Media, Millennial’s, and Climate Change

Brian Bestgen is a student at the University of Central Missouri majoring in Digital Media Production.  He is guest blogging for the Show Me Justice Film Festival as a part of a project for his Media Promotions course.  He is also a millennial.


Climate change has been a topic of debate for decades, with the scientific community seemingly overwhelmingly saying that man-made climate change


via Pew Research

is real and an issue.  Yet despite this there is a divide within the American people over whether we believe it and whether humans are responsible for climate change.  However, millennial’s seem warmer to the idea that man-made climate change is a problem.  According to a Pew Research poll, 93% of ALL Democrats believe climate change has an effect on the United States.  It also shows a change in views between older Republicans and millennial Republicans as over half of millennial Republicans believe climate change is effecting the United States.  This also shows that millennial’s are the first generation to have a majority of people within the demographic believe in climate change.  A part of the reason for this change may be attributed to how it is being presented to the new generation and the ability of new technology to show the effects.

On Tuesday, Greenpeace shared a music video on YouTube that helps demonstrate one way modern technology and strategy helps inform the new generations on the issue of climate change.

The music video is effective because it presents these stunning shots of the Antarctic and the animals that live there in a way that could only be presented now.  It gives the audience a connection to what needs to be saved and why it’s important.  Also present in the music video is an original song from Thom Yorke from the famous band Radiohead.  The quality of the music accents the shots being shown and the big name of the person creating the song helps bring people in to watch it.

Other examples of this is the BBC series Planet Earth and The Blue Planet which showcases similar breathtaking shots over several episodes and all throughout the plant.  The series also brings in composers like Hans Zimmer’s contribution to the Blue Planet II soundtrack.

Perhaps the most known early example of using popular media to bring the message to the world is the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth.  This was a documentary lead by former Vice President and Presidential candidate Al Gore really bringing the importance of the issue to a wide audience.  There was also a sequel to this a decade later that took a look at how close we are to an energy revolution.

Another popular documentary lead by a famous figure is Before the Flood which was produced and narrated by Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio.  The documentary also brought in a popular composer in Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor.

All these projects packaged these important facts in a way a scientific study cannot.  They are able to use modern technology to present stunning shots and sounds to immerse the audience in nature and in what we are all trying to protect.  They also bring in popular names in order to help bring in a larger audience so more people hear the message.

Have you watched any of these documentaries/videos?  Do you have a favorite?  Any other media out there you think had a big impact?

Posted on October 18, 2018, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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