For climate change, we need a story that doesn’t end in the sixth mass extinction. If we can see what a climate-safe world looks like, we might believe in it, and we might create more and stronger solutions that accelerate progress toward a net zero world. A reboot of Captain Planet could inspire a new wave of problem-solvers and optimists that this crisis needs.
Learn how to weave climate themes into your storytelling with two YA authors from Walker Books. Climate consultant Lauren James breaks down a scene from Sara Barnard’s writing to show how climate change can be incorporated naturally into scenes. This session allows publishing professionals to see first-hand the process an editor and author would go through when focussing on ‘climate sensitivity’, as well as Sara responding to the editorial suggestions in the moment.
In Green Rising, the characters are teenagers who can grow plants from their skin. They use their powers to rewild the planet, and stand up to the profit-hungry corporations who want climate change to continue (because the end of the world is going to be very profitable to a lot of people). It shows the positive changes we can make to the environment which will help store carbon in huge quantities, often through plants: kelp forests, peatlands, reforestation.
In this article former physicist, Lauren James, describes her journey to writing her climate change focused novel, Green Rising, and her quest to tackle such a huge, complex topic in a way which felt uplifting, that was character and story focussed. Eventually, she realised that she needed to focus on writing about characters who are actively working to slow climate change, rather than writing a story showing the terrors to come.
In this podcasts hosts, Molly and Ramanan chat with climate fiction authors imagining a future climate-inflected world.
This event at the 2023 NY Climate week brings together Kat Coiro (Director and Filmmaker), Tory Stephens (Climate Fiction Creative Manager at Grist), Ali Weinstein (Co-Founder/EP, Hollywood Climate Summit + TV Writer) and Mamadou (Content Creator) to unpack how we can put climate solutions in the story? Writers, filmmakers and creators spin up magic out of thin air. They make us laugh. They make us cry. They terrify us. But most of all they make us care about the worlds they create.
In June 2023 Hollywood Climate Summit gathered entertainment and media leaders in Los Angeles to investigate the cultural industry’s role in climate action. Futerra and partners continued this debate in NYC Climate Week 2023. Some of the questions discussed were: Can soap-operas, blockbusters, reality shows, dramas, comedy and children’s content inspire action? Does climate make compelling content?
"There’s something unimaginative about climate change doom, and something unenjoyable about reading a story by an author who’s resigned humanity to this fate. Instead climate change can be a problem waiting to be solved or a mystery waiting to be uncovered. The author of this article proposes a range of climate fiction subgenres that stay categorically far away from doomerism."
It is no good any more to put on a happy face and pretend that a brighter-than-bright future awaits us if we get the wicked problem of climate right. But it's similarly useless, dangerously defeatist, to wallow around in dystopias. What are desperately needed, but as yet barely exist, are thrutopias: Experience the present as paradisiacal, and change it where it isn't, and then we might just get through.
How to encourage the industry to move away from fictional characters who are implicitly promoting high carbon consumption through positive role models? In ten years, when mounting waste and climate change is impossible to ignore, we might squirm at the glorification of excessive consumption in the same way we now squirm at the casual racism and sexism in seventies sitcoms.