For marine ecologist Adriana Verges, the problem of climate change is so urgent that scientists need clever new strategies to draw more attention to it.
And one of them is developing TV dramas that focus on not sci-fi but cli-fi - climate fiction.
Dr Verges, who lectures at the University of NSW, came up with the idea of teaming scientists with leading screenwriters for a forum that is being held at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.
After briefings from specialists in climate science, geo-engineering, psychology, human health, renewable energy, politics and history, screenwriters will crunch ideas for new shows in a forum that also involves ABC TV, production company Jungle, Screen Australia and Create NSW.
"For ages scientists have been using our graphs and our data and our facts to try to communicate our science but it's been demonstrated that this doesn't really work very well," Dr Verges says. "It very rarely influences people's opinions and hardly ever motivates action.
"Storytelling, in contrast, is emerging as a very clear way to communicate environmental issues."
Screenwriters have regularly tackled environmental themes over the years.
Hollywood had a hit with a cli-fi disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow. Then an even bigger hit with Avatar, which was set in a future when humans have to mine resources on other planets.
Happy Feet won an Oscar with a story that dealt with environmental damage in Antarctica.
After bringing awareness of global warming into the mainstream with the documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore has followed up this month with An Inconvenient Sequel.
But the clif-fi forum, "Climate Change And Big Ideas For The Small Screen", is aimed at reaching new audiences on television.
Dr Verges says the critically acclaimed British anthology series Black Mirror is an example of what is possible.
"Black Mirror takes technology to the nth degree and uses fiction to explore the unanticipated consequences of new technologies," she says.
"It's really good quality drama but afterwards you're left thinking about your own relationship with technology, what's already happening and what might happen in the future.
"I thought this was the perfect framework for communicating climate science so that we can imagine ourselves in the future and how our everyday lives will be impacted by changes that are already happening."
To avoid leaving viewers feeling manipulated, Dr Verges says any new dramas or telemovies would have to be engaging and character-driven.
Leading the screenwriting team will be John Collee, a former doctor who is best known for scripting Master and Commander, Happy Feet and Tanna.
He believes there are more effective ways of spreading the message than by frightening viewers with alarming facts and figures.
"People learn stuff through emotional engagement rather than just being presented with information," Collee says.
"You can put facts like half the Great Barrier Reef is functionally dead in a newspaper and it doesn't really mean anything to anyone until you wrap it up in an emotional story about the actual livelihoods of fishermen who are affected by it. Then it starts to become real in the same way that Indian poverty is just a concept until you have a film like Slumdog Millionaire and suddenly you see what that poverty feels like."
Collee says global warming does not have to be addressed obviously on screen.
"You can embed environmental themes either very explicitly in a film like Avatar or they can be under the radar," he says. "Often messaging is more effective if it's slightly obscured."
Collee, who is also a director of the climate action group 350.org Australia, already has some ideas.
"There are whistleblower stories about the way fossil fuel companies have hidden information from the public," he says. "There are stories about scientists being targeted and discredited deliberately because of the financial value of what they know.
"And there's the story of the internet targeting of scientists and truthtellers. It's increasingly common that climate scientists get not just hate mail but threats of violence."
Somewhat cheekily, Collee believes there are real life figures who could be the basis for great dramas.
"Ironically, people sit around in Hollywood try to work out ways of creating a story about an evil genius trying to destroy the planet," he says.
"And now we have real identities like [Adani chairman] Gautam Adani and former Exxon chief [and US Secretary of State] Rex Tillerson, who The Guardian once characterised as 'the man who sold the world' for pursuing company profits while disregarding the impact on global climate."