Understanding Climate Change in Scripted Media Project

Find out how you can participate in this Citizen Science Project

The National Center for Science Education, in collaboration with Our Changing Climate and SciStarter, invites you to join “Understanding Climate Change in Scripted Media,” a citizen science project to determine how climate change and related environmental issues are portrayed in scripted media. By analyzing how TV and movies discuss environmental issues, we aim to figure out how to best help people learn more about climate change and ultimately take action.

Find out more about our data and methods in “Our Approach” below. Submit your own example scripted media example in the “Participate” section.


Thanks so much for your interest in participating in the “Understanding Climate Change in Scripted Media” project. We are looking for episodes of television shows and movies that discuss climate change, global warming, or other environmental issues. Though we are big fans of climate change coverage in news media and comedy news (e.g., The Daily Show), we are specifically looking for instances that happen in narrative-driven media. So please don’t submit news or comedy news examples. Unsure whether your show or movie counts? Submit it anyway and our team of editors will decide.

Our Approach

To collect the initial data showcased in the upcoming collaboration video with Our Changing Climate, we searched five online databases (IMDB, IMSDB, Simply Scripts, Drew’s Script-O-Rama, and The Screenplay Database) for quotes and plots that contained either “Global Warming” or “Climate Change.” We first removed all hits from news media or documentary films. Though we included all recounted instances for the general analysis, for assessment of framing, we also removed all instances where the quote or plot point didn’t take a point-of-view on climate change. So for example, this quote from “The Office” where climate change was presented in a list of ‘bad things’ was not included in our analysis.

Business School Student : But there's five Goliaths. There's Staples, OfficeMax...

Michael Scott : Yeah, yeah. You know what else is facing five Goliaths? America: Al-Qaeda. Global warming. Sex predators. Mercury poisoning.