Social Media And The Battle To Curb Climate Change

10/04/2010 04:38 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The phrase "to be determined" has never cut so deep. When the consequences are so steep, the threat so vast, the casualties so great, it is disheartening to hear words like political stagnation or stalemate tagged under the seemingly never-ending battle to develop effective climate change legislation.

Beyond the White House and Westminster and beyond rhetoric near-cyclically disseminated lies clear and present tragedy. Devastation from floods in Pakistan, heat waves on an unprecedented global scale and ominous peril from the melting ice caps in the Arctic Circle fall to the wayside en route to producing firm political resolutions under a veil of "scientific uncertainty."

The initial reaction is a feeling of universal dis-empowerment; how can the voices of generations plagued by this silent killer become heard, supported, possibly inspire and potentially change enviro-business as usual? 1minutetosavetheworld and Open Planet Ideas are two online platforms helping to answer that question, using a globalized community and the internet as tools to promote the perspectives of those affected by environmental degradation and allow them a platform to showcase how they wish it to be curbed.

Multinationals have long known the value of even just one minute of film. With the help of international partners, 1minutetosavetheworld uses short-film entries from aspiring directors from around the globe on an online stage to carry their respective voices far and wide in a campaign for the planet rallying public and political support in the lead up to the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference and continuing until CO2 targets have been met.

A team of partners and sponsors from all professional sects have convened and lent their support to funding the non-profit organization and its 2010 competition by supplying them with innovative and exciting gifts for the winning filmmakers.

"Never has the short film been such an important tool in raising awareness of probably the greatest threat our society currently faces. Climate change is happening now and through these films we aim to raise awareness, change policy and educate throughout all levels of society," said 1minutetosavetheworld Producer Emma MacGregor. "With the advancement of communications, this competition makes this truly possible to touch people globally."

Open Planet Ideas is a new community driven initiative by Sony and WWF to encourage people to submit ideas on how to re-purpose existing technologies into tackling environmental challenges. "In today's social media driven world, it is important to use the tools available to listen to what people have to say," noted Susanna Halonen, Sony's Open Planet Ideas Community Manager. "Open Planet Ideas aims to do just that, using crowd-sourcing to harness the ingenuity and creativity out there to re-purpose existing technology to address environmental challenges."

The internet has become an empowering web of opportunity and potential through individual perspective and achievement. These two campaigns serve as inspiration-producing platforms where voices from around the world can artistically accomplish great things and help promote the need for a greener planet in the face of an often silent killer.

By Sam Amsterdam, Public Relations liaison to the team at 1minutetosavetheworld, an innovative and international campaign and competition, raising awareness to the global challenges of climate change.