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Storytelling to Accelerate Climate Solutions

Climate Fiction to Inspire Green Actions: A Tale of Two Authors by Denise Baden and Jeremy Brown

Many works of ‘climate fiction’ depict an apocalyptic future that imagines a planet in dystopian collapse. While hope is that such cautionary tales will prompt constructive behavior change, unintended consequences can occur leaving some audiences feeling defensive, hostile, or overly anxious. In contrast, there is evidence indicating that stories and characters that model positive solutions to climate change are more likely to inspire audiences to imitate the fictional role models. This positive approach is shared by the authors of this chapter—Denise Baden in her rom-com Habitat Man and Jeremy Brown (and team) in the comic series The Renegades: Defenders of the Planet. This chapter draws on their experience to offer advice to creative writers within climate fiction. While there are differences in the depiction of gentle versus radical solutions, both authors advocate the need for stories that generate a sense of agency, hope, and courage.

This book takes a snapshot of where climate storytelling is currently at, describes where it fits within a climate communication landscape, and supports the next steps of its development.  It facilitates the of creation climate storytelling efficiently by sharing and amplifying what is working well, and building collaborations between practitioners and researchers.

This is an open access book, and also available on Amazon and Google Books.