Tevya Turok Shapiro, Daily Maverick
The name is German for “in a nutshell” and aptly describes this science communication channel’s approach to both pressing and silly scientific questions. The channel covers all sorts of topics (and in several languages) but climate change is an enduring focus. Their quirky animated videos such as We WILL Fix Climate Change! are optimistically nihilistic, and use simply understood language, though it does lead to a lot of sweeping statements. That is not to say that these videos are unsubstantiated – each video provides a detailed list of peer-reviewed sources.
Rollie Williams is a cheeky, irreverent climate science graduate at Columbia University who creates funny, scathing and informative videos to help you “get informed about the climate crisis before the weather does it for you.” Videos about 20 minutes long are published every month or so, and specific to a topic he’s cheerfully pissed off about, such as Plastic Recycling is an Actual Scam.
Dr Adam Levy “ClimateAdam” is a British climate scientist who creates simple, playful videos explaining climate science, policies and controversies weekly. If nothing else, the channel is an easy way to get up to speed on the ways we can fight climate change and the political agendas behind environmental jargon such as “Loss and Damage”.
Zentouro makes extremely helpful videos summarising and explaining the consequences of dense climate policy and reports. She sometimes collaborates with ClimateAdam, but this channel is more specialised, technical and in-depth. Her focus is on empowering the public with tools and resources to engage in climate discussions, despite their restrictive academic language and tedium.
Vox videos are informative and excellently edited, and their work on the climate is no exception. Climate Lab is their video series produced in partnership with the University of California. Hosted by conservation scientist Dr M Sanjayan, these videos explore the surprising elements of life that contributes to climate change and the groundbreaking work being done to fight back. There are only nine parts, so the whole series amounts to the equivalent of one feature – it’s definitely worth your time.
The song – a new take on a brilliant anthem from 1965 – was born out of frustration from climate change journalism failing to trigger action. As Hans Christian Andersen once famously said: “Where words fail, music speaks.” Interpreted by South African singer Anneli Kamfer, with a South African production, the message it carries is global. To listen, go here.
TED talks have become so established that their own frustrating clichés have developed. For that reason, the TED Countdown Global is a mixed bag of niche presentations – they might not always improve your understanding of climate change, but still topical and entertaining. TED also has a short playlist of one-minute animated videos answering 5 questions about climate change.
Maggie is a Gen-Z climate activist and Youtuber who makes discursive, informal videos about the intersection of climate change and social justice. Her fresh, progressive voice on sustainable development offers a great channel for young adults who want to engage with environmental justice in a modern communication style that is familiar and authentic.
Many similar channels advocate a low-impact lifestyle (zero-waste, plant-based and ethical) but this one is less pretentious than the bulk of them. Videos are uploaded twice a week, and cover subjects from zero-waste swaps to ethical fashion and minimalism, to climate change and plant-based recipes.
A bi-weekly video essay series that investigates humanity’s relationship to the natural world. The videos are punchy, current and highly curated. As well as “how it works” videos explaining buzz topics such as climate anxiety, much of the content is calmly and justifiably anti-establishment.
Drilled is an independent news outlet focused on climate accountability, investigating the various drivers of delay on climate action. Their true-crime podcast tracks the history of fossil fuels, and the big oil companies with blood on their hands. Some of the more recent episodes have examined How Big Oil Is Using the Pandemic to Push More Plastic.
An ongoing climate science communication podcast series that unpacks “smart inspiring stories about the mess we’re in, and how to get ourselves out of it”. Host Alex Blumberg and his crew of climate nerds are practised at simplifying dense scientific content. If you are energised by their solutions-focused approach to the crisis, the podcast is linked to a Calls To Action Archive, to guide you towards more information to get involved.
Quanta Magazine is an editorially independent online publication that aims to enhance public understanding of science. They produce several good maths and science podcasts, which occasionally focus on climate science.
Emergence Magazine focuses on the connections between ecology, culture and spirituality. While their episodes are not always geared towards fact-sharing, they take a more holistic perspective, featuring interviews, author-narrated essays and climate-related fiction.
As well as being a seasoned climate activist and environmentalist, Dr Jane Goodall is an excellent storyteller. Her podcast on the climate crisis, while acknowledging the severity of climate change, combats fear with fierce optimism and hope.
Free online resources
Nasa has a shiny, user-friendly site devoted to climate education. As well as sharing news, educational tools, explainer videos and astonishing photographs, the site’s useful interactive homepage tracks the state of the global climate over time on several metrics.
This website is run by a worldwide network of scientists who fact-check claims relating to climate change in the media and public discourse. A handy tool in an age where anyone can claim to be an expert, with only a few dodgy sources.
Albert is a community focused on creating climate impact through creative industries, particularly film and television. Their site offers editorial guides, free training and articles on how and why to promote sustainability in your productions as a creative.