…in an apartment, in an even more magical borough in London, I created The Climate Change Project.
Back in 2017, in those pre-pandemic times, climate breakdown was treated, for the most part, as an abstract threat, that was sometimes cautiously discussed on the news.
Speaking to the reality, and by that I mean the science of climate breakdown, was considered, socially at least, to be a hard no.
Audiences were generally infantilised and given little information, which was almost always delivered with a heavy dose of well-meaning but
misplaced and inflexible optimism, that seemed very one-dimensional in its focus and narrative.
‘Stubborn climate optimism’ has always struck me as a state of being that only the most geographically affluent amongst us could really afford to indulge in. After all, climate breakdown is already here, it just isn’t evenly distributed. So the idea of committing to understanding and problem solving this mammoth issue from one lens struck me as being (again) well-meaning but ultimately short-sighted and too exclusive to benefit the multitude.
Back then, slogans, narratives, and sentiments around ‘innovation’. i.e., about ‘how capitalism would singlehandedly save the day without breaking a sweat’ got top billing.
Climate scientists, academics, and activists were brazenly side-lined or ignored by newsreaders who were careless, uncomfortable, and/ or seemingly oblivious to the reality of climate breakdown.
And culturally and politically, climate issues were for the most part defanged and tranquilised before they qualified for degrees of corporate support.
Back then, like millions of others, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the limited, one-dimensional, Western-centric, and factually compromised nature of climate reporting that saw climate activists and experts being brazenly gaslighted and shamed when they opted for realistic optimism over the more aspirational variety.
Which is why I invested all my savings. Four years of my life. And counting. All my weekends. Most weeknights. And a sizeable chunk of my earnings into designing an indie publication that would counter the poor climate information diet...