Inspiring effective climate activism and our Goal of Speeding Up Carbon Drawdown by Helping the Inactive Become Active
Effective Climate Action – the ‘Green’ Problem
For decades, environmental charities, campaigning groups, pressure groups and organisations have sounded the alarm on climate change. For decades, they pushed to reverse it.
Their work has been critically important in raising awareness, shifting public perception, and influencing decision-makers.
These organisations share a fundamental feature which can be an obstacle, something that See Through News seeks to avoid – their names.
- Extinction Rebellion
- The Green Party
- World Wide Fund for Nature
- Friends of the Earth
- The Nature Conservancy etc.
Branding yourself with words like ‘Green’, ‘Nature’, Earth, ‘Sustainability’ etc. has the obvious benefit of making your mission obvious. But also risks deterring anyone who doesn’t yet share it.
Walk up to someone in the street with a green rosette. Some will embrace you, beaming broadly, arms open. Others will cross the road, eyes averted, ears closed. The former are already on board; the latter are the ones you need to recruit.
Activists are few, inactivists are many. Reaching the ‘unconverted’ – the vast majority of people who are not engaged in climate activism is tough enough, even without the greenwashing distractions of the Three-Headed Beasts.
The more ‘extreme’ the activity, the greater the risk it may deter as many people as it inspires. Civil disobedience, however justifiable, can entrench opposition as well as eliminate obstacles.
This, then, is the Big Green Problem.
The See Through News Alternative
See Through News applauds the work of existing Green-badged environmental organisations. We share their destination of a sustainable future. It’s just that we’re providing an alternative path.
The first clue to our complementary, but different, approach is in our name. It’s literally transparent. ‘See Through News’ offers no hint of any ‘Green’ agenda.
For most of the Unconverted, our Goal begs more questions than it answers. Many climate activists struggle to define ‘carbon drawdown’. Even among those familiar with the term, few instinctively know what ‘Inactive’ and ‘Active’ mean in relation to it.
The originality of the See Through News approach is our particular combination of:
- Pragmatism Over Principle: our laser-like focus is on stopping adding carbon to our atmosphere and removing what’s already there. That’s it. We note a strong historical correlation between carbon reduction and values like human rights, democracy, income equality etc. but we care about the ends, not the means. We don’t seek to change existing political, economic and media systems, but to exploit them. Our activities have measurable carbon-reducing outcomes.
- Target The Unconverted. Our activity is directed towards the ‘Unconverted’ – or, as we categorise them, the Unwilling Inactivists. Many of the ‘Converted’ fall into our category of ‘Ineffective Activists’. They’re harder to convert than Unwilling Inactivists.
- Change the Rules, Not the Ruled: See Through News emphasises changing government regulation over changing individual behaviour. Of the top 20 list of the most effective means of reducing carbon calculated by the experts at Project Drawdown, only two are things we can influence as individuals. And they’re quite low down the list. The other 90% require government regulation.
- Storytelling, Not Lecturing: Our Goal is simple, but our Methodology is complex. Our projects, like our brand name, don’t advertise our carbon drawdown purpose. The more varied our points of engagement, the broader the audience we can attract. The more engaging our projects, the more effective they’ll be. STN’s Facebook groups, podcasts, video games, superhero drawing competitions, community filmmaking projects etc. are all designed as attractive starting points on a journey that ends in measurable carbon drawdown action. Combining traditional storytelling tricks with cutting-edge behavioural psychology and AI, STN aims not to tell the unconverted what they should do, but to induce them to ask us what they can do.
Our social media tagline is ‘Fun. Friendly. Factful’. The ‘factful’ element is a tribute to the pioneering science communicator Hans Rosling and his pioneering approach to science communication.
The See Through News Not-So-Secret Sauce
We construct transparent Trojan horses from:
- The data from groups like Project Drawdown
- The Radical Transparency of Audrey Tang
- The accessibility of Rosling’s Gapminder foundation
- The ‘free’ virtual infrastructure of our Silicon Valley Overlords
- Bleeding-edge AI technology
- Old-fashioned storytelling techniques like bedtime stories