20141101-NatureSpeaking-Rainforest-600x298.jpg

If nature could talk, what would it tell us?

Conservation International’s new video series Nature is Speaking sets out to answer that question—and people are listening. 

Nature is Speaking

October 28, 2014

20141101-NatureSpeaking-Rainforest-600x298.jpg

If nature could talk, what would it tell us?

Conservation International’s new video series Nature is Speaking sets out to answer that question—and people are listening. In less than a month online, several of the videos have already racked up more than 300,000 hits.

20141101-NatureSpeaking-Coral-300x165.jpgIan Somerhalder speaks for the Coral Reef.

The brief monologue videos—each under two minutes—feature A-list Hollywood actors like Kevin Spacey and Harrison Ford as voices of the rainforest, the ocean, and more. The newest video, released this week, has Lost and Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder speaking as a coral reef:

Some people think I’m just a rock, when in fact I’m the largest thing alive on this planet. . . . Do you realize that one quarter of all marine life depends on me? . . . I'm the protein factory for the world.

More than 15,000 people viewed Somerhalder’s video in its first day online. Cornell communications professor Jonathon Schuldt thinks the Nature is Speaking videos are effective communication. He says:

Conservation International’s new campaign appears wise to a number of techniques that scientific studies suggest can help increase audience engagement and effect change. In addition to the use of well-known celebrities, the short videos are notable in that they anthropomorphize nature, as when the soil (voiced by Ed Norton) speaks directly to the audience. Because humans are so social, we may be drawn more strongly into narratives that portray soil, air, and water as if they are alive­—as animate beings that are capable of suffering and that require people to care for them.

Conservation International’s next video will be “Flower.” View the videos.

20141101-NatureSpeaking-Soil-300x165.jpgEdward Norton: The Soil

20141101-NatureSpeaking-Water-300x165.jpgPenelope Cruz: The Water

20141101-NatureSpeaking-Redwood-300x165.jpgRobert Redford: The Redwood

20141101-NatureSpeaking-Mother-300x165.jpgJulia Roberts: Mother Nature

20141101-NatureSpeaking-Ocean-300x165.jpgHarrison Ford: The Ocean

20141101-NatureSpeaking-Rainforest-300x165.jpgKevin Spacey: The Rainforest

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