Atticus Finch and the Climate Change Movement
I hope I can be forgiven if I’ve come to envisage climate scientists in the guise of Gregory Peck playing Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mocking Bird – resolute, visionary, dutiful to children and devastatingly handsome. For, as I’m sure climate scientists know all too well, their work is more important than any commission in human history. They have been pilloried, indicted and ignored. Yet their meticulously tested, peer-reviewed findings form the basis for our very survival. They are demonstrably nothing short of heroic which, in this surface-fixated world, necessarily casts them as someone like Atticus/Peck. For it is down to Hollywood to enshrine the climate scientist as heroic.
… Fanciful right? Actually the development of this script by the world’s preeminent creative minds is more important that the handing down of the next alarming IPCC projections. What is needed with urgency is a dramatic shift in public sentiment about climate change and the catalyst will be story. People need to be convinced about the science and it is in the nature of our present public realm that this best comes from Hollywood – or at least an infrastructure of cultural production with similar resources, creative brilliance and luminous star vehicles.