Films such as Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth can change the way viewers think and feel about climate change, suggests a Commentary published online this week in Nature Climate Change.
In a study measuring psychological changes immediately after viewing clips from An Inconvenient Truth, psychologist Geoffrey Beattie found that "extracts from the film had a significant effect on mood as well as on explicit attitudes, and some clips were much more effective than others". He urges educators, policymakers and others who are trying to communicate climate change to a broad audience to learn from his findings, and employ some of Gore's more successful strategies to good effect.
However, he notes, the challenge remains of building effectively on the immediate psychological effects induced by the best bits of the film, so that viewers do actually change their behaviour.
Ecology: Climate change can aggravate over half of known human pathogensNature Climate Change
Environment: Salt may inhibit lightning in sea stormsNature Communications
Environment: Plastic pollution encourages bacterial growth in lakesNature Communications
Ecology: Using fallow land to grow vanilla increases biodiversityNature Communications