Climate Under Pressure

by Samuel St-Pierre
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Climate change is a difficult subject for a lot of people. It is a problem so imposing, of such a huge scale and with a range of effects so wide that it is difficult to grasp for a large part of the population.

And to make it a bit harder to completely understand it, the consequences are delayed, in time, sometimes far beyond our own life expectancy. “Climate change is not well suited to human nature” as Prof. Adam Sobel, one of the experts we met for the project told us.

So how do we make it more suited to us? How do we clear the fog around this topic? And most of all, how do we get people to do something about it?

With these problems in mind and with 2015 being called “the year of the climate”, culminating with COP 21 and the Paris Agreement, we wanted to create an interesting documentary experience that would engage people and make them ponder on their impact on the climate and on the little actions they can do to change things for the good.

After a lot of thinking and wandering and some trials and errors, I believe we achieved our goal.

Climate Under Pressure

The result is Climate under pressure, an interactive documentary experience as I like to call it.

We built 6 interactive stories, kind of a “choose-your-own-adventure” book or game, in a motion comic visual style. In each of these stories, you can experience for yourself the reality of characters living around the world and see the effects climate change already has in their everyday life.

You’ll have decisions to make along your journey at their side, and these decisions will shape the story as you progress through it. Sometimes these decisions are significantly big: choosing a way to protect an island from an upcoming storm with Pai in Tuvalu for example, and sometimes they are of a lesser urgency, like choosing to either buy real or veggie bacon with Michelle at a grocery store in Canada.

What you’ll realize though is that there are different challenges in different parts of the world; some are on the verge of a climate crisis, and some other are less at risk. In the end, it doesn’t matter, wherever you are there is always something you can do to reduce your impact (cut down your carbon emissions) and to adapt to the changing climate.

An Interactive, Immersive Experience

In other words, this interactive experience gives you the chance to live, for a short moment, the everyday life of people around the world and to feel the impacts climate change has on them. In my opinion, that is the beauty and the strength of interactive, immersive experiences.

Most of all, by getting you into action and by putting you in a position of power over these characters’ fates, I think this experience can really make you realize that every action you do can have an impact on climate change and that this impact can be positive or negative depending on the choices you make every day. In other words, it’s up to you if you want to change your habits and help fight climate change. Personally, I find this very empowering.

These stories are fictions, we made them up, but we made sure that we were always as close as we could be to the real situation in these countries. And to make you understand the “realness” of it, we scattered video interviews with real experts from all fields all along the chapters.

When a new topic is touched in a fiction or prior to a big decision you’ll have to make, you always have access to a renowned climate scientist, an environmentalist, an economist, a writer, a farmer, an energy specialist or even an astrophysicist that will talk to you about the real situation happening in the real world, right now, or give you their opinion on a topic or solutions you can put in place in your life, if you want to fight climate change.

We had the privilege to meet great thinkers for this project, people that can inspire you and get you moving, to name just a few: Nicolas Hulot, Bill McKibben, Steven Guilbeault, Andrew Winston, Catherine Potvin, Bernard Voyer, Karel Mayrand, Alexandre Taillefer, Jean-Pierre Ndoutoum, Jean Jouzel, Corinne Lepage, Laure Waridel, Trinh Xuan Thuan and more!

In the final experience, we have more than 30 experts telling you all they know about climate change, in more than 5 hours of interviews and more than a hundred short clips.

Many Topics

As you see, there is a lot of stuff. We touch pretty much every aspect of our human existence and our activities. We talk about consumption, agriculture, urban development, economy, energy, health and transport.

We try to make the science behind climate change as clear as possible such as the political and sociological challenges surrounding it. And we give you advice on things you can do in your own life to better the climate state if you’re looking for ideas.

If you want to go straight to the “real stuff” and just explore our video collection, we built a directory section on the site where you’ll find all this organised in 4 “thematic files” and a really neat card index.

So if you’re interested in living a different and entertaining experience about climate change or if you want to further your knowledge in one or more of the topics we touch, I invite you to visit our website, either in English or French, and don’t hesitate to talk to us on social media.

English version
Version française


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