I’m proud to present the latest episode of my Climate Confident podcast, where I had the pleasure of speaking with two prominent voices in the fight against climate change: Professor Denise Baden and Steve Willis.
Denise is a Professor of Sustainable Business at the University of Southampton and the mastermind behind the Green Stories project, which is all about writing climate solutions into stories that can reach a wider audience. Meanwhile, Steve is the Director of Herculean Climate Solutions and the co-producer of “No More Fairy Tales: Stories to Save Our Planet” an anthology of 24 stories that present positive and engaging solutions to the climate crisis.
The authors took a unique approach to addressing the lack of positive stories in the climate fiction genre by using three questions to evaluate potential solutions: Does it work? Can it produce a million tons? And is it negative emissions? These solutions are then illustrated through entertaining stories that include powerful kernels of scientific truth.
Denise, who was the editor of these stories, talked about the challenge of managing perspectives from various renowned writers (Kim Stanley Robinson, Paolo Bacigalupi, Andrew Dana Hudson, and more), experts, including engineers, ecologists, and social scientists. She highlighted the concept of “social science fiction” as a safe space for exploring more systemic solutions that can be difficult to discuss in a political environment.
Steve talked about the power of fiction and storytelling to raise awareness of transformative solutions. He compared the idea of saving the planet to saving the Titanic and the use of a holodeck to write a program of what the future could look like. The conversation also touched upon the comparison between the utopian world of Star Trek and the current world, and the goal to achieve the former within the time and effort required.
Denise talked about the need for a shift from the current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) metric to a Wellbeing Index or Happy Planet Index, as well as the importance of long-term decision making that falls outside the electoral cycle. She mentioned the use of citizen assemblies and personal carbon allowances as topics explored in their stories. Steve talked about the idea of making the ocean an independent state in order to solve its problems and how this idea has been incorporated into his anthology about the future. He also discussed the potential for planting sea grass, kelp, and other ocean vegetation, and the lack of awareness around the ocean.
The authors have big dreams for the future of their project, including turning the stories into a Netflix series and focusing on refreezing the Arctic as a crucial step in fixing the climate crisis. They hope that these stories will inspire people to take action and make a positive difference in the world.
So if you’re looking for a podcast that’s both informative and entertaining, then look no further! Listen to the latest episode of Climate Confident and discover the inspiring work of Professor Denise Baden and Steve Willis. They’re making a difference, and so can you!
Finally, don’t forget to follow the Climate Confident podcast for weekly inspiring stories and remember, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.
Photo Credit Bureau of Ocean Energy on Flickr