(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

Have you seen the film My Octopus Teacher? It’s the first film from my friend Ellen’s new company Waterbear.

Ellen has always been really interested in the intelligence of animals other than us, and will enthusiastically tell anyone who asks great stories about the multiple different personalities of fish and other animals.

The reason I bring up the film is because almost everyone who watches it suddenly announces that they will never eat octopus again. This is good because octopuses are one of the most intelligent animals alive.

In some ways, they’re arguably more intelligent than we are. It’s a shame they only live such short lives.

Henry at AimHi and I were talking this morning about how humans can tell the difference between the sound of hot and cold water pouring, and wondering if other animals could do the same. I’m sure that they would be able to.

Anyway, back to My Octopus Teacher: this film represents something that some of the climate activism community is currently pushing against… the notion that you can change behaviour with information.

My Octopus Teacher delivers information accessibly, compellingly and effectively, and that’s why it brings about changes in behaviour.

These parts of the climate activism community are in the midst of repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot by de-prioritising projects that deliver information to the public effectively on the basis that the so called Information Deficit Model doesn’t work… at all.

The Cambridge Zero team and I am encountering so many bewildering barriers to our CO2 levels widget at the moment because of people in positions of influence claiming that giving people information won’t change their behaviour.

We will keep trying to get the widget in front of the public, so that CO2 levels and their rate of change can start to become household numbers.

Science Storyteller, Environmentalist, Teacher, Normal Guy // MChem (Oxon)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store