What Makes Yale Climate Connections Stories Work?
Cora Hagens, Natasha Feshbach, Mallika Talwar and Joshua Low, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, January 23rd 2024
In December 2022, Wired published an essay entitled “Storytelling Will Save the Earth.” The article emphasized the need to connect emotionally and harness the “power of motivation, imagination, and personal values, which drive the most powerful and permanent forms of social change.” Storytelling is the perfect tool for this, as it helps us make sense of the world around us, bringing more salience and emotion to the climate crisis than abstract statistics. While the power of storytelling may not be surprising, it might be hard to imagine how to produce effective climate stories. Yale Climate Connections (YCC), Yale’s climate news service, models effective climate communication through its radio program, podcast, website, and YouTube channel. YCC’s stories feature diverse people and organizations describing the impacts of climate change on the people, places, and things they care about, right here, right now. YCC stories also profile diverse people and organizations describing how they are taking action to reduce carbon emissions or prepare for climate impact – role modeling active citizenship for a national audience.