Climate change is a hot topic much in the news these days with increasing messages from our governments telling us we need to act now to save the planet.

We’re hearing new phrases like ‘carbon neutrality,’ ‘carbon footprint,’ ‘personal CO2 emissions’ and ‘climate forcings’ along with old favourites like ‘greenhouse gas’ and ‘ozone depletion.’

Does anyone really understand all this? Is anyone able to relate it to their personal circumstances, ie, do something that will make a difference?

I’ll come back to the personal aspect in a minute.

First, though, there’s a lot going on in business and government surrounding the broad topic of climate change, as I’ve discovered through a communication project I’ve just completed for Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA).

I’ve produced a first podcast for them containing interviews with some of the movers and shakers in business and government, including NGOs, who provide insight and opinions surrounding carbon emissions and emissions trading, and who’s doing what.

Those movers and shakers include Jos Delbeke, Director, DG Environment, European Commission; Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; William Weld, former Governor of Massachusetts; Kristalina Georgieva, Director, Strategy and Operations Sustainable Development, The World Bank; Bill Kyte, Chairman of the UK Emissions Trading Group; and Garth Edward, Trading Manager, Environmental Products, Shell.

The Carbon Emissions podcast is a key element of a new climate change website launched yesterday at BusinessAssurance.com, a knowledge sharing portal for management systems professionals sponsored by LRQA.

Take a listen to the podcast (or read the transcript) and see if it helps you gain some more knowledge about climate change.

The new website includes a blog; one of the first posts is by Dr Anne-Marie Warris of LRQA who has some additional insight on the challenges facing all of us as consumers

Which brings me to that personal aspect I mentioned earlier. Do people generally understand what the term ‘climate change’ actually means and what they can do about it on a personal level?

The 300Holding events in Second Life of one kind or another is not new: people have been doing this since this virtual world started back in 2003.

As more businesses enter Second Life, the idea of including this virtual world as a channel in broad marketing and PR planning makes a lot of sense.

In its simplest sense, Second Life gives you an opportunity to create and develop a personal connection with people in a place where there are no real-world manufacturing or service costs and few barriers to what’s possible.

It represents a completely new way to interact and communicate with people via the internet, enabling you to experiment and learn how to adapt business, marketing and communication models to a new and emerging marketplace, either complementing existing plans or developing new ones. It’s also about breaking new ground and making connections with the Second Life community.

A good example of much of this was the virtual press event for the movie 300 which took place at Silverscreen Island in Second Life on Friday night.

I was there in two related roles. First as a meeter-and-greeter (disclosure: because I’ve been working with Warner Bros Pictures and London-based film marketing company PPC for the past month on communication and planning for this event), and secondly as a participant like everyone else.

I was keen to savour the complete experience of a press event in Second Life about a new movie that had a live question-and-answer session via real-time audio with not only the leading actors and the director but also with legendary graphic novelist Frank Miller on whose graphic novel the film is based.

And the experience did not disappoint.