How do you measure the importance of a political issue? If it airs on Netflix.
Ladies and gents, I present to you the global acceptance of climate change and the policies needed to avoid local and global energy crises. Now brought to you in prime time.
There is a telling moment at the end of the first episode of Occupied, the highly entertaining new Norwegian TV political thriller, now available in the United States on Netflix (with subtitles!).
One of the main characters, sitting in a cafe with his family, looks bleakly through the glass at the shoppers in the mall outside, knowing they are oblivious to how fragile their world has just become.
This is how Slate starts the chilling and exciting review of the new political thriller Occupie. The show tackles the issue of climate change and global energy policy, set in a not so distant future. (Read a full review here)
Why does it matter?
By January 19th, 2016, Netflix had 75 million subscribers worldwide. 40 million of them located in the US. Like it or not, the United States of America still has a lot of influence on global climate policy.
In 2015, a warbling 40% of the American public didn’t see climate change as a threat.
Currently, none of their Republican presidential candidates believe climate change to be a serious issue. And let’s not get started on the senate.
To air a Norwegian show about climate policy, in a country where half of the population think it’s overrated, is not just a small an insignificant action. It is a reflection of the world and the issues we deal with in this world. The time is right for this. And the American public needs to wake up to this new world and new reality, and demand more from their politicians.
Watching the world change through our TV
The entertainment sector is helping, in the way that it is both a strong indicator of hot topics and a driver of discussions. Follow the hot topics, find the power and money. Airing a show like this just 2 years ago would have been unthinkable, but in the wake of the COP21 agreement, it makes perfect sense.
Steps like this will bring the discussion of climate change and energy policy from the universities and political areas, into the living rooms and kitchens. And this is where the real change happens.
Airing Occupied on Netflix will pave the way for a national debate in the US. These debates will influence the political arena, as voters go where they feel heard. A change in the political arena will then, eventually, lead to a change in policy. Just think about LGBT rights and minimum wages as a few recent examples of policy changes in the US – for giggles, google the top shows on Netflix in the years leading up to it.
The big difference here is, the rest of the world would benefit from not continuously banging our head against the US wall of climate ignorance.
Yes, I said it. 40% people, the numbers speak for themselves.
Global climate policy needs the US on board if it is to run smoothly, and the US needs to get on board before China and Russia completely steal the climate spotlight. I would love to elaborate on this, but for now, I am fresh out of time.
So there you go, a very short post, about climate change and “prime time TV”.
I for one will be looking forward to Occupied.
Oh, and Netflix, though I am highly frustrated with your pricing scheme, and the fact that I can’t watch same shows in Denmark, as in the US, I will say this to you: Well played, well played.
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