State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Event Will Discuss Intersectional World-building in Climate Fiction

Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors event banner
Image courtesy of Grist

Update 9/21/21: Missed this event? Watch the recording below.

The effects of climate change have been visible and difficult this summer, with extreme rainfall, heat, drought and wildfires occurring in many regions across the country. With so much devastation in the headlines, it may not be surprising that climate storytelling often perpetuates so-called “disaster narratives,” but storytelling also has the power to drive the imagination and creativity we need to address the climate crisis. How can we imagine more hopeful ways to bridge the gap between negative climate impacts and a more sustainable future? And how can we center narratives from those most likely to experience the effects of climate change, and who are often not included in climate conversations?

On September 20, 2021, from 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM ET, the Columbia Climate School’s M.A. in Climate and Society program will be partnering with Grist, Orion Magazine, and Natural Resources Defense Council for Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors, a conversation about decolonizing and diversifying climate fiction while envisioning a better world. The Climate Week event comes at the culmination of Grist Solutions Lab Fix’s inaugural climate fiction contest of the same name. In launching the contest, the organizers wanted to share stories and visions from those communities most affected by climate change, and drawing inspiration from Afrofuturism, hopepunk, and solarpunk. The contest received over 1,000 submissions; read the 12 winning stories here.

Authors Sheree Renée Thomas, Adrienne Maree Brown, Morgan Jerkins, and Kiese Laymon served as judges for the climate fiction contest, and will be participating in the event alongside Fix’s Tory Stephens and Earther’s Brian Kahn, a lecturer and alumnus of the Climate and Society program. Panelists will explore intersectional world-building, centering justice, and creating new visions for our future planet through narrative.

The Climate Group has selected the Columbia Climate School as its university partner for this year’s Climate Week NYC. Running Sept. 20-26, Climate Week NYC convenes key climate leaders to accelerate climate action and discuss ambitious commitments ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, later this fall in Glasgow.

Click here for the full lineup of Climate School events, which will be updated as events are confirmed.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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