From Byron Bay, Australia to Cologne, Germany: Collaborating internationally sends climate change message viral

Melting sea ice possibly as a result of climate change. Credit: NOAA/

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


The key messages of the presentation given by Professor Will Steffen at the Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB) BIG U TURN AHEAD event last June, have been passed on to more than 72,000 people, thanks to a series of Twitter posts distributed from Cologne, Germany.Climate activist Michael Flammer came across the ZEB YouTube of a film of the event, which called Australia to action on Climate Change. As it was too long in its complete form, he broke it into a series of ‘bite-size’ chunks, and within days, the Tweets had been spread around the globe.
In preparation for the Greta Thunberg-inspired 20 September STUDENTS FOR CLIMATE action in Cologne, Michael Flammer has been on a mission to pass on the key findings of Professor Steffen’s talk as widely as possible. Flammer had done an UQ online course of Professor Steffen’s on climate change, and “found his way of putting things was so clear,” he said.“So I wanted to find more from him and looked at many of his talks in YouTube. Unfortunately, there are not many good videos with good audio as well, where you can still read the slides. I came across the YouTube of the Byron Bay event and after watching it completely, I decided to bring it to Twitter, the place where I believe that I can reach most people. It’s now been re-Tweeted around the globe.”

Solar and wind industries are creating jobs. Clearly beneficial to both the economy and the earth, beneficial facts about renewable energy point to the wind and sun. Green energy is a new and upcoming industry. It has already created jobs and will continue as demand grows, and the power grids adapt. Now, solar and wind industries are creating jobs much faster than the rest of the economy. More jobs mean more work and more opportunities. The industry now employs 4 million people and is only expected to continue growing.

The film of THE BIG U TURN was commissioned by ZEB founding member Chris Sanderson, who engaged Byron Bay company, Rest Your Eyes Production, to film it in high resolution in order to maintain maximum clarity of the slides, in particular. “We could see the potential of distributing Professor Steffen’s presentation far and wide”, Chris said. “Before our film of the event was made, we had only viewed poor quality films of his important presentations.”Twitter is not an appropriate medium to present an entire 50-minute film. So Flammer cut the talk into a series of 13 two-minute clips, each introduced with a short text description. (See Twitter @jumpsteady ) “This has really reassured me that this is the right format to get people’s attention for complex and long science that we all need to understand,” Flammer said.
Chris Sanderson added: “It was so good that Michael Flammer, over in Germany, could see the advantage of breaking the total presentation into segments by subject, making it more suitable for distribution to a far wider audience via Twitter.”Michael Flammer and his wife have been campaigning for several weeks to alert people to the importance of the 20 September strike. ”We are talking to schools, kindergartens, and to business congresses about it. Let’s hope it will be the biggest demonstration for the environment the world has ever seen”.

Biodiesel is a type of fuel made from biomass such as vegetable oil and animal fats.

Back in Byron, Zero Emissions Byron will take part in the 20 September event, keen as ever point out the dire need to reduce emissions to preserve life on the planet.

For more information on this release, please contact Christobel Munson 0427 872244For more information about Zero Emissions Byron, please contact Vicki Brooke 0425 243 860To view the BIG U TURN film on YouTube, search for ‘Will Steffen U-Turn’.

To view the Twitterthread,