Story of Us
Good Energy supports TV and film creators in telling wildly entertaining stories that honestly reflect the world we live in now—a world that’s in a climate crisis.
Watching the vast majority of scripted TV and film today, you’d have no idea that Earth is in crisis—and us with it. Less than three percent includes any reference to climate change. As the crisis escalates, stories that erase the climate emergency are increasingly out of touch with reality. This is a missed opportunity for storytellers.
Obviously we care about climate change and want to prevent hell on Earth. But as creatives, storytellers, and lovers of TV and film, we also see that the climate crisis is bursting with dramatic possibilities for writers. It can increase stakes, reveal what a character is made of, and inspire touching, surprising, and even funny storylines.
Good Energy makes it easy and exciting to weave climate into any storyline, across every genre, in entertaining and artful ways.
Anna Jane Joyner
Who We Are
We’re a group of storytellers, climate experts, journalists, artists, researchers, and writers who have worked on hit shows and films and understand the human side of climate change.
Story of Us
Good Energy started with a question: Why is the climate crisis largely absent from our screens?
In 2018, Good Energy founder Anna Jane Joyner was engaged as a consultant on Madam Secretary, which featured a character inspired by her life’s work as a climate leader and communications strategist. This led to more consulting on scripted film and TV with screenwriters and producers who wanted to integrate climate into their stories. Through this work, Anna Jane saw how Hollywood has previously driven change—from normalizing LGBTQ+ characters, to popularizing the term “designated driver,” to powerful movements for BIPOC representation. She also saw a glaring absence: climate change is practically nonexistent in scripted entertainment.
So she embarked on a period of deep listening in Hollywood. Through interviews with writers, directors, producers, and executives, Anna Jane found that Hollywood was eager to grapple with the climate crisis, but fearful about alienating or boring audiences. After all, the rare times climate change did show up on-screen, it was typically in the form of nature documentaries, lectures, or apocalypse stories. It wasn’t yet clear to creators and audiences that the climate crisis could be portrayed on-screen in more nuanced and entertaining ways.
Good Energy was founded in 2019 to support writers in taking this creative leap. The nonprofit brings together professional screenwriters, climate communications experts who understand storytelling, climate scientists, everyday people from the hardest-hit communities around the globe, and an extensive network of industry, nonprofit, and philanthropic partners. What they all share is a deep love of TV and film as a storytelling medium, a fervent respect for the creative process, and a belief that Hollywood is uniquely positioned to shift the conversation on climate change. Good Energy is committed to a future where storytelling—and all of humanity—can flourish.
We’re committed to great stories above all, in part because we’re huge fans of film and TV, and in part because we know that audiences will simply change the channel if a story seems inauthentic. When they snooze, we all lose. We steer clear of blatant moralizing, shoehorning ideas, and pushing stories in directions that risk becoming dull, preachy, or forced. Instead, we help writers apply a Climate Lens™ to their existing stories—no matter the topic, tone, or genre—to uncover how climate shows up organically for their characters and heightens the drama.
Creative and scientific integrity
We know that in scripted entertainment, the emotional truth is as important as the literal truth. We support writers in getting wildly inventive with their stories and exploring new, provocative possibilities. At the same time, we aim to represent the realities of climate change accurately and responsibly. We believe that creative integrity goes hand in hand with scientific integrity.
Intersectionality and diversity
Climate change is inherently intersectional, and its impacts play out unevenly across the globe. Since BIPOC and other historically marginalized groups are harmed first and worst, it’s essential to support and amplify the stories and voices of those hit hardest by this crisis. The Climate Lens™ highlights all the intersections of this crisis, including how climate change exacerbates social inequality. You can’t tell the truth of this crisis without embracing a true diversity of voices.
Courage in art and life
Storytelling takes courage, and so does facing the climate crisis. Storytellers can show us the way by writing characters who model courage and stories that face reality head-on. By boldly grappling with the issues, they can help us feel less alone and move us from a place of fear and paralysis to one of renewed purpose and action. It takes courage to get comfy with uncertainty, and writers thrive in the not-knowing, because we so often don’t know what’s going to happen next in our stories—or, for that matter, our careers. When writers take emotional and creative risks to engage with climate change, the rewards are rich for both the story and for humanity at large.