Friends of the Earth launches Climate Stories campaign
Groundbreaking new campaign tells personal stories of Americans impacted by climate-driven extreme weather
Washington, D.C. — Friends of the Earth announced today the launch of its new Climate Stories campaign. The project, produced in partnership with HEIST (http://heistprojects.com), uses powerful, emotional video shot entirely on location to bring to light the very real and tangible effects that climate change and extreme weather are already having on Americans all across the country.
Inspired in part by the devastation left in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and this summer’s record-breaking drought, Climate Stories documents unique, personal stories from Americans living across the country, from Alaska to Nebraska, Louisiana to Vermont.
“We’re already seeing the effects of climate change everywhere, affecting Americans regardless of political affiliation or background,” said Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica. “This campaign represents a new way of approaching the issue. It’s time to hear from real people whose lives are already being transformed. Stories are a powerful way to mobilize and inspire everyone — most importantly, President Obama — to act now to on climate change.”
The website, found at www.ClimateStories.us, highlights short videos of Rockaway Beach, New York, and Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, emphasize the large-scale loss of neighborhoods and homes to Superstorm Sandy and encroaching sea levels, respectively. In the videos, interviews with residents draw contrasts between past weather patterns and the recent, erratic events that are destroying their ways of life.
The campaign also compiles user-submitted stories and invites visitors to submit their own accounts, pictures and videos. In Wisconsin, unseasonable temperatures ruined apple crops for a farming family and other apple-growers across the state, while in Colorado, a family explains the heartbreak of losing their home in recent record wildfires.
By focusing on the universal effects of climate change and extreme weather — and the degrees to which they are being felt already — Friends of the Earth intends to push President Obama to take a strong policy stance on climate change early in his second term.
“President Obama has an opportunity right now to take strong action to address climate change by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, calling for a carbon tax, and ending fossil fuel subsidies in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Acting now would set the tone for the next four years and mark a first step in fighting the climate-driven weather that is affecting Americans everywhere,” continued Pica.
The Climate Stories website includes a petition asking President Obama to make climate change a major focus in the next four years. Friends of the Earth will gather signatures in order prove to the president that climate change is not an issue delegated to political conveniences, but rather one that affects Americans of all walks of life.