Journey to the Sinking Lands

A witness to the world's first evacuation of an entire people due to climate change

Storytelling

I’m a great believer in the power of stories, and for the past few years have made a living by telling them. Over the weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to a pow-wow of people in the same business – playwrights, poets, academics and the like – to talk about climate change.

A few of them have already blogged an account of what was said here, here and here, so I’m not going to waste your time giving it my own version now. Except to mention one thing that was said, but none of these three have picked up on. It’s just a thought, and I don’t remember how the conversation got there, but someone suggested the idea that maybe the way we talk about climate change is like Stockholm Syndrome, where you start to show affection for the thing that is trapping you. Certainly, we have got too used to treating the subject as some vague, complicated armageddon rolling down upon us. Always a bad news story. The reality isn’t like that; it’s messy and stupid and sexy and sometimes it has a happy ending, just like people themselves. Being on the islands taught me that.

Apropos of nothing much at all, except possibly that comics are much better at this kind of thing than the rest of us, another of the participants at the pow-wow has sent me this link to a video review of Princess Mononoke. I don’t know if it will make it out to Shrewsbury, where I’m living now, but if it does, I reckon it’s worth a gander.

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