We decode the social effects of media to put their power to good use.

Project Ariel

A deep foundation for climate stability

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The conversation on climate has become the latest frontier in America’s culture wars. The battleground is the media. The stakes of victory are public opinion. So how do we actually talk about climate now? That's the question that opened our collaboration with the Dalio Foundation and filmmakers Paul Dalio and Kristina Nikolova. They wanted to understand how to invest in and make long-form narrative media that moved beyond the polarities of the so-called climate debate, in order to establish a deep foundation for climate stability within our culture’s collective psyche. Project Ariel set out to map the information supply around climate, and the networks of influence through which that information moves, with a focus on climate skeptics. Using social network analysis—connecting over 26,000 accounts on Twitter—and in-depth content analysis of thousands of Tweets and Reddit threads, the project produced a nuanced snapshot of climate skeptic conversation, illustrated with media from skeptic communities. We were aiming to give creatives a sense of overview and orientation, without losing the emotional charge of raw, real-time media chatter. Project outputs have been shared in small briefings to inform climate change communicators looking to reach beyond the choir.