Weekly Round Up: turbine sickness? the answer is blowin’ in the wind

We have a Monday round up this week! Take a look at how youth are changing the climate conversation in popular media, climate change causes a coughing fit, and renewable energy can be contagious.


Your communications should take into account who you’re talking to.
Millennials, Change, and Outlook for Climate Activism and Coverage
In case you needed more evidence that it’s important to reach out to youth – young activists are putting a face to abstract issues, and they’re getting popular media attention. Their activities – Keystone XL protests, the college divestment movement – have a concrete nature that makes it easier for traditional media outlets to cover what’s happening. Also includes some useful stats on Millenials and climate beliefs.


When communication on climate and conservation, it can help to have interesting and relatable angles to make the connection. These items may help spark an idea or give you new ways to make the case for conservation.
Environmental threats could push billions into extreme poverty, warns UN
It feels like we post this every week. A new UN report urges immediate action on climate change, or those most vulnerable will suffer the consequences. If urgent action is not taken, the number of people living in extreme poverty could increase by up to 3 billion(!) by 2050. The world has made great progress in reducing poverty between 1990 and 2008, but climate change could be a huge future stumbling block.
More carbon emissions, more asthma attacks
“Climate change could cause pollen counts to more than double over the next 30 years.” That phrase alone should strike fear into the hearts of those with flowering trees in the neighborhood. Worse, the pollen itself could actually be more potent. This is a pain for people with allergies of any kind, but for those with severe asthma it could be deadly.

Thoughts and news

Interesting opinions or analyses for communicators.
Sustainability is dead – or the way we talk about it should be buried
Thoughtful piece by Peggy Liu of JUCCCE about the misguided way we talk about sustainability. She begins by using sustainable consumption as an example – if we REALLY want something we’ll get it even if we know it’s bad. Why not move away from dull, cold words we use to describe sustainable products (low carbon, circular economy, collaborative consumption) and towards the language of emotion?
Study finds solar panels are “contagious”
A new Stanford study has found that for every 1% increase in the number of solar panel installations in a neighborhood, the time until the next installation in that neighborhood decreases by 1%. This reinforces something we already knew – perception of normality has a real effect on behavior. If you see that the Jonses down the street are getting a solar panel, you’re more likely to think it’s the right choice. And if the Jonses AND the Smiths are getting panels… what are you waiting for?
Windfarm sickness spreads by word of mouth
Speaking of contagious renewables, here’s a flip side. There have been complaints of illness brought about by turbines in some communities near wind farms, but a new study shows the answer is (isn’t?) blowin’ in the wind. The Australian report found that the majority of complaints (68%) came from residents near wind farms heavily targeted by anti-wind groups. Over 80% of the complaints began after 2009, when the activist groups began messaging about health concerns. In short – confirmation bias.