Are You Thirsty for Better Climate Change Communication?

Climate Desk Live partners with thirst DC and ScienceOnline to refresh the narrative about climate change.

<a href="">Patrick Poendl</a>/Shutterstock

NOTE: Live stream for this event, starting at 7:30 pm ET on Thursday, August 15, is available here.

People are getting tired of the same old story about global warming. They often tune out warnings of impending catastrophe; but it’s not like they trust the deniers, either. The trouble is, the standard global warming narrative is stale and alienating—and perhaps worst of all, stuck in the technical weeds.

That’s why it’s time to apply lessons from the theory and practice of high quality science communication to this pressing issue. And in a new collaboration called thirst:Climate, Climate Desk Live is co-sponsoring an event to feature frame-breaking talks on climate—talks that are both innovative and thought-provoking. The goal is nothing less than to force us to think differently about the planetary future into which we’re hurtling.

Created in collaboration with thirst DC—an innovative science-based creative agency—and ScienceOnlineClimate; (a special DC-based iteration of the highly successful annual ScienceOnline conference for web-savvy science communicators), this event will take place on August 15 in Washington, DC. The venue will be 1776, at 1133 15th St NW (just blocks from the White House). Doors open at 6 p.m., and talks start at 7:30.

All talks will be specially developed in collaboration with thirst DC’s presentation trainers. The speakers will bring fresh, unconventional storytelling about global warming. Currently confirmed speakers are:

Kate SheppardMother Jones magazine/Climate Desk: “How to Talk to Your Republican Dad About Global Warming”

Jamie Vernon, American Association for the Advancement of Science, science & technology policy fellow: “How to Get Rich Off of Global Warming”

Liz Burakowski, University of New Hampshire, PhD student in earth and environmental science: “How Global Warming Is Melting the Ski Industry”

Tom Di Liberto, Meteorologist and the first “America’s Science Idol“: “The Wild Weather of the Future: What We Know, What We Kinda Know, and What We Kinda Don’t Know”

Melanie Tannenbaum, Scientific American blogger & University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign PhD student in social psychology: “This Is Your Brain on Climate Change”

James West, producer, Climate Desk. “I Met Our Worst Online Climate Troll (And Kind of Liked Him)”

Hosting the event are the thirst co-founder and creative director, Eric Schulze, and New York Times best-selling author and Climate Desk Live host, Chris Mooney.

So please join us on August 15! For tickets ($15) click here. If you are a member of the media, email us at to be added to the press list.


thirst DC is an interactive learning space that hosts nerdy events as an active branding and social experiment. Using the science of creativity and creative productivity (including data and information collected from studies performed on Nobel laureates), we engineer learning, entertainingly. Usually held in a lounge-like environment, thirst curates highly entertaining—but also substantive—live science, fashion, music, and socially conscious talks. Thirst has worked with The Smithsonian, NASA, the National Academy of Sciences, and others, and we increase their awesome by re-imagining their core values in a nerdy manner.

Climate Desk Live is live briefing series sponsored by Climate Desk, a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are Mother Jones, Grist, Slate, The Atlantic, the Guardian, Wired, PBS’s Need to Know, and the Center for Investigative Reporting. It is hosted by award-winning science journalist Chris Mooney, the author of four books on the relation between science, politics, and society.

ScienceOnlineClimate is the first thematic spin-off of the highly successful annual ScienceOnline conference for web-savvy science communicators. It will take place in Washington, DC, August 15-17. ScienceOnline cultivates the ways science is conducted, shared, and communicated online. They convene a diverse and growing community of researchers, science writers, artists, programmers, and educators—those who conduct or communicate science online—for meaningful face-to-face conversations around timely, relevant issues. ScienceOnline nurtures this global, ongoing, online community and facilitate collaborations which would not have been previously possible.

1776 is a platform to reinvent America by connecting the hottest startups from around the world with the assets of the most powerful city on Earth. In the heart of Washington, DC, just a few blocks from the White House, 1776 is where startups tackling major national challenges in sectors such as education, energy, health care, urban planning, and government can engage to build the future of our economy. For more information, visit or follow at @1776dc.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk


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