Understanding the climate crisis – YouTube channels, for…
The name is German for “in a nutshell” and aptly describes this science communication channel’s approach to urgent and silly science questions. The channel covers all sorts of topics (and in multiple languages), but climate change is a constant concern. Their original animation videos such as We will fix climate change! are nihilistic with optimism and use simply understandable language, even if this leads to many radical statements. That’s not to say these videos are unfounded – each video provides a detailed list of peer-reviewed sources.
Rollie Williams is a cheeky and irreverent climate science grad from Columbia University who creates fun, scathing, and informative videos to help you “educate yourself about the climate crisis before the weather does it for you.” Videos of around 20 minutes are released every month or so, and specific to a topic he’s happily pissed off about, like Plastic recycling is a real scam.
Dr Adam Levy “ClimateAdam” is a British climate scientist who creates simple, fun videos every week explaining climate science, policy and controversy. If nothing else, the channel is an easy way to catch up on ways to fight climate change and the political agendas behind environmental jargon such as “Loss and Damage.”
Zentouro makes extremely useful videos summarizing and explaining the consequences of dense climate policy and reporting. It sometimes collaborates with ClimateAdam, but this channel is more specialized, technical and in-depth. Its goal is to equip the public with tools and resources to engage in climate discussions, despite their restrictive academic language and boredom.
Climate lab – Vox
Vox’s videos are informative and perfectly edited, and their climate work is no exception. Climatic laboratory is their video series produced in partnership with the University of California. Hosted by conservation scientist Dr M Sanjayan, these videos explore the surprising elements of life that contribute to climate change and the groundbreaking work being done to fight back. There are only nine parts, so the whole series equals one feature – it’s definitely worth it.
20Twenties: The Eve of Destruction
The song – a new take on a brilliant 1965 anthem – was born out of frustration with climate change journalism failing to spark action. As Hans Christian Andersen said so well: “Where words fail, music speaks.” Performed by South African singer Anneli Kamfer, with South African production, the message it conveys is global. To listen, go here.
TED talks have become so established that their own frustrating clichés have developed. For this reason, the Global TED countdown is a mix of niche presentations – they may not always improve your understanding of climate change, but they will remain topical and entertaining. TED also has a short one-minute animated video playlist answering 5 questions about climate change.
Maggie is a Gen-Z climate activist and YouTuber who makes discursive and informal videos about the intersection of climate change and social justice. Her fresh, progressive voice on sustainability provides a great channel for young adults to engage with environmental justice in a modern, familiar, and authentic style of communication.
Many similar chains promote a low-impact lifestyle (zero waste, plant-based and ethical) but this one is less pretentious than most of them. Videos are uploaded twice a week and cover topics ranging from zero-waste swaps, ethical fashion and minimalism, to climate change and plant-based recipes.
Our changing climate
A bi-weekly video essay series that explores humanity’s relationship to the natural world. The videos are impactful, current and highly curated. In addition to “how it works” videos explaining trending topics such as climate anxiety, much of the content is calmly and rightly anti-establishment.
Drilled is an independent media focused on climate accountability, investigating the various factors holding back climate action. Their true crime podcast traces the history of fossil fuels and big oil companies with blood on their hands. Some of the more recent episodes have looked at how Big Oil is using the pandemic to push more plastic.
How to save a planet
An ongoing communication podcast series on climate science that unpacks “inspiring and intelligent stories about the mess we’re in and how to get out of it”. Host Alex Blumberg and his team of climate nerds are used to simplifying dense science content. If you’re energized by their solutions-focused approach to the crisis, the podcast is linked to an archive of calls to action, to guide you to more information to get involved.
Quanta Magazine is an editorially independent online publication that aims to improve public understanding of science. They produce several good math and science podcasts, which sometimes focus on climate science.
Emergence magazine podcast
Emergence Magazine emphasizes the links between ecology, culture and spirituality. While their episodes aren’t always focused on sharing the facts, they take a more holistic perspective, featuring interviews, author-narrated essays, and climate-related fiction.
Hopecast by Jane Goodall
As well as being a seasoned climate activist and environmentalist, Dr. Jane Goodall is an excellent storyteller. His podcast on the climate crisis, while acknowledging the seriousness of climate change, fights fear with fierce optimism and hope.
Free online resources
NASA has a brilliant, user-friendly site devoted to climate education. In addition to sharing news, educational tools, how-to videos and amazing photographs, the site’s helpful interactive homepage tracks the state of the global climate over time across multiple parameters.
This website is run by a global network of scientists who verify climate change claims in the media and public discourse. A handy tool in an age when anyone can claim to be an expert, with only a few dubious sources.
Albert is a community focused on creating climate impact through the creative industries, especially film and television. Their site offers editorial guides, free training and articles on how and why to promote sustainability in your productions as a creative. DM/ML
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