When it comes to news about climate change, the story isn’t always positive, with rising ocean temperatures and strange weather occurrences often at the center of it. In recent news, a scientific study made headlines last month after showing that the optimal temperature for life on Earth was 20°C. The study, by Mark John Costello et al., conducted a systematic review of published research, finding the "highest species richness at ~20°C across life in air and water, including animals, plants and microbes." But "what does this mean in a warming world", the resulting headlines went on to lament?

What will become of our wildlife?

How climate change relates to our lives

Articles like this are all too common and can leave readers feeling unsettled at best. Catastrophizing is rarely the answer, but it's difficult to know how else to respond to a question like this. Anxiety, guilt, and fear for future generations are some of the more common reactions, which are further compounded when a resolution isn't offered at the end. So does that mean that studies like this are useless? No. They will probably be a great help to those in a related industry, or experts in the field. They may be invaluable when applied to further research. But simply relaying new information in a foreboding tone doesn't do the average reader any good – at least, not unless the information is distilled a lot further, ideally with a more positive angle.

What does the future hold for our day-to-day lives, we want to know? What are the steps we can take based on recent discoveries? Are there any major breakthroughs we should know about in relation to climate change, and can we act on them as individuals or should they be addressed at a higher level? Which way is our economy leaning, and what new technology should we get on board with?

Will it be affordable? These are the questions the average person wants answered when they check their phones on the way to work – and by experts, not robots or influencers on social media.

Climate change stress

Negative, open-ended articles serve as little more than clickbait, and the reality is that most of us don’t want to click anymore.

Shock value isn’t the answer to climate change. We’d rather switch off our screens than hear the standard lament about what humans are doing to the planet. It’s not that we’re apathetic – we’re just saturated by stress.

It's a complex problem, but the immediate answer is simple. We need to accept that our responsibility as individuals is different than our responsibility as a whole and write to reflect this. If we publish a problem, we should make sure there's a resolution to go with it - or at least a reason why the reader needs to know. Let’s acknowledge our global successes and look into how they will help us change, rather than mourning the past.

Positive news about climate change

In light of this, let’s end on a positive note.

In recent news, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has published its latest report, saying that Renewable Energy is on the rise and calling the transition 'unstoppable'. IEA's Executive Director Fatih Birol stated in a recent opinion article for the Financial Times that "amid the onslaught of disturbing news about the world's deepening climate crisis – and elections in many major economies heightening uncertainties about energy and climate policies – it’s important to note the areas where real progress is being made," reads the report. According to the IEA, onshore wind and solar power projects are now cheaper to build than new fossil fuel plants almost everywhere in the world.

According to the World Economic Forum, "owning a fully-electric vehicle in many European countries is less expensive than petrol or diesel models, according to new data." Low emissions technologies are increasingly gaining momentum, partly due to government support, but also the efforts made by renewable energy industry itself. That's certainly something to celebrate.