The week of September 20 was designated Climate Week, recognized by organizations all over the world and web. Here’s a round-up of Climate Week recordings from various organizations that I did my best to listen in on–challenging, sometimes, because they took place during the work week–plus one from a few weeks later.
Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors (September 20, 2021)
Featuring authors and Imagine 2200 judges Adrienne Maree Brown, Morgan Jerkins, Kiese Laymon, and Sheree Renée Thomas. The authors and moderator discussed the role of race, capitalism, justice, and hope in climate stories generally as well as what drew them to select the winners of the Imagine 2200 short story contest.
I was watching on YouTube live when I saw something predictable but ultimately hopeful happen in the live text chat. A commenter asked why the panel focused so much on race when it was supposed to be talking about the environment. The Grist moderator shut that down, replying firmly that racial justice belonged in conversations about environmental justice. But even better: the commentariat leapt to reply, pointing out examples of the ways climate disasters disproportionately affect people of color. It’s good to see that this environmental racism is becoming a mainstream enough idea–at least in some quarters–that it is incorporated even into extemporaneous conversations about the environment.
All We Can Save Keynote Event (September 20, 2021)
A conversation with All We Can Save editors Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, moderated by contributor Xiye Bastida, to kick off Climate Week at my workplace.
Climate Change and Journalism: Negotiating Rifts of Time (September 22, 2021)
Hosted by Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, this panel featured the editors and a few of the chapter authors of the new anthology Climate Change and Journalism. The chapters are particularly interested in questions of time in climate journalism–how we envision a future, for example, and how we struggle to conceive of the scale of climate change. In fact, one editor mentioned that he wanted the subtitle to be the title–to wish I sent a silent blessing to his publishers, because Negotiating the Rifts of Time is an unsellable title for a highly academic volume. But that in itself makes for a very interesting conversation, I think: here is a book that takes a very academic approach to the comparatively extemporaneous mode of journalism, and there is a disconnect between how each mode prioritizes and conveys information, just as there is a disconnect between the way for-profit media need to sell stories and the way the story of climate change needs to be told.
Responding to “Unequivocal” Climate Change: Legal and Policy Implications of the Latest IPCC Report (September 23, 2021)
As it says on the tin, this is a panel discussion among law and policy experts. I debated whether to include it here, because it doesn’t make for riveting viewing, but what I think is valuable about this conversation is that it discusses the IPCC report in its global context–how it is made, what it is asking, where we are right now in terms of policy. I think it should be fairly accessible for people who are encountering the IPCC for the first time this year, on the heels of unusually splashy media coverage for their 2021 report.
Something New Under the Sun author Alexandra Kleeman in conversation with Liz Moore (October 6, 2021)
Hosted by Blue Stoop, my local literary organization.