will simply be unacceptable – where there would be social, political, and financial consequences for any individual making such harmful decisions. This will be a culture where people expect and demand that climate solutions be rapidly implemented at every level of society.

How do we shape culture?

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

As it is with individuals, it is with society: beliefs ultimately shape our direction and destiny.

And as I’ve written before, there are some fundamental beliefs that led us down the dangerous and deadly path we find ourselves on today.

Society as we know it today was built on the belief that profit is more important than people and the planet. And that people are apart from nature, rather than a part of nature.

These beliefs are not true. This story is a lie.

I believe deep down nearly everyone knows that people matter more than money. And that we have an inherent connection with, and dependence on, the natural world.

People are ready for a new, better, more inspiring, and more accurate story.

So we must speak up and tell this story – over and over again.

We must start telling better, more accurate stories about how things actually work, and how we can be in the world in a way that actually reflects our values.

Again, we have to paint the picture and emphasize just how much better all of our lives will be once life-preserving climate solutions have replaced all of the life-taking polluting systems.

We need to switch to a narrative that understands that this moment in time is actually a massive opportunity. It’s an opportunity to transform our broken system into something that operates within planetary boundaries and works for everybody, not just the ultra-wealthy.

As more people start telling this story over and over, and backing it up with congruent actions, we will change the narrative and change the culture.

This will be key to accelerating climate solutions and helping to reverse warming as quickly and equitably as possible.

Better Climate Stories 📚 & Narratives 🗣️📰= A Better Future

I was fortunate enough to speak with someone who is a master storyteller. Someone who has thought deeply about societal narratives and telling a better climate story for years: Damon Gameau.

Damon is an award-winning actor and director widely known for “That Sugar Film” which is the all-time highest-grossing documentary in Australia.

But his latest documentary, 2040, may be my favorite climate doc to date. With a touch of humor, great visuals, and highlighting people scaling up today’s climate solutions, Damon paints a hopeful picture of what the world could be in 2040 – a world that his 7-year-old daughter, Velvet, will someday inherit.

Damon is brilliant. You won’t want to miss this one! (Watch|Listen)


0:00 Intro.

1:10 Damon’s climate journey.

4:45 Where did the idea for 2040 come from?

12:15 Damon’s tips for talking about climate change with others.

18:20 Behind the scenes: what it was like making the film & lessons learned.

22:00 The unimaginable speed of climate action & meaningful jobs over the next decade.

25:00 Donut economics explained.

30:15 (Much needed) advice for media and journalists on covering climate.

31:30 The importance of stories (we’re all storytellers). How art & stories shape culture – which decides what ideas live or die.

36:00 How Damon talks to his young daughter about climate.

40:35 The 2040 community and impact campaign.

45:00 How to join the 2040 community & make an action plan.

50:45 Where/how to watch 2040.

53:10 Book recommendations.

56:20 Damon’s final call to action.

Favorite quotes

“Climate change will be the number one movement in human history.” – Paul Hawken
“I think this idea of story is so crucial – in fact probably the most crucial aspect to this whole problem because we’re all telling a story to ourselves with every interaction…about who you are, how you you interact.
Collectively, humanity has one as well and whether we know it or not we’re all kind of swimming in it. And it largely says that we need to keep growing and we need to keep extracting and nature is separate from us and you know we’re selfish greedy human beings and it’s all about the individual and there’s no such thing as community. All these things have been cultured and have been told to us by other people and we buy into it as a collective story. And I’m here to tell you that we can change it and a lot of it is absolute nonsense.
So the role of media, the role of storytellers, poets, artists, songwriters, musicians, has never been more important because what their role is is to shape culture. And then that culture decides what lives and dies, survives or thrives. So if we aren’t telling better stories then people are going to keep believing this story that they’re told by mainstream narratives and we’re going to fly off the cliff and everything’s going to fall apart…
We are all storytellers…we need to tell better stories because we are social animals and we forget that we are very malleable and adaptable…we’re constantly sending social cues to each other about how to behave and what the norm is so we can flip our collective story very very quickly.” – Damon Gameau
“The greatest danger to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan
“You are far more powerful than you realize. And the planet needs you. So please step up.” – Damon Gameau

We’re hosting a 2040 Screening!


When: Wednesday, Nov 3, 2021 7:00 PM ET

​We’ll be having a discussion after the film for those who’d like to join.

And the film will be available to watch anytime for 48 hours in case you’re busy during the initial screening but would like to watch.

Get your tickets here to watch 2040!

We’ve covered the ~$300 to $600 screening cost so it’s 100% free to anyone who’d like to watch. Though we would like to treat this as a fundraising event for Crowdsourcing Sustainability and the impact we’re making so donations are encouraged!

Like I said, the movie is fantastic. Hope to see you there and to chat with you afterward 🙂

This post originally featured in the Crowdsourcing Sustainability newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter below!

What others are saying:

“Strikes the perfect balance between smart, understandable, funny, and compelling.” – Jackie

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