At Moms Clean Air Force, we’ve discovered adding emotion and creativity to messaging about an intensely complicated issue, such as climate change, helps parents who may be propelled by fear of a bleak future, take notice. The popularity of our hopeful Keep Your Spirits Up ebook is testament that hope springs eternal. To shore us up to go beyond doom and gloom, we crave a constant stream of hope.
With this in mind, I listened intently to a story on NPR about scientist, Robert Davies. Davies was teaching quantum optics, not climate change, but he became intrigued by the Environmental Change Institute and decided to teach climate change and “what it could mean for the sustainability of life on this planet.”
“What concerned me most was the broad gap between what science understands about climate change, and what the public understands.”
The response to his lectures did not yield what he expected. He felt the audience didn’t seem to personally connect with the information.
“The audiences would understand it on an intellectual level … The science is pretty self-explanatory and very compelling … They understood it, but they weren’t feeling it — and weren’t taking any action.”
Davies decided he needed to figure out a way to change people’s behavior about climate change.
Taking a job at Utah State University Climate Center, he decided to try to reach people by combining performance art and performance science.
In collaboration with the Fry Street Quartet, the Crossroads Project was created. Working with a composer, a nature photographer and paintings inspired by nature, the Crossroads Project displayed projections of art behind the musicians during performances. The interpretive message of the music makes people think about air, water, warming temperatures.
While Davies admits he didn’t create the project to convert skeptics, his goal was to get those concerned to do something about climate change.
“It’s about convincing people who already believe we have these problems to start behaving like it.”
Violinist, Rebecca McFaul said this about the group’s effort,
“I was just thrilled at the thought of being able to use my art form — the medium of the string quartet — in some way that was relevant to this topic that I was so concerned about.”
She was so thrilled with Davies plan to bring attention to climate change that she married him!
Gosh, I love a happy ending.
If you’re inspired to action by art, music and optimism, do you think people will be affected by the Crossroads Project?
Watch, listen and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thank you!
Photo credit: Andrew McAllister | 2015