Discovering useful prep for climate calamity

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you to the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Geography professor Gabor Sass was recently named the London Public Library’s first Environmentalist in Residence.

Today, he takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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Climate change is going to turn our world upside down. Are you ready for it?

Clearly governments and industry have huge roles to play, but what about us, citizens living our everyday lives? We have much more power and ability to navigate these uncertain times than we think, especially if we have the right kind of information. How do we best prepare our families, our communities and our city regions to the coming climate shocks of the 21st century?

Here are some resources I have found useful in my preparation for climate calamity.

Read.

Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway. This is much more than a book about gardening; it is a beautifully illustrated and written manifesto that invites the reader to start thinking in terms of systems, especially in terms of ecosystems. Nature can be our guide as we design and implement ecological gardens that can provide us with food and medicine, sequester carbon, and provide habitat for pollinators and other animals. As soon as I finished reading it, I was out in the yard planting our own edible forest garden.

Watch.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a recently released feature film that drops you into one of the poorest countries on Earth, Malawi. It chronicles the story of a poor-yet-resilient village that faces a severe famine, probably induced by climate change. Despite a central government that doesn’t seem to care and people leaving the village or selling their forested land for timber (compounding the effects of the drought), the village, led by a boy genius, dreams and brings about a different future based on hope and ingenuity. The type of resourcefulness shown in this village in Malawi will be the hallmark of every successful community throughout the world in the coming decades.

Listen.

Radio Ecoshock, a weekly podcast out of British Columbia, will keep you at the edge of your seat as you learn about cutting edge science on climate change as well as what you can do about it. Host Alex Smith asks well thought-out questions from each of his guests some of them top scientists like Michael Mann and Andrew Weaver. I find him to be an excellent interviewer who also doesn’t shy away from injecting his show with personal insight, analysis and emotion. Take a listen.

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If you have a suggestion for someone you would like to see in Read. Watch. Listen., or would like to participate yourself, drop a line to inside.western@uwo.ca.