Multinational companies, political parties and environmental organizations communicate conflicting messages about climate change to the public. In the media-storm, it's hard to distinguish fact from fallacy. The French Association of Journalists for the Environment created Bordeaux 2050, a wine grown under 2050 climate conditions if global warming isn't stopped, a tangible and evidence-based indicator of the effects to seize the public's attention. A wine-tasting at the Museum of Wine in Paris gathered politicians, scientists, journalists and opinion leaders. It created significant controversy from the French wine circles to the entire society, which spread into the public discourse catalyzing change.
It's a consensus in the scientific community that climate change will have increasingly drastic effects on the environment. Despite this fact, a large majority of governments do not take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening. The French Association of Journalists for the Environment is actively involved in drawing attention to the issue.This is difficult in the current media landscape, which is saturated with conflicting messages and fake news that typically comes with political bias. Their goal was to create a tangible demonstration of the future effects of global warming in a way that would resonate with people. Wine is a beloved part of French culture, which is globally renowned, but more importantly is also something that will be very negatively effected by climate change. They wanted to highlight this fact – and it was quickly determined it could done in a way much more compelling than conventional media.
Describe the creative idea
To give people the real taste of global warming, we decided to launch a new wine: we created Bordeaux 2050. We partnered with researchers, scientists and wine experts, who used climate and weather data projection on the next 30 years to simulate the exact taste of a Bordeaux grown in 2050, if climate conditions don't improve. The result is a diminished, bitter, unpleasant taste that forces people to viscerally experience the future consequences of global warming. By appealing to reason through our most indulgent sense, the result is emotional and terrifying but ultimately inspiring. It takes just a few sips to make people understand clearly that Bordeaux 2050 is not just a wine: it's the symbol of our responsibility as human beings. If we don't insist on sustainable practices from our government, our industries and most importantly ourselves, the world heritage as we know it will be lost.
Describe the strategy
Our starting point was a lack of consideration regarding climate change consequences. Despite worldwide awareness of global warming,in the two biggest CO2 emitter countries, only 56% of Americans and 18% of Chinese consider climate change as a major threat. As an average increase of 2°C over decades is not perceptible by the human body, people ignore the increasingly disastrous impacts on the environment already happening today. The French Association of Journalists for the Environment needed to make global warming more than just another news headline. We aimed to make it tangible and relatable to people. Our goal was to create a tangible proof of the future effects of global warming. This had to resonate emotionally with people in their present life, to make them realize the concrete consequences climate change will have on their life, and make them understand the urgency to take action.
Describe the execution
The first step was working with climatologists to gather weather data on the next thirty years. The second was partnering with oenologists and scientists to determine how that data effects wine made in Bordeaux. The third step was creating Bordeaux 2050 using grapes from parts of the world that are already exposed to those extreme conditions. The result was an inferior composition: 2-4 degrees heat waves diminished the aroma, drought gave a bitter and drier taste and devastating frost and hailstorms caused fruit wastage. The special vintage was launched in the Museum of Wine in Paris at an event gathering key decision makers: journalists, scientists, sommeliers as well as influential members of the French political elite. 400 bottles were sent to the major French climate skeptics. For the first time in history, they were forced to taste the negative effect of climate change, which they previously ignored.
List the results
Bordeaux 2050 shook French wine circles before spreading to the wider scientific community then news worldwide. It generated over 500 million organic impressions across headlines among The Huffington Post, Le Figaro, L'Express, Franceinfo, Science and Future, triggering 100 000 mentions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, triggering concerns around climate change's impact on our lifestyles. Despite its poor taste it became the most Googled wine in the world. The growing social media conversation made key decision makers reconsider their position on climate change, while a tasting session by Sciences & Avenir gathering influential climate skeptics convinced them of its evidence. The initiative has been hailed by UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. The AJE invited people on Bordeaux2050.org to order and taste for themselves.