Europe is currently experiencing the most severe winter heatwave it’s ever seen. Over the past few days, record temperatures were not just broken — but obliterated — across the continent, making this the warmest January in modern history. Do extreme weather events like this mean that climate change is happening faster than expected? And if so, what can we (still) do to stem the tide?
Faced with questions like these, it can be easy to fall into anxiety and inaction. But it’s important to remember that the answers we are looking for are nuanced, and building a better world requires us to deal with such complexities. Because every fraction of a degree matters; especially to those living on the frontlines of the climate emergency.
Fortunately, there’s a growing wave of creative storytellers who are working hard to produce inspiring content that helps people engage with the crisis as something more than an abstract threat. A lot of these conversations are now happening online, where climate activists are able to reach wider audiences with both granular and sweeping ideas.
During the pandemic, a group of these media-makers launched the WaterBear network, the first interactive streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet. Since then they’ve published an impressive catalogue of documentaries, locally-told stories, NGO campaigns, eco-travel series and more on various issues related to climate action, biodiversity, sustainability and community.
THE STORIES BEHIND THE NUMBERS
Recently, WaterBear released 1.5 Degrees of Confusion: a short film series created in collaboration with Ecologi. Through colourful visuals and concise commentary, the project aims to unpack some of the most common misconceptions and misunderstandings about ‘the most important number on the planet’.
This concept comes from the latest climate science, which tells us that we must keep global heating under 1.5 degrees if we want to maintain a liveable future. ‘The problem is, when it comes to tackling the climate crisis, it can all be a bit baffling,’ explained the creators. ‘In this series, we set out to clear up some of the confusion, from whether individuals or businesses are more responsible for climate change, the difference between Net Zero and Carbon Neutral, and how to speak to your boss about making the office more climate conscious.’
The balance of careful research, easy-to-follow analysis and practical tips makes the series a useful watch for young and old viewers alike. All three episodes of 1.5 Degrees of Confusion are now available to watch for free on the WaterBear platform, along with dozens of other award-winning titles, including powerful productions like Earthrise’s Breakdown series and Greta Thunberg’s For Nature.