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Climate Change – The Stories We Tell

Partner Event to be held on 17 March -17 March 2015, 06:30
Goethe Institut, 50 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2PH

As the debate around communicating the issue of climate science rages, and the imperative of alerting the world to the impact of our changing climate becomes even more urgent, Chris Rapley, LCCP Chair and Professor of Climate Science at UCL, reminds us that “The whole point about climate change is that it is not really about the science. It is about the sort of world we want to live in and what kind of future we want to create.”

Picture: Mirko Bonné, © Sabine Bonné

Assessing the current political temperature and social climate, Weather Stations is an international project that places literature and storytelling at the heart of these conversations about climate change.

But how best to do this? How do writers look at climate change and write successfully about it?

As Emily Dickinson said, “Tell the truth but tell it slant.” The writer, Jay Griffiths picks up on this and takes it further: “The slanted mind. The enigmatic phrase. The allusive, elusive subject. Literature lives in these worlds, it flourishes in metaphoric thinking, in shaded meanings.” And yet, she acknowledges, “writers with a public conscience can feel that they have an unshirkable duty to tell truths unslanted, to look head-on at the situation the world faces, with climate change above all.”

This event aimed to explore these issues – and more – with panel members Mirko Bonné, Weather Stations Writer in Residence at internationalesliteraturfestival berlin,  Tony White, former Writer in Residence at the Science Museum, and Chris Rapley.

You can listen to the panel conversation here.