Narrating the way to a new future

Those of us immersed in storytelling believe, at a gut level, that if we want to change something, we have to change the stories we tell about it.

Take climate change, for example. If we dismiss concerns as paranoia, we find support in stories that discount the science. Climate Change Skeptic is a good example. On the other hand, if we believe the growing body of research trying to raise awareness, we are more likely to turn to sources like Grist’s How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: Responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming .

Noah's Ark from the movie "Evan Almighty"

Noah's Ark from the movie "Evan Almighty", photo from Jack Duval's Flickr photostream

CIAO! (Children’s International Arts Organization) asked children, scientists, artists and architects, “If you were sailing away on an ark to a low carbon future, what would you save and what would you leave behind?” Together the participants created a new story, “a positive vision of a low carbon future”.

The Ark is the public installation that resulted from the project. The five-day celebration, from June 23 to 27, was planned for a fitting spot: the centre of Oxford University’s science quarter.

Before the children set to work, they heard from leading scientists. They not only learned of the challenges our planet is facing. They also heard how they could make a difference. Then they worked with artists to create their vision of a greener world.

Scientists, artists and children creating a new story. How much more hopeful that is than the kind of argument and counter-argument that has world leaders in a state of paralysis, unable to craft a viable story to guide action.

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Carol Mason - June 25, 2010

If one is in doubt about the changing climate, one need only observe the plants, regulating themselves as they do by temperature. In my garden, many are reflecting in their unusual cycles the subtleties that we perhaps don’t notice to such a degree. A wisdom in survival to which they respond in their unique ways.
Thank you, Cathryn, for making available such interesting discussions.

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