A non-profit group recently announced an effort to urge film and television writers to use climate change more often in their stories and productions.

The group, Good Energy, is a non-profit consulting organization. He recently announced the release of “Good Energy: A Playbook for Screenwriting in the Age of Climate Change”.

Good Energy found although many Hollywood stars talk about the issue, words related to climate change aren’t used much in movies. The group has helped financially support the search for words used in American movies and TV shows.

Researchers looked at the words, or transcripts, used in 37,453 movies and TV shows from 2016 to 2020. They found that 2.8% of fiction the films used words related to climate change.

The research on the transcripts was carried out by the Media Impact Project of the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Part of the study has not been published. The researchers looked for links to 36 words and phrases like “climate change” in TV shows and movies released in the United States.

Anna Jane Joyner is the editor of The Playbook and the founder of Good Energy. She said the “Playbook” was created with advice from more than 100 film and television writers.

She said it was a problem that writers associate climate stories with disaster. She said the main goal of the “Playbook” is to expand opportunities for writers to show how climate change would manifest in real life.

Joyner said his group is asking writers and industry leaders to consider stories that are less disaster-related. She said they should also include examples and resources.

Joyner said the band’s website has a “spectrumwith everything from the effects of climate change to possible responses. As an example, she said films could include shots showing solar panels outside a building. Casually talking about climate change can also be effective, she said.

Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Sierra Club and the Walton Family Foundation are among those supporting the project financially.

Dorothy Fortenberry is a television screenwriter. She wrote “The Handmaid’s Tale”. She said the industry needs to write about different types of people, not just different topics.

“Climate change is something that’s affecting people right now who aren’t necessarily the people that Hollywood tends to write stories. It affects farmers in Bangladesh, farmers in Peru, farmers in Kentucky,” Fortenberry said.

She added that if writers told stories about different types of people, there would be chances of including climate change easily.

Joyner says she has worked on climate change communications in different industries for 15 years.

She said for the first 10 years it was like “yelling in the emptybecause no one answered. But there is evidence of growing concern among Americans about climate change, she said. This includes those in Hollywood.

“We all went through some sort of awakening,” she says. There are a number of documentaries, films based on real events and news programs on climate change, she said.

She expressed hope that fiction creators will make progress.

I am Dan Friedell.

Lynn Elber reported this story for Voice of America. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English.


words in this story

fiction – nm stories written about people and events that are not real; literature that tells stories imagined by the writer

spectrum – nm a large group of possibilities; a wide range

solar panel not. a large flat piece of equipment that uses light or heat from the sun to create electricity

relaxed – adj. happens by chance: unplanned or expected

to tend to – v. used to describe what often happens or what someone often does or is likely to do

scream – v. say (something) in a loud, high-pitched voice because you are angry or scared

empty – nm a big empty space

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