Man-made Global Warming is just one strand of our current ecological crisis, but the only one with a deadline.
Ten years left in our carbon budget is the scientists’ estimate.
Climate change is aggravating the damage already caused by deforestation, intensive agriculture, over-development, pesticide use and pollution. This in turn arises from a culture of domination and alienation, valorising profit rather than the common good. In the 20th century, 50% of the world’s forest was destroyed, and in 2017 woodland loss amounted to the equivalent of one football field every second. This loss of tree cover alone might account for anywhere between 7 and 20% of all C02 emissions.
These dark stories need telling in ways that inspire action and hope.
It is the writer’s task to look deeply into the heart of things and bring back what they find there. We won’t protect what we don’t love and we can’t love what we don’t understand.
When American poet Muriel Rukeyser asked, ‘What three things can never be done?’, her answer was: ‘Forget. Keep silent. Stand alone.’
The process of transformation required by climate adaptation involves a leap in the dark familiar to writers, a cycle of learning, unlearning and relearning.
As well as writing new work of her own, in consultation with climate scientists at Newcastle University, Climate Writer Linda France will look at how writers, artists and readers can engage with climate change, with a profound awareness of the interconnectedness of everything that term stands for.