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Truth is Powerful

Information overload: Shifting the narrative of climate change


A play by Eva O’Connor and Hildegard Ryan aims to put ‘heart and soul’ into the debate

The purpose of O’Connor and Ryan’s play, Atop, is not just to depict an imagined dreadful outlook that takes place on top of Liberty Hall, but to look to a stronger future. ‘A utopia, not a dystopia,’ as O’Connor puts it. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Alarm bells have been ringing for decades; reams of scientific evidence presented; eyewatering projections, statistical analyses and countless pages of numerous reports. Information on the climate crisis is hardly lacking, so what is?

One element is the way that information about the climate crisis is framed. We face an information overload that lacks context, making it difficult to evoke action. Repeated instruction to listen to the science assures that information is clearly and objectively presented, but it can feel distant and we sometimes lack a relatable narrative.

The most conventional means for providing context to information is through story – it is how we bind society, precisely what is needed for a collective response to the climate crisis. This is the approach taken by Eva O’Connor and Hildegard Ryan in their play Afloat, a centrepiece of the upcoming Future Limerick […]

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