Posted by: henrymcghie | April 27, 2017

Museums and the climate challenge

Hello this is just a quick update on some of the things I/we’ve been doing in Manchester. It’s been quite a whirlwind couple of months, so I’ll use that as an excuse for not updating this blog more regularly. In February I organised a conference on climate change communication, along with Walter Leal of Manchester Metropolitan University and Hamburg University. We had 100 delegates from 25 countries, exploring challenges and best practice in not just communication the information about climate change, but focussing on how we can inspire action and confidence. I did a talk based on the experience of Climate Control (2016) and Living Worlds (2011). The short version is that we know information on climate change just isn’t enough to inspire and encourage action. In fact, the depressing imagery of polar bears and graphs showing steep curves up or down has been shown to be WORSE THAN DOING NOTHING. Excuse the SCARY CAPITALS, but I think it’s really important to emphasise this point. The media loves a scary image, but these are not the kind of thing that will support and enable action. I’ll have a lot more to say on this subject. In our Climate Control exhibition, we focussed on combining information on climate change- what it is, what causes it, its impacts- with lots and lots and lots of opportunities for people to get hands-on, express themselves, share their ideas, make a new Manchester out of Lego, and lots more besides.

In February, I was very privileged to spend a week with a fantastic group of people as Creative Climate Leaders, at the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth in Wales. We explored what matters most to us, what we and our organisations have to offer in terms of meeting the climate challenge.


visitors added black stickers to the Climate Control exhibition to represent their carbon footprint- the idea was around collective impact


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