We are an environmental movement dedicated to inspiring people to act against the Climate Crisis. This is our foundational statement and a guide on how to talk about the Climate Crisis.
Information + Inspiration = Action
The heating of the Earth is a scientific issue. The Climate Crisis isn’t; it’s a human issue, a cultural issue, an issue of what we value. Carbon emissions that pollute the air around us may have caused global temperatures to increase, but we are only in a crisis because of the decisions that have been made by humans about what is important: the economy, the environment, profit, power. The Climate Crisis is a crisis of values. So to respond to it we need to rethink what is important to us - as citizens of the world - and transform our societies so that they reflect those values.
The struggle we face is a social struggle played out on a rhetorical battlefield.
There’s a lot of noise about ‘climate change’ or ‘breakdown’ on social media, in the news and in politics. In fact there’s so much noise that it’s hard to pick up on the voices that are truly important. However, the discussions that take place are about science and economics, and are often overwhelmingly negative. They are not about humans. We are fed statistics that mean little to us, we hear tales of destruction, looming apocalypse and hopelessness. We hear of time running out, of ‘losing Earth’ and of failure.
What we do not hear is a human voice. We do not hear hope. We cannot see a future. The fight against the Climate Crisis is not a struggle to be won by scientists, as the science is already known and agreed upon. It is the struggle of engaging people and governments with a problem of extraordinary magnitude in a way that inspires them to come together and act to change the course of history. The struggle we face is a social struggle played out on a rhetorical battlefield. A storm is coming, but we can be louder.
We firmly believe that our voice is powerful and change is possible.
Louder Than The Storm exists to bring a human voice into a discussion dominated by scientists, economists and politicians. We exist to replace despair with hope, fear with inspiration and anger with love. We place an emphasis on creativity, writing, art and film as a way to encourage people to reconnect with their natural surroundings and overcome feelings of apathy towards the Climate Crisis as a result.
We recognise that the Climate Crisis is a human issue with political players. We recognise that fossil fuel companies and governments are often intertwined, and many of the solutions to the Climate Crisis require decisive government action that prioritises long-term well-being over short-term agendas. Luckily for us, social movements have a striking history of success and the environmental movement is no different from them. We firmly believe that our voice is powerful and change is possible. However, power concedes nothing without a demand and we must make that demand.
To solve a human problem, we must be human.
The facts of the Climate Crisis may be alarming, but that does not mean that we have to be alarmist. We insist on looking forward, being pragmatic and creating change rather than dwelling on our failures. How we talk about the Climate Crisis dictates how people will respond to it. If we are to engage the entire global community in a discussion of their future, we must talk directly to individuals in a way that empowers and inspires them to act.
To solve a human problem, we must be human.
How to talk about Climate Change.
Appeal to what people value, not what they know.
Data is important, facts are important, but when you are encouraging a person to reconnect with the world around them, you must inspire their hearts, not just appeal to their minds. In fact, it is very easy to dismiss ‘the environment’ as just another factor in a business decision, economic discussion or political debate. What distinguishes ‘the environment’ from every other factor is that we are part of it, we depend on it and we can only flourish if it does. However, narratives of destruction and apocalypse only create fear (such as you might find in a rabbit caught in headlights) and apathy as people feel that any changes they make are futile. The language we use when discussing the environment reflects what it is we value. A discussion of ‘protecting natural resources’ naturally tends towards economics, and the possible exploitation of the natural world. Instead, try discussing your appreciation for wildlife and its importance in every aspect of your living.
We have to be people who set each other free.
Make the Climate Crisis tangible.
One of the greatest obstacles for environmental movements to overcome is the distance people feel between themselves and the problem. ‘Carbon emissions’, ‘global warming’ and images of melting ice are all highly relevant, but are hard to visualise and have seemingly no part in our daily lives. An important part of expressing the issue of climate change is translating these scientific terms into ones that people understand and recognise. We do this by rooting our discussion in tangible terms. The fact that there are tonnes of CO2 pollution in the upper atmosphere may not seem that concerning to most, but that the air in the breath you just took is dirty and polluted does.
It is also important to discuss the Climate Crisis in tangible terms as some of us live in places where global heating may not seem like an immediate threat. However, there are people, particularly those in the Global South, who face a very real threat of losing their homes, livelihood or food security as a result of climatic changes. It is important in addressing the injustices and intersectionality of Climate Change to emphasise how the lives of other humans around the world are affected.
Knowing what I know now, there would be no future peace for me if I kept silent.
You are part of a huge community.
The Climate Crisis can seem overwhelming and almost impossible to overcome. However, none of us are alone in this struggle and although our individual actions may seem small, as a community we have the power to change the world. There is nothing more empowering in the struggle against climate change than realising how many other people are with you. Our rhetoric, therefore, must emphasise interconnectivity and the spirit of our international community of people striving for a better future.
The most important rule for an individual in this fight is how not to remain an individual. How to join a movement big enough to change the politics.
Positivity in the face of adversity.
The story of the Climate Crisis is not the story of destruction that we need to avoid; it is the story of the steps we take to avoid it. To inspire action we must emphasise how the problem can be addressed, how we can adapt and how we can create change together. The scale of the crisis is, of course, huge and it is important to faithfully convey this reality. However, rapid, drastic progress is also possible and that is the greatest tool we have in encouraging people to join our struggle.
Courage is as contagious as fear.
We may be angry but we must teach love.
It is understandable to feel anger and rage at those who have recklessly damaged the environment to such an extent that we face a crisis today. However, a movement that inspires action and looks to the future must engage with people based on a shared love for the Earth, not a shared anger at its pollution. It is our love for the Earth and for life that connects us all, and it is that love that will inspire us to protect it.
We have to begin to have a conversation that incorporates a vision of love with a vision of outrage.
Together, we have the power to correct injustice, create change and create the course of history. Never forget what you love about the Earth, and never forget what you're fighting for.
Our voice is powerful.
Change is possible.
By Louder Than The Storm founders George Jeffreys and Aimée Lister.