Climate Change

Writing Our Way to a Brighter Climate Future

March 22, 2024  • John Peabody

How we talk about climate change is critical to fighting apathy and doomerism, and for making concrete steps towards a brighter climate future. This year, this was a common thread of many conversations at Aspen Ideas: Climate in Miami, on and off the stages. Storytellers of all kinds, including journalists, filmmakers, social creators, writers, and more, gathered to discuss how they can use their skills and tools to advance the climate conversation for positive change.

Watch just a few of those conversations below. 

Bringing Climate Journalism Above the Fold

Journalism plays a critical role in shaping the public’s perception and understanding of climate change. A panel of journalists, featuring Justin Worland (Time), Yessenia Funes (Atmos Magazine), Naveena Sadasivam (Grist), freelance climate journalist Manka Behl, and Adriane Alicea (Green 2.0), gathered in conversation to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing journalists in this critical mission. 

Climate Fiction: Hot Stories, Cold Facts

One of the most enduring qualities of literary fiction is that it asks what it means to be human, and more and more writers are asking that question as it relates to climate change. In this conversation, Mitzi Rapkin, founder, host and producer of the First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing podcast explored this question with authors C Pam Zhang, Lily Brooks-Dalton, Jenny Offill, and novelist Téa Obreht.

Cataloging the Past and Shaping our Future: Museums Change the Narrative

Museums are typically testaments to the past, but a growing number are using exhibitions to shape our response to the future—specifically to climate change. Museum leaders shared how they see their institutions as mediums for storytelling, and how they balance truth-telling and advocacy.  This talk brought together MoMA’s Senior Curator Paola Antonelli, Founder and Principal of Local Projects Jake Barton, President of the American Museum of Natural History Sean Decatur, Alison Rempel Brown, President and CEO, Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Franklin Sirmans. 

Lights, Camera, Climate Action! Planet Media Pitch Fest

In this fast-paced pitchfest, storytellers pitched their own concepts for children’s climate media to a group of judges for production prize money. Judges included science educator Bill Nye, Aspen Institute senior fellow Laura Schifter,​ and more!

Want to go deeper? You can find the full list of events and watch sessions here and subscribe to the Aspen Ideas newsletter here.

Photos by Daniel Bayer.