As part of the Climate Communication Project we carried out a series of workshops with three different community groups, based in Manchester, Stockport and Bristol. The workshops involved open discussions about what climate change meant to these communities and how they perceived it to be communicated.
Participants were encouraged to write collaborative poetry as a method of helping themselves and us to better understand their perspectives, and the lifeworlds of the individuals and the community. Here, we present three of the poems that were written during the workshops. You’ll see that each portrays a different perspective on climate change and the challenges it presents.
Poem by members of the Avonmouth Community Centre
Confused, conflicted, guilty, sad, helpless but I have a
responsibility to educate myself, live simply and do whatever
I can to affect positive change… we can educate people
to the real statistics of what is happening in our world.
Poem by members of Disability Stockport
Some will profit as suffering increases.
Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry children of the future!
We have one Earth, if we don’t save it, all else is lost.
I feel like if I give as hard as I could
My friends will live in a world that’s good.
Poem by members of faith communities in Manchester
There are too many of us
Disposing of too much far
Into our atmosphere and our world
We need to take more care,
Fossil industrial growth
That diminishes water soil and air
Grow to green and clean
To make the world more fair.
We need to change behaviour
It is urgent that we share,
The joy is living simply
Right here and not out there.
We must reduce the harm we cause
Both personal and corporate ware
A better carbon footprint
Before our world we tear.
The outcomes of these interesting discussions will also provide a context for the expert elicitation and meta-analysis of climate communications being carried out by the Climate Communication Project team.
Sam Illingworth is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, with a background in the atmospheric sciences and expertise in public engagement and outreach.