To change our inequitable economic system and slow down climate change, it seems we need sitcom characters and boy bands to start taking an active interest. Remember when Rachel Green changed her hair and everybody ran out to get the same haircut? We need shows in which characters subtly mention recycling or composting even, where people decide not to take a trip because of the GHG created by air travel, where the cool character that everyone wants to sleep with gets to work on a bicycle. Imagine if, in 40-Year-Old Virgin, he had convinced everyone else to ride a bike instead of being convinced to grow up and learn to drive, the implicit message being: cars are for adults and bikes are for kids.
When Louie CK's character Pamela tossed out all his furniture because she thought he should get all new stuff, I was dumbfounded. He plays a single dad who's a comic who isn't insanely famous, so I was stress out about how his character could possibly afford new furniture, and I though he should have tossed Pamela for being crazy enough to do that. But he liked the idea - apparently this is what being a good couple is for people on TV. And no mention of any financial struggle was made. Imagine if they lived without any furniture for the rest of the season because that's how some people really live? Imagine showing a little bit of the fear that comes with an unstable income?
To change the behaviours of the masses, we need only to effectively change the behaviours of some TV characters. So our first step, then, will be to convince TV writers and producers that this is important.
This is a start.