I have been drawn back in-house for the last couple of years, working at some fantastic places including the Francis Crick Institute and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I have kept Puffling humming away in the background, so if you’re looking for communications support do get in touch.
There is a 97 per cent consensus among scientists. Ice caps are melting. Sea temperatures are rising. And yet we’ve dumped 200 billion tonnes of CO₂ into the atmosphere in the last seven years. Are we in denial about climate change and, as a result, unwilling to even talk about it?
We’re living in an ‘Information Age’ which makes achieving cut through for communications campaigns challenging. But every now and then I come across a campaign that really does stand head and shoulders above the rest. This week, it was the IFAW’s appeal for koala mittens that caught my attention.
If there’s one group of animals that has got it tough, it’s fair to say it’s the amphibians. Over the last decade populations across the globe have been decimated by an indiscriminate disease called chytrid fungus. And as if that wasn’t enough, a group of diseases wiping out amphibians in Spain has hit the headlines, as well as reports of a skin-eating fungus which is now threatening salamanders and newts in Europe. Ironically, the skin-eating variety is thought to have come from Asia and been spread by the exotic pet trade. It turns out that our love for amphibians is actually what’s killing them.
I have just returned from the British Science Festival which was its usual mix of thought-provoking talks and inspiring people, all of whom were united by their determination to answer some of society’s most pressing questions. One question raised was how to reduce carbon emissions in the face of continued dependency on fossil fuels? The International Energy Alliance (IEA) estimates that by 2050 our energy demands will have doubled, but renewable energy sources will only meet approximately 30 percent of that demand. How can we bridge this gap and still hit our emissions targets?
If I asked you what do you think is the most illegally traded mammal in the world, what would you reply? Elephant? Tiger? Rhino, even? You’ll be surprised to hear that the answer is the pangolin. Surprised perhaps because you may not even know what one is. And this is part of the pangolin’s problem. As today’s headlines report, they are being eaten to extinction and yet most people couldn’t even begin to describe what a pangolin looks like. This lack of awareness makes keeping them off the menu a real challenge.Continue reading
You could argue that a 20kg barrel jellyfish is entertaining in itself. But it’s Mango the dog doggy paddling in the background that truly makes this video clip. It’s unexpected, which is why it’s so brilliant. And it’s this element that makes people want to share the clip.
Mango’s cameo also provides a useful sense of scale, allowing us to fully appreciate the huge size of the tentacled creature pulsing in the foreground.
When we communicate a message, we ideally want to inspire some form of action. But getting people to act is difficult. Campaigners often try to shock people into leaping up from their sofas. But lately it seems that we have become somewhat shockproof. Could ‘doomsday’ messages be to blame? And is it about time that we delivered some good news?