Calling Out The Elephant In The Room: Reframing The Media

'Renewable energy target: emissions down, not in a good way'' screen shot of article by Judith Sloan, The Australian, 16 August 2016

Screenshot of opinion article by Judith Sloan, The Australian, 16 August 2016, ‘Renewable energy target: emissions down, not in a good way”

Everything is not always what it seems. Especially in the media.

Check out this opinion article in The Australian.

It illustrates someone who is scared of change (or who is speaking up for people and businesses who are scared of change) – particularly the large-scale changes that need to occur to protect our precious world and its ability to support life as we know it. In fact, those changes are already occurring.  It’s just that some people don’t want to admit it, so they try to pretend it isn’t happening – and try to change public opinion and governing systems in an attempt to try to stop the tide of change.

I have written before about how

We are living in a period of creativity and change, and there are plenty of companies, entrepreneurs and innovators that are thriving in it…

…we are sitting in the middle of the turbulent times between waves of industrial innovation – in this case, between the fifth and sixth waves (the use of oil, gas and synthetic materials really took off during the fourth innovation wave, from 1941 to 1973).

A few companies and industries have recognised this and are facing up to the challenges, but there is a long way to go for Australian industry generally.

Can Australian companies with major exposure to fossil gas change their mindset?

Will they continue to stymie innovation by clinging to the status quo, killing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment… and possibly end up as fossils themselves?

Or do they have the courage to step outside their comfort zone into an exciting new world of innovation, a world with thousands of jobs, billions of dollars of investment in renewable energy and new, sustainable materials and process technology – and a safer future?

A more honest headline for the article might have been: ‘Change is scary. I don’t want anything to change, especially our economy and especially if it affects me and my friends.’

So, how can we deal with misleading propaganda (because that’s what it is)?

We can call it out for what it is – and do so in public.

Write letters to the editor.  Call talk-back radio.  Tweet about it.  Add comments to articles in electronic media.  Share and comment on Facebook and LinkedIn.  Talk about it with friends.

On social media, pictures help grab readers’ attention – screen grabs (preferably square) are a great way of creating a graphic.  Tagging journalists and commentators help get their attention so that they can spread the word. Adding political or subject hashtags like #auspol or # climatechange or #ReframeGame help get the message out to a wider audience.

This ‘work’ is important – and fun – and you can easily do it on your smart phone or tablet while you are commuting or waiting.

In this way, you can join the growing movement to help shift the popular narrative from the old, backwards-looking way of thinking (the thinking that created problems like the climate emergency we are now facing) to a future-focussed way of looking at the world that is open to innovation and a safer future.

Join me!

[September 2016: links updated]